Are Appliances Covered Under Homeowners Insurance Policies?

Homeowners insurance provides a broad level of coverage to you for losses you experience with your home, including the contents of your home, such as your appliances. The coverage depends on several variables, such as the policy that you choose, as well as the amount of protection that you purchase on the contents. Some policies may provide additional coverage for the cost to replace your appliances with the same type of appliance as well.

Contents Coverage

Your homeowners insurance policy provides coverage for the contents of your home, as well as all of your personal property, if it's damaged by a covered event, also called a peril. Contents of your home include furniture, clothing, other personal property and, of course, appliances. The coverage provides for the loss of the items, less any deductible that applies to your policy. However, homeowners policies typically do not provide coverage for replacing appliances that break and fail to operate.

Percentage of Home Value

By default, contents coverage totals a percentage of your home's insured value. Typically, this amount is one-half of the total insured value of replacing your structure. If your home is insured for a value of $150,000, most homeowners policies provide $75,000 in insurance coverage by default for the contents of your home, including appliances. If this coverage is not sufficient, such as if you have high-end appliances and other specialty contents, you can purchase additional contents coverage, typically at reasonable rates.

Replacement Cost

Your homeowners policy provides coverage for the contents of your home and your personal property at different levels, depending on the policy you choose. By default, most policies provide coverage for the actual cash value of the contents. If your refrigerator costs $2,000 when you purchased it, and now costs $2,500 to replace, but it was only worth $500 if you were to sell it, you will only receive $500 if your policy provides actual cash value coverage. With replacement cost coverage, your policy will pay the amount necessary to replace the refrigerator with a new, comparable model.

Home Inventory

To get the most from your homeowner's insurance, you should keep an accurate inventory of your home's contents. With appliances, this includes the model number for the appliance, as well as the serial number. Taking photos of all of your property can help with a potential claim. Keeping the receipts from purchases also will help document what you paid for the appliances. Keep these records off-site, either in digital storage in an off-site or cloud backup system, or in a bank safe deposit box.

Claims Caused by Appliances

In addition to providing coverage to replace appliances damaged by a covered event, homeowners policies also provide coverage to repair your home if it is damaged by an appliance failure. Examples include dryer fires caused by accumulated lint or water damage caused by a ruptured washer supply hose. You are still expected to maintain your appliances properly.

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About the Author

Craig Woodman began writing professionally in 2007. Woodman's articles have been published in "Professional Distributor" magazine and in various online publications. He has written extensively on automotive issues, business, personal finance and recreational vehicles. Woodman is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in finance through online education.

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