The ductwork in your home is connected to your HVAC system and is essential for controlling the temperature throughout your home. But, does home insurance cover your ducts if they are damaged?
When you have a homeowners insurance policy, your ductwork is covered if it is damaged due to a covered peril. These perils include fire, lightning, smoke/ash, volcanic eruptions, explosions, riots, windstoms, hail, damage from an aircraft or vehicle, vandalism, theft, falling objects, the weight of ice/snow, water overflow or discharge, freezing of household systems, and power surge damage.
- Your ducts are covered by homeowners insurance if it is damaged by a covered peril.
- It is not covered as a result of general wear and tear.
- If you fail to properly maintain your ductwork (e.g. if you haven’t gotten duct cleaning done in a long time), this is another instance when your homeowners insurance will not cover it.
When homeowners insurance covers ductwork
If your ductwork accidentally cracks, burns, bulges, or experiences a fire, it will be covered by your homeowners insurance. This is because these all fall under the perils that are covered by the policy.
The source of the damage matters a lot because this is what determines if the homeowners insurance will cover it or not. A good rule of thumb is to identify what caused the damage to your ductwork before submitting a claim so it does not get denied.
If the ducts are damaged by a covered peril, the dwelling coverage A portion of your homeowners policy should cover it. If you have a typical HO-3 policy, your dwelling coverage should reimburse you for the replacement cost of the ducts minus your deductible. HO-3 also covers dwelling on an open-peril basis against “all risks“, so most perils are covered, as long as the damage is not seen as preventable.
When your damaged ducts are not covered by your homeowners policy
Preventable damage is always excluded from your homeowners policy. This damage is seen as the responsibility of the homeowner because the action could have been taken prior to the incident.
- Your ducts are going to experience natural wear and tear over time. This is not a covered peril, so any claims based on this type of damage will not be covered by your policy.
- Existing damage is also seen as preventable because it is up to the homeowner to keep the system maintained. If there is existing damage that was not caused by a covered peril, it is up to you to get it fixed as soon as possible.
- Lack of proper maintenance is another instance where homeowners insurance will not kick in. Even if your ductwork is working properly, you should still get regular duct cleaning to make sure the heated or cooled air is flowing freely through your home.
- The older your ductwork becomes, the weaker it becomes naturally. If your system is very old, this can be another reason your home insurance will not cover it. Older systems are more prone to breaking.
Your ductwork is an integral part of your home that keeps it functioning properly. As long as you keep it maintained and free of existing damage, your homeowners insurance policy will cover other damage that is caused by any of the covered perils on the policy.