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Repairing or replacing a damaged device can often cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. Home insurance generally covers personal property in your home, including appliances, but only for damage caused by a covered event.
If your device fails due to normal wear and tear or maintenance issues, you’ll have to pay out of pocket to repair or replace it.
Here’s what you need to know about home and appliance insurance:
Does home insurance cover damage to appliances?
Home insurance can help cover appliances that are damaged due to a covered peril. Risks covered under a standard home insurance policy typically include:
Appliances can fall under several coverages within a standard home insurance policy depending on the type of appliance and how it is installed:
- Personal Property Coverage: Appliances that plug into an outlet in your home may be covered by your policy’s personal property coverage. These can include dishwashers, microwaves, ovens and refrigerators.
- Housing coverage: Appliances built into your home are often covered under your policy’s home coverage. This includes furnaces and water heaters.
- Coverage of other structures: If you have appliances in a detached structure on your property, such as a shed or garage, they may be covered under your policy’s other structure coverage.
Device damage coverage limits
Appliance coverage is subject to policy limits, which are the maximum amounts your insurance company will pay for a covered loss. The amount you receive to repair or replace a damaged device depends on:
- If the damage results from a covered peril.
- What type of coverage it falls under.
- Your policy limits and deductible.
Actual cash value versus replacement cost
Home insurance payouts generally fall into two categories:
- Actual cash value: Your policy may pay to repair or replace the device, less depreciation. If you have older devices, they probably won’t be covered for the amount paid at the time of purchase.
- Replacement cost: If your policy pays the replacement cost value, you will receive funds to repair or replace the device at today’s price.
In some cases, your policy deductible (the out-of-pocket you pay before your insurance takes effect) may be more than the cost of replacing a device. If your deductible is $1,000, but your fire-damaged oven costs $700 to replace, it doesn’t make sense to file an insurance claim.
Check: Home insurance deductible: what you need to know
When does home insurance not cover damage to appliances?
A home insurance policy does not cover all types of damage to your appliances. Here are some common exclusions:
- Normal wear and tear
- Improper installation
- Sewer backup
- Water leaks not caused by a covered peril (such as a storm)
Learn more: What does home insurance cover?
Additional coverage for device damage
A few other coverages can protect you financially if one of your devices is damaged:
- Coverage in the event of loss of use: If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered loss involving one of your appliances – perhaps your stove caught fire or your dishwasher flooded and destroyed your kitchen – loss of use coverage can pay the cost of accommodation and meals up to policy limits while repairs are being carried out. . Loss of use coverage is included in every standard home insurance policy. This is usually 20% of your accommodation coverage.
- Home warranty: Many appliances come with their own warranty, but you can also purchase a separate residential warranty for additional coverage. This covers your device in the event of breakage due to normal wear and tear. You may be able to purchase one from your home insurer. Pay attention to the terms and conditions of a home warranty to understand what is covered and what is not.
How to File a Device Damage Claim
If a fire or other covered peril damages one of your devices, you can file a claim with your insurer for reimbursement. The claims process varies depending on your insurer, but you’ll typically follow these steps to file a claim:
- Contact your insurer. Contact your insurer quickly and have your policy number handy to speed up the process. Share details about the incident and the damage that occurred. It also gives you the opportunity to ask questions about your coverage, policy limits and deductible.
- Submit claim forms. Your insurer will provide you with the necessary forms to file a claim. You will need to provide information such as the date and time of the event, details of what happened, and photos of your property.
- Get an estimate. Your insurer can schedule an inspection for an adjuster to inspect the damage. The insurance company then creates a repair estimate based on the information provided and tells you how much damage is covered.
- Payment received. Following the inspection, your insurer will send you (or the contractor you have selected) payment of the estimated amount. You can hire any contractor to repair or replace damaged devices.
If you’re shopping for home insurance, it’s a good idea to compare quotes from multiple companies. It’s easy to research insurers, compare quotes and buy home insurance with Credible Insurance.
Disclaimer: All insurance related services are provided by Young Alfred.