Your homeowners insurance covers you against a catastrophic loss in case of a named danger. This could include fire, tornadoes or burglary. However, does your homeowners insurance also include your contents?
It all depends. Your policy will cover your personal property if your kitchen appliances are damaged by fire. However, if your fridge stops working after 10 years of reliable service, you will likely have to cover the cost of repairs.
What is the best time to have homeowners insurance protect appliances?
An HO-3 policy is the most popular type of homeowner insurance. This covers personal property in case of certain, named disasters. These policies include the following:
Smoke, lightning and fire damage
It is easy to see how a stove or refrigerator could be damaged by a fire in the kitchen. Smoke can also cause damage to appliances and home systems, including furnaces and air conditioner units.
This includes hailstorms and the weight of snow, ice or sleet. You should be covered if your roof collapses after a snowstorm and crushes your washer or dryer. Flooding is not covered by HO-3 policies. You will need to have a separate policy in order to cover flood damage.
Explosions can happen from either internal or exterior forces, and can cause significant damage to your home. A gas leak can cause structural damage to your home, furnace, and other appliances.
Riots, civil disorder; vandalism or malicious mischief; theft
The HO-3 policy covers damage to your property caused by persons with malicious intent. Your policy should cover damage to your property by a burglar who is searching for valuables. This covers thefts of electronic devices such as stereo systems and computers.
Sudden steam or water release can cause damage
Any appliances can be damaged by the accidental release of steam or water, as well as the sudden and accidental breaking down, cracking or burning of hot water heating systems or steam boilers. However, sudden damage is not covered. You may not be covered for a slow steam leak or water leak that causes mold growth in your basement.
You would be covered if freezing temperatures affect your plumbing, air conditioning or sprinkler system. This covers damage to pipes that burst after a freeze.
Accidental and sudden damage caused by artificially generated electricity
This is a peril that can be caused by electric surges. These surges can cause serious damage to your electronics. It’s a good idea if you own expensive electronic items to inform your agent so that you are properly covered. Some insurance companies offer additional endorsements that cover electronics.
What happens if homeowners insurance doesn’t cover appliances?
Some appliances may not be covered by your insurance. It’s best to be aware of these situations before you get hit with unexpected repair bills.
- Standard home insurance policies don’t cover age-related breakdowns. If an appliance has been in your home for more than a year and suddenly stops working, it is not covered by standard home insurance policies.
- Your insurance policy will not cover you if your furnace isn’t maintained. Your policy won’t cover you if your furnace isn’t cleaned every year, even though the manual says so.
- Flooding is not covered under HO-3 policies. If you live in a flood zone, you can purchase a separate policy from the government’s National Flood Insurance Program. However, if your basement floods and shortens out your dryer, you will not be covered. You would not be covered for hurricane-caused flooding, but you would be covered for damage to your home.
- Standard home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage. If your appliances were damaged by a fire after an earthquake, however, you would be covered.
There are many types of homeowners insurance that cover appliances
What insurance covers appliances We’ve already discussed that an HO-3 policy (which is most home insurance policies) covers appliances for named perils. You may also be eligible for other insurance policies that will pay for damaged appliances.
What if you own your apartment or house and have installed your own appliances? You should look into an HO-4 policy (also known as renter’s insurance). This policy covers personal property against the listed perils. Appliances are considered personal property. They are. The building is not covered by this insurance. That would be the landlord’s responsibility. An HO-4 policy would cover everything in your apartment, from clothes to coffee makers.
Condo insurance or HO-6 policies are sometimes called “walls in” coverage. It doesn’t cover actual structures, but it does cover walls, floors, ceilings and personal effects, including appliances. It covers all the perils mentioned above, including damage from snow or fire.
Mobile home insurance
You probably have coverage for your mobile home. This policy covers both the structure and contents of the building. It may not cover the same perils as other policies. To find out what it covers, it is a good idea talk to a knowledgeable agent.
Basic HO-3 policies do not cover flood damage. It is important to find out if you are in a flood area. FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has a floodmap service center which allows you to enter your address and determine whether your property is at-risk. Consider purchasing flood insurance through your insurer if you are at risk. Flood insurance personal contents will cover you for the damage to clothing, furniture, electronics, and certain appliances (including freezers) and their contents. FEMA estimates that an average flood policy will cost $700 per year.
Warranty coverage for your home
Home warranties may be included in the closing package, although they are not the same as the “HO Series” policies. This coverage acts more like a service contract and covers your home and appliances (plumbing and electrical, HVAC) against damage due to regular wear and tear and age. You may have a HO-3 home insurance policy, but the coverages you get are different. The cost of a home warranty ranges from $25 to $50 per month . You can often pick and choose the coverage you want.
Who doesn’t need insurance that covers appliances
A standard homeowner’s policy HO-3 is acceptable if you have just bought a new home with brand-new appliances. Manufacturer warranties will likely cover your new appliances. Extended warranties will likely be available for an additional fee that would cover damages for a specified number of years.
If you live in an older house with older appliances, home insurance that covers appliances is more important. You might consider adding a home warranty to your existing coverage if this is your situation. This type of policy will cover appliances that have stopped working due to their age.
How to choose the best policy to protect your appliances
Your agent will walk you through all the options, including any add-ons or coverage endorsements. When purchasing a policy, there are many factors to consider: cost and customer service.
Every policy is different so the right policy might not work for you. Talk to your agent about appliances.
Consider a home warranty if you want to avoid regular repairs for older appliances. While warranties are expensive, they can also eliminate the risk of an appliance or system failure.
Questions frequently asked
Which is the best company for home insurance?
There are many home insurance companies that provide solid coverage at affordable rates. It is important to compare quotes and shop around for the best appliance insurance. Our Best Home insurance Companies of 2020 is a good place to begin.
My stove, six years old, needs a new broiler. Are you covered?
It is unlikely, unless the broiler broke down due to a specific peril. It might be covered if an electrical surge caused it. You’ll need to verify with your agent. You should also consider your deductible. It may be greater than the unit cost. You won’t likely be covered if that is the case.
Do I need another policy if I have a home warranty?
Yes. Yes. A home warranty covers appliances and systems against normal wear-and-tear as well as aging. Your home’s structure and any repairs required in the event of a natural disaster like a fire, hurricane or other similar events are not covered by warranties. Standard home insurance policies are required for this purpose.