A damaged air conditioner is a plain pain in the scorching months. Not only does it make things uncomfortable, but it may also incur hefty repair bill. A lot of homeowners are not sure whether or not their home insurance policy covers air conditioners. Well, home insurance does cover air conditioners but only if the damage is caused by “covered perils” listed in the policy. On the other hand, you can’t expect your insurer to pay for AC repair bills if the damage is the outcome of a lack of maintenance.
The post below explains the situation in detail.
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When will you get the coverage?
So, when will you be able to claim coverage from your home insurance company if your AC unit is damaged? According to experts, there are 3 main cases where you can ask for coverage from your insurer for your damaged or broken air conditioner.
Damage from falling trees & vandalism
Home insurance companies generally provide coverage to damages on home caused by falling trees. And this coverage extends to the appliances in your home as well. So, if a big falling branch has shattered your AC unit, you can certainly ask for reimbursement from your insurer.
Damage from lightning strikes
A lightning strike on AC is dangerous and leads to serious damage. You will be glad to know that a standard home insurance policy does cover AC damage from lightning. Direct strike on the AC may lead to fire accidents, ruining the different electrical components inside the device. If you ever find yourself in such a mishap, make sure to inform your home insurer. The company will reimburse the repair bills that you incurred while fixing the destroyed electrical stuff.
Damage from burst pipes
This is another main event when your damaged AC will be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Burst pipes are not uncommon in cold temperatures and such accidents can damage your AC unit big time. It’s to stress, a standard home insurance policy generally covers damage caused to home appliances from frozen burst pipes.
The difference in coverage between central AC & window AC
It’s to note here that home insurance companies generally follow different coverage principles when it comes to window AC and central AC. As a central AC unit sits inside your home, it’s treated as a part of the entire home’s structure. Thus, chances of getting coverage for damaged central AC units are always high.
To be precise, central air conditioners are covered by home insurers under the section of “open perils”. It implies the damage incurred by the unit will be covered provided the factors leading to the cause are clearly excluded. The term “open perils” refer to hazards that are particularly excluded on the homeowners insurance policy. Some of the typical perils that policies tend to exclude are:
On the other hand, a window AC is deemed as “personal property” by the home insurance companies. Hence, you can’t always expect reimbursement from the home insurance company when you have to repair a broken window AC unit. Window AC units are covered by the home insurance policy under the section of “named perils”. The term “named perils” refers to the hazards that are clearly mentioned in your policy’s declaration page. In other words, if the AC unit has been damaged due to causes mentioned on the declaration page, the damage won’t be covered. Some of the top examples of named perils include:
When will you not get the coverage?
As mentioned previously, your home insurance policy won’t extend coverage for AC issues caused by poor maintenance on part of the owner. For example, if you have been using an AC unit for almost a decade, it’s bound to burn out naturally. A home insurance policy won’t offer protection for damages incurred by outdated and aging air conditioners. Besides, your home insurer won’t pay for normal wear & tear glitches in your AC unit.
Additionally AC damages resulting from sudden accidents won’t receive homeowners insurance coverage as well. For example, if kids in your block hit and damage your AC with a flying “six” while playing cricket, you have to pay the repair bills on your own.
Then, be careful about water damage. AC units tend to produce water. Now, if that AC-generated water seeps into your home and damages wall and floor, that will be dubbed as maintenance glitch on your part. So, naturally, in such situations, your home insurance policy won’t take care of the repair bills.
When to file a claim to your insurer to cover damaged AC?
Do not rush to call up your insurer the moment you encounter a damaged AC. First, you will survey, check the causes and then make an estimate of repair costs. Then, if the damage is eligible for home insurance coverage- compare the repair costs with the estimated repair amount from the insurer. If the repair/replacement costs seem to be less than the reimbursement amount you will receive, don’t bother your insurer. If you start filing insurance claims for every little thing, you will only end up with higher premiums end of the month. Thus, you will only file the claim if the repair/replacement costs seem to be higher compared to the policy’s deductible.
Consider home warranty
From the above discussions, we can infer there are several situations where your broken AC may not be covered by your home insurance policy. But no worries- you can always check out a home warranty program. Also known as repair insurance, the policy will take care of the repair and replacement expenses of your broken AC unit. You can browse the internet for a reputed home warranty insurance program. Additionally, some home sellers may extend a handy home warranty program to homebuyers.