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Does Home Insurance Cover Your Appliances? Is Your Refrigerator Covered?

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If you have a problem with your refrigerator, can homeowners insurance cover it? That question is harder to answer than one might think, and it’s important to know. An average refrigerator repair cost up to $500. Considering the fact that refrigerators inevitably need repairs in their later years, and accidents happen, $500 can be very daunting. Even if someone has home insurance, they likely won’t be covered for the natural breaking down of any of their appliances. 

Sometimes it’s hard to tell for certain if homeowners insurance covers appliances and by how much. Each insurance policy is different, however, except for particular incidents, its unlikely insurance will cover appliance repair. Homeowners insurance generally focuses on disaster or security-related issues. When it comes to normal wear and tear, appliances aren’t covered in home insurance policies. However, if there are incidents such as a housefire, robberies, natural disasters, etc., appliance replacements may be possible.

A common issue that causes refrigerators and other appliances to break down are power surges. Power surges not caused by lightning strikes may not be a cause for an insurance company to approve of your replacement. Appliance coverage also varies amongst different insurance companies. Some don’t cover power surge damage to your appliances at all, regardless if lightning was the cause. It’s important to check with your insurance agent about different policies for different items and incidents.

Home Appliance Insurance

There is a way, however, to make sure your appliances are covered. With home appliance insurance, or a “home appliance warranty plan” the cost of appliance maintenance and replacement will be covered in many circumstances. This includes appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, and dishwashers. Most appliance insurance doesn’t cover what homeowners insurance does. It covers the wear and tear damage that comes with time and deterioration. Refrigerators are often included in these plans. Often, warranty plans may split the coverage between systems and appliances. Systems are what’s spread throughout the home like plumbing, where appliances are items like refrigerators. Appliances like refrigerators may be covered at a higher cost. 

The cost of home appliance insurance can range between $400-$1100 per year. Keep in mind, the cost of a single refrigerator repair averages at around $500. This price point all depends on what is needed by the homeowner. The average cost, however, is $400-$550 per year. Sometimes, regardless of the damage or its cause, if an appliance breaks down and a contractor comes to fix it, you may have to pay a set service fee. Appliance insurance companies will work with the contractors directly. Those service fees usually are around the $50-$100 range.

It’s also important to note that many insurance companies will only cover items up to a certain price point. If you have a very pricy fridge with a high replacement cost or repair cost, you may not be fully covered. American Home Shield, for instance, will cover your refrigerator for up to 3,000 dollars of repair costs. Homeowners insurance does not cover these sorts of repairs for the most part. Prices can also vary depending on where you live. In Ohio, American Home Shield has a full coverage plan for $480. However, a homeowner in Westchester, N.Y, where appliances are more expensive and homes are older, may have to pay around $800 to $900.

Extended Warranty for Your Appliances

Often, if you buy an appliance like a refrigerator at stores like Best Buy or Sears, you can get it with a warranty plan. These plans and home warranty plans are different. The most notable difference between these plans is that purchasing a warranty plan at a store won’t cover any of your other appliances or anything else in your home. If you just need coverage for a refrigerator but don’t necessarily need a full coverage plan of all your appliances, it’s a safe bet to look at warranty plans for individual items instead of predetermined packages. 

It’s inevitable that at some point, your fridge or other appliances will need repair. This is especially true if you have older appliances. Taking proper maintenance steps with your appliances is valuable in reducing the number of repairs needed.  Home appliance insurance makes sense for people who want the security of knowing that when things need fixing, they’ll be able to afford it. Before purchasing insurance, make sure to be exactly aware of what your plan covers. Some companies will refuse to cover the damages because it was clear that the appliances had poor maintenance by the homeowner. 

Citations: 

Consumer Reports. “What to Know About Buying a Home Warranty.” Consumer Reports, www.consumerreports.org/buying-a-home/what-to-know-about-buying-home-warranty/.

“How to Find The Best Home Appliance Insurance Policy.” Value Penguin, valuepenguin.com/home-insurance-appliances.

“What You Need to Know About Appliance Insurance.” The Home Service Club, 8 Oct. 2018, www.hscwarranty.com/blog/what-you-need-to-know-about-appliance-insurance/.

“When Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Appliances?” GETITC, www.getitc.com/syndicate/2018/03/20/when-does-home-insurance-cover-appliances.

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