Technology is a dominant part of our lives. It is constantly evolving, and many people continue to add more and more electronics and tech to their homes. This tech is often pricey but very convenient. So, when insuring your home, it is important to determine if a homeowners insurance policy covers electronics.
Most insurance companies consider electronics to be part of your personal property. Personal property is covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies if it’s damaged by a covered peril. The perils that are covered depend on the type of homeowners policy you have.
Your electronics should be safe if you have homeowners insurance, but there are some instances and caveats you will want to note. Keep reading to learn more about how electronics are covered under a homeowners insurance policy.
- Personal property coverage C will typically cover the cost of electronics that are damaged or destroyed from a covered peril.
- High-value electronics may need additional coverage such as scheduled personal property endorsement to be properly insured.
- Theft or loss of an electronic while away from home is typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
When electronics are covered by homeowners insurance
Electronics such as TVs, laptops, desktop computers, tablets, phones, and others are covered by personal property coverage C. It is essential to understand when that different homeowners insurance policies cover personal property differently.
If you have just the basic but very rare HO-1 policy your personal property is typically not covered at all.
HO-2 and HO-3
If you have a standard HO-3 home insurance policy your personal property is covered from damage caused by 16 named perils. An HO-2 policy typically provides the same personal property protection as HO-3. These policies typically cover electronics on an actual cash basis, so you will receive the cost to replace your electronics minus the depreciation cost. Here is the list of covered events:
- Fire and lightning
- Windstorms and hail
- Damage from a vehicle that you don’t own
- Damage from an aircraft that you don’t own
- Falling objects (like fallen trees)
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water
- Riots or civil unrest
- Freezing of household systems
- Pipe freezing
- Volcanic eruption
- Power surges
If your electronics get damaged by any of the above, your HO-2 and HO-3 policies will cover the damage. Let’s dive deeper into a few of the covered perils:
- Theft. If someone breaks into your home and your personal property and electronics are stolen, the homeowner’s insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing the items under the limits of the policy.
- Fire. If your home is ravaged by a fire and you lose the belongings inside of it, your personal property coverage will provide reimbursement up to the limits defined in the policy.
- Vehicle damage. If a vehicle crashes into your living room and takes out your entertainment center, your insurance company has you covered. This is considered to be a covered peril, and a check will be cut up to the limits defined in your policy.
If you have a premium HO-5 policy your personal property such as electronics is covered on an open-peril basis. This means the HO-5 policy will cover the damage from more than 16 perils listed above. It will cover damage from all causes except for the ones that are listed as exclusions in the policy.
When your electronics are not covered by homeowners insurance
Normal wear and tear are excluded from homeowners insurance policies. So if your electronics break down due to being old or lack of maintenance, you will have to pay to repair or replace it out of pocket. Standard homeowners policies also do not cover damage caused by flooding and earthquakes, however, most companies have endorsements to add flood and earthquake coverage to your policy.
Unless you purchased insurance that lists your electronics as covered outside of your home, then any damage or loss of an electronic device, like a phone or a laptop, when you are not home will not be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Additionally, if an electronic device is stolen from you when you are not on your property, it is unlikely that a standard policy will cover the cost of replacing the stolen electronic. If you need this type of coverage, speak to your insurance provider to see if there are add-ons to cover this type of scenario.
Reimbursement limits for personal property
Most insurance policies will only provide a certain percentage of coverage for personal property based on the total amount of dwelling insurance that is taken out on a home. For example, if the home is insured for $300,000 and the insurance policy will cover 20% of the insured dwelling limit, a homeowner can expect to receive about $60,000 max to replace the lost electronics from a covered claim.
Most standard HO-3 policies only cover personal property on an actual cost basis, so if you will not get the full dollar amount to replace the damaged electronics, instead insurance will deduct the depreciation from the payout. Most insurance companies offer the option of adding replacement cost value protection to personal property coverage. If you choose to get that upgrade you would get the full replacement cost of your damaged electronics.
If you own a lot of valuable electronics or various electronic equipment such as computers, home theatres, surround sound systems, cameras, and others, you should include all of these items in your itemized contents inventory list that you submit to your insurance company.
In some cases, you may also want to get a scheduled personal property endorsement to cover your valuable electronic equipment. You should always inform your insurance company about expensive electronics that you purchase, so you can be sure they are insured.
Keep your tech protected
Since technology is such as large part of our lives, it is vital to keep it protected. Speak to your homeowners provider to ensure you have the necessary amount of coverage in case a disaster strikes. Not only will it alleviate stress and frustration, but it will also lessen the burden you will face when replacing these items in the long run.