It’s hard to imagine life without your favorite tech. So when your TV, tablet, or video game console gets damaged or stolen, fixing or replacing it can be stressful and costly. If you’re a homeowner, you probably already know that homeowners insurance policies are a must. But what exactly does it cover, and can you use it to get insurance for electronics?
Here at Asurion, we teach millions of people about their tech—from the pros and cons of appliance protection plans to how smart home tech can save you money on homeowners insurance. Here’s everything you need to know about what to look for in homeowners insurance and whether it covers your electronic devices.
Keep in mind that every homeowners insurance policy is different and coverage may vary. Always learn the details of your policy, including its potential limits and exclusions, and know when you might want to purchase additional electronics insurance (more on that below).
What does homeowners insurance cover?
“Do I need homeowners insurance?” For the vast majority of people, the answer is yes. But what exactly is homeowners insurance? And what does it cover?
Think of homeowners insurance like a safety net for your home and everything inside it. Homeowner’s insurance may cover the cost of fixing or replacing your home, property, and personal belongings in certain situations, including a burglary, fire, fallen tree, and some weather conditions (like wind, lightning, and hail). This may include everything from your HVAC system and kitchen appliances to electronics and furniture.
Homeowners insurance may also cover additional living expenses—like Airbnb or hotel fees, meals, pet boarding, and storage rentals—if your home is damaged by fire (or another covered event) and you have to move while it’s repaired. If you have a tenant who has to vacate for the same reason, homeowners insurance may cover that lost rent too. Plus, if someone gets injured on your property, the policy may help with medical and legal expenses.
Remember, each policy has its coverage limits, so it’s important to know what your specific policy covers.
What types of electronics does homeowners insurance cover?
A standard homeowners insurance policy may cover many electronics, including tablets, computers, TVs, and video game consoles if they break or are damaged in certain situations, called covered perils in insurance speak. Depending on your plan, portable electronics may be covered only up to a set amount, though you can often buy additional coverage. Contact your homeowners insurance company or your insurance agent to see the full list of covered devices under your plan.
When are my electronics covered by homeowners insurance?
There are some common scenarios in which your electronics may be covered by homeowners insurance, up to your policy’s limits. If a pickpocket nabs your phone at a carnival; a thief breaks into your home and takes your computer; or your AC unit, microwave, or washing machine is destroyed in a fire, your policy’s personal property coverage may help replace it. That’s because those events—perils like theft and fire—are typically covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Homeowners insurance may also cover damage from a power surge, depending on the cause of the surge.
Homeowners insurance coverage may protect your family’s belongings when they’re damaged by theft, fire, smoke, and vandalism as well. That may even include your college student’s computer (if they’re insured on your policy). So if your son’s laptop is stolen from the science lab, you can submit a claim to your insurance for coverage (as long as there isn’t an age limit and the coverage applies to on- and off-campus housing).
What electronics are not covered by homeowners insurance?
Here are some common scenarios in which your homeowners insurance provider may not cover your damaged electronics.
Normal wear and tear
If your five-year-old throws a baseball at your TV and shatters the screen or you accidentally knock your phone into the toilet, you’re likely on your own. That’s because a standard homeowners policy won’t usually cover the cost of repairing or replacing electronics that break down from natural wear and tear, misuse, or negligence. Insurance companies call this “accidental damage from handling.”
Flood and earthquake coverage
Standard home insurance policies usually exclude coverage for natural disasters, like floods and earthquakes, though you may be able to add it for an extra cost. (The price varies based on your risk level and home.) If your homeowners policy doesn’t include coverage for floods, your insurance company likely won’t pay for any tech damaged in a flood to be repaired or replaced.
Are electronics protection plans worth it?
Another good question. Most devices come with a standard manufacturer’s warranty, which offers limited coverage for a short period. But if you want extra protection, you can also invest in an extended warranty for your electronics, a service agreement that covers the cost of repairing or replacing your tech, usually after the manufacturer’s warranty runs out.
To learn more about whether an electronics warranty is right for you, check out our guide to whether electronics protection plans are worth it.