We’ll help you uncover when your home insurance coverage should kick in for broken down appliances.
Like HVAC equipment, appliances are covered under homeowners insurance in certain scenarios. It all depends on what happens to your oven, refrigerator or washing machine.
Standard homeowner insurance policies include coverage for appliance repair or replacement if the damage or loss was the result of a covered peril. But if it’s a matter of age or poor maintenance, you’re probably on your own. In case you have questions about homeowners insurance and appliances, our director of underwriting, Mike Gulla, helps us explain what’s covered by most policies and what’s not.
When does homeowners insurance cover appliances?
Under the standard homeowners insurance policy, a home and its contents are protected from fire, smoke, wind, hail, falling objects and 12 other perils or disasters. Appliances are usually considered personal property. Most policies specify that the accidental overflow of water or steam from an appliance is covered.
With appliance or equipment breakdown coverage, which is offered with all Hippo policies, your homeowners policy coverage stretches beyond perils to include basic repair and replacement.
When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover appliances?
Homeowners insurance won’t always cover the cost of repairing your appliances. If your appliance breaks down because of its age, a lack of maintenance or general wear and tear, you’ll probably have to foot the bill to get it fixed. Policies also tend to leave out avoidable accidents (like your child putting plastic in the oven) and cosmetic damage (which is common in states like Texas that are more likely to face strong winds and tornadoes).
Types of coverage
Read through your homeowners insurance policy overview and make sure that appliances are replaced based on their actual cash value. If that’s the case, you’ll receive a payout for the cost of the unit that takes depreciation into account. The amount you end up with will probably be lower than what you originally paid.
You’re in luck, or a Hippo client, if your policy covers the replacement cost of your appliances. That means you’ll receive a payout for the value of the unit based on how much it would cost to repair or replace it. Keep in mind that your insurer won’t pay for an upgraded appliance. Don’t expect a fancy new smart fridge if yours is merely functional.
While you’re reviewing whether your policy covers the actual cash value or the replacement cost of your appliances, assess your coverage limits to make sure they meet your needs.
Appliances have a general life expectancy. But if an appliance is damaged within your first year of owning it, there’s a good chance that it could be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty. Some manufacturers will extend a warranty for three or five years for free if you ask them. Others will offer an extended warranty in exchange for an additional payment. But you may be able to obtain similar and more affordable appliance protection from an insurance company.
If you want an extended warranty that covers electrical and mechanical issues, shop around until you find a fair price. Just keep in mind that extended warranties come with restrictions, often based on the age of the appliance and how it was damaged.
It’s important to take care of your appliances and keep damages to a minimum. Keep them clean and only use them for their designated purpose. You can also choose an insurance provider, like Hippo, that covers the cost of appliances that break down. These policies may cover what other home insurers usually won’t, including repairs for appliances that break accidentally.
Still have questions about homeowners insurance coverage for appliances? Contact a Hippo specialist. We’re here to help!