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When Homeowners Insurance Covers Appliances (And When It Doesn’t…)

By August 28, 2019October 6th, 2020Insurance

Kitchen real and plannedThere’s a couple of questions that we get over and over. One of the top ones people seem to be concerned with is, “Are my appliances covered under my Oklahoma homeowners policy?”

Great question! Like HVAC equipment, appliances are covered under homeowners insurance. That is, depending on the situation. It all depends on what happens to your fridge, dryer, or oven.

Standard homeowner insurance policies include coverage for appliance repair or replacement if that damage is due to a covered loss like fire, lightening, wind or hail. Insurance will not pay to replace it if it’s due to old age or bad maintenance.  

When does homeowners insurance cover appliances?

Under the standard Oklahoma homeowners insurance policy, a home and the items inside (aka contents) typically protect your things from fire, smoke, wind, hail, falling objects and 12 other perils or disastersIt’s important to know that every policy is written differently. Coverage all depends on how your policy is written. Depending on whether your home is written as a basic, broad, or special form policy you may have less or more coverage.

Appliances are usually considered personal property. Most policies stipulate that the accidental overflow of water or steam from an appliance is covered. An example of this is if your hot water heater explodes and causes damages.

There is another coverage that provides some protection for your appliances called Equipment Breakdown. This coverage is common offered with most insurance companies. This coverage can extend to include some basic repair and replacement.

When does homeowners insurance not cover appliances?

There are instances where your Oklahoma homeowners insurance policy won’t pay for the repair of your appliances. You’ll probably have to cough up the cash if  your appliance breaks down because of its age, a lack of maintenance or general wear and tear. Policies also typically insure a clause that won’t cover avoidable incidents (like your husband putting foil in the microwave) and cosmetic damage when it still works, but has a few dents and bumps. This is common in our great state of Oklahoma with its strong winds, tornados, and hail.

Types of coverage  

Review your homeowners insurance policy and double check how appliances are replaced. By this, look for words such as replacement cost or actual cash value.

If your policy states that it’s an actual cash value replacement, 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. Think: the price for a used item.

If your homeowners policy is written with replacement cost 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, double check the contents coverage is enough to coverage all appliances, plus furniture, clothing, electronics, and other items around the house.

Home warranties

Appliances typically have a life expectancy tied to them. This can be good and bad. Typically, if something is damaged or breaks down within the first year the manufactures warranty typically will help you out. Depending on the manufacturer, most 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 charge.

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..

Questions about your Oklahoma homeowners insurance policy? Call or text our office at 405-373-2977.