Most people understand that a centralized air conditioning unit is covered by their homeowners insurance. Still, some are confused about other parts of their HVAC system. Will your homeowners insurance also repair or replace a damaged heating unit such as a heat pump? In this article, we will be diving more into the specific parts of your HVAC system and see if your heat pump will have insurance coverage.
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Your Home’s HVAC
The HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) system in your home plays an integral role in keeping you comfortable and safe. Depending on the temperatures outside, you must always consider keeping your HVAC system in top shape.
A heat pump is a powerful machine which provides both heating and cooling to your home. It can work all-year-round to keep your home cool during summers and warm during winters. It is one of the most effective add-on feature an existing gas-furnace and is especially useful in locations where winters can be extremely cold.
Since a heat pump utilizes the outside cool air for summer and outdoor warm air during winter it is usually installed outside of a home. This makes the heat pump vulnerable to damage such as from fallen trees, lightning, or more.
Is Your Heat Pump Covered?
In most standard homeowners insurance policy, the HVAC system is usually covered if they are damaged caused by a covered peril. As a heat pump is considered an integral part of your HVAC system, damage from covered perils should provide adequate protection. A typical HO-3 policy includes protection against 16 common perils including the following:
- Lightning or fire
- Windstorm or hail
- Damage from vehicles (Unless caused by the insured)
- Damage from aircrafts
- Riots or civil commotion
- Theft (With limited liability of up to $1000)
- Malicious mischief or vandalism
- Volcanic eruptions
- Falling objects
- Accidental discharge of steam or water
- Weight damage due to snow, ice, or sleet
- Freezing of household systems
- Accidental tearing, cracking, bulging, or burning of pipes or household systems
- Accidental damage due to artificially generated electrical current
In short, your HVAC system including parts of your heating system (such as a heat pump) will be covered in case it becomes damaged due to fallen winds, high winds, or theft.
When Is Damage To Your Heat Pump Not Covered?
A standard homeowners insurance will not cover damage to your heat pump if the unit stopped working due to normal wear and tear or poor maintenance. This means if your heating unit stops working after more than 15 years of use, it is likely that your insurance policy will not honor your claim. Similarly, if during the installation process, your new heat pump was accidentally dropped, it will not also be compensated by your insurance policy.
Damage from flooding or earthquakes is also not covered unless you took an additional option. Most homeowners insurance do not include protection against flood, water damage, or earthquake. So if you are located in an area where these issues are a possibility, make sure to get additional coverage.
One important tip, if you are using a heat pump to protect your home from freezing over during snowy winters, you are also exposing your machine with water damage from snow and water. Make sure to secure your property with water damage coverage.
Cosmetic damage will also not be covered so if you are living in an area where hailstorms may be a common occurrence, you may want to reconsider what add-ons are needed for full coverage.
Tips When Filing HVAC Claims
When filing an insurance claim for your damaged heat pump or other parts of your HVAC system, you need to gather the right papers and information. Make sure to record the serial number and model number/name of your heat pump. Take photos of any visible damage and ask for a copy of a police report if a crime against property is involved (vandalism, theft, or burglary).
Once you have everything that you need call your insurance agent or provider. They will ask you basic information such as how your heat pump was damaged and you will discuss with them the extent of your policy’s coverage. Then, it is likely that they will send an insurance adjuster or inspector to your home to survey the damage and evaluate the cost of replacing or repairing the unit.