Homeowners insurance covers all sorts of unfortunate situations, not just your house and personal belongings. But understanding the nuances of your policy can be tricky. More than 70% of homeowners don’t realize that, if their child hits a baseball through a neighbor’s window, the liability insurance within their home insurance policy may help pay for the damage, a 2023 Forbes Advisor survey found.
What about damage to your washer, your dryer, your stove, or your refrigerator? Does homeowners insurance include home appliance insurance? And what is homeowners insurance coverage anyway?
Here at Asurion, we know appliances—from what to consider when you’re choosing appliances for your new kitchen to whether it’s worth getting a smart refrigerator. Here’s what you need to know about homeowners insurance and appliances.
What is homeowners insurance?
A standard homeowners insurance policy usually helps you pay to repair or replace your home and what’s inside it if there’s damage from certain events (called “covered perils”), like fire, smoke, vandalism, theft, hail, wind, even a fallen tree.
Do I need homeowners insurance?
Your home is likely one of the most valuable assets you own, which means you’ll want to protect it—and your investment—any way you can. With homeowners insurance, you’ll have peace of mind in the face of fires, theft, and a range of other situations.
What does homeowners insurance cover?
Homeowners insurance usually covers a variety of items in your house, including your furniture, clothing, electronics, heating and cooling systems, garage, swing set, and fence. Your policy may also help pay for living expenses if you have to vacate your home after it’s damaged so that it can be rebuilt. And if someone is injured on your personal property, homeowners insurance may help cover medical bills too.
Every policy is different, so read the fine print of yours, including its potential insurance deductible, coverage limits, and exclusions.
For more info, contact your insurance provider and check out our guide to homeowners insurance and electronics.
Does homeowners insurance cover appliances?
Homeowners insurance plans typically pay for appliance damage, just make sure your policy covers the cause. If your oven, refrigerator, or washing machine is damaged in a fire, your homeowners plan should help pay to replace it. But if those appliances break down from neglect, you likely won’t be reimbursed, since that’s not usually something covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy.
When it comes to home appliances insurance, a typical policy may cover damage due to:
- Theft and vandalism.
- Windstorm or hail.
- Riot or civil commotion.
- Weight of ice, snow or sleet.
- Volcanic eruption.
Want additional protection for those incidents that aren’t covered by your homeowners policy? We can help with that.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage from appliances?
It all depends on the situation. A typical policy usually covers water damage as long as it’s due to an accident or sudden problems, like:
- Burst pipes.
- Water damage after a fire.
- Water damage from a storm.
- A plumbing or appliance leak.
But your policy likely won’t cover more gradual water damage, like a leaking kitchen sink. The same goes for appliances that have water leaks due to neglect or lack of maintenance. This is important to remember, because water damage is one of the most costly and common home insurance claims, accounting for 24% of all home insurance claims, according to Forbes.
Of all the water damage insurance claim tips out there, one of the most important ones is this: Learn the details of your policy.
When are appliances not covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance does have limits. To get a better sense of what is not covered by homeowners insurance, here are some scenarios where your provider may not extend its insurance for home appliances.
Normal wear and tear
If your air conditioner breaks down over time—or because you neglected it for a decade—you’re likely on your own. Home insurance for appliances typically doesn’t cover negligence, misuse, or wear and tear.
Flooding and earthquakes
If you’re confused about which problems are eligible for a claim, you’re not alone. According to the 2023 Forbes Advisor survey, 40% of homeowners mistakenly believe that earthquake damage is typically covered by a standard home insurance policy. Another 36% think home insurance covers flood-related damage (it usually does not include flood coverage).
If your kitchen appliances are ruined in a flood, your policy likely won’t help you pay for the repairs or replacements, because homeowners appliance insurance does not include damage from flooding or earthquakes. If you’re concerned about these scenarios, talk to your insurance agent about buying additional coverage. The price varies based on your home and risk level.
To learn more, check out our guide to surprising ways smart home tech can save you money on homeowners insurance.