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Homeowners insurance coverage for HVAC systems

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover HVAC?

The HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system is an integral part of your home. In a place where there can be extreme temperatures depending on the prevailing season, keeping your HVAC system in tip-top condition is certainly a must. But like other structures or equipment within your home, your HVAC system is not exempted from any possible damage, be it intentional or deliberate. While you do your best, there can be circumstances when keeping your HVAC system up and running will be out of your hands. Surely, your homeowners insurance policy can cover it, but knowing the underlying grounds for coverage or non-coverage spells the big difference.

Your standard homeowners insurance usually covers your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC). An HO-3 insurance policy covers your home from common disasters including damage from reasons other than a deliberate action, negligent use/handling, or normal wear and tear. Knowing what your policy specifically covers gives you peace of mind against expensive repairs or purchases that may arise due to covered conditions.

What does home insurance specifically cover?

Wind or Storm Damage

If you live in an area that is susceptible to strong winds or typhoon, your heat pump can be prone to damages. Granting that you exerted all efforts to secure your outdoor unit, your insurer will likely cover a major repair or replacement.

Fire

Just as your home is covered from major incidents like fire, the same coverage extends to your HVAC. But then again, this coverage is only for circumstances that are not caused by negligent or deliberate action. If your house caught fire due to a lightning strike, you will unlikely have any major issues. But if it turns out that the fire originated out of negligence like poor electrical systems or faulty appliances, the case will entirely be different.

Damage from fallen trees

If your HVAC system is damaged by a fallen tree either by a storm or any other cause, the underlying circumstance would have to be determined by your underwriter. If the tree in your yard is healthy, there would be very few issues to settle. But if the tree is diseased, it can be construed as negligence on your part because you could have prevented the damage by dealing with the situation beforehand.

When is your HVAC system not covered by your homeowners insurance?

Operating out of specifications

When you operate your heating or air conditioning system with non-specified installation, wiring or power supply, you have a clear case of negligence and poor maintenance.

Negligent handling

If your unit is new and you dropped it in the installation process, replacing it will be under your care.

Normal wear and tear

Any manmade machine or apparatus is due to fail at some point. Despite periodic maintenance, your HVAC will eventually reach its maximum length of service. It’s good to have maximized your investment, but in a case like this, buying your new unit has to come from your own pocket.

Water damage due to roofing problems or seepage on cracked walls

Ensuring you are covered from HVAC breakdown doesn’t just rest on monitoring your HVAC alone. Because it is a system integrated with the structural integrity of your home, any form of damage that you fail to address can possibly be a ground for your insurer denying your coverage.

How do you file a claim?

If your HVAC is damaged due to reasons covered by your policy, be sure to know first if the savings you get from your insurance coverage outweigh the broader risk you might face in the future. Do not forget that multiple claims are usual grounds for an increase in premiums or policy cancellation. Nonetheless, here are some specific steps you should take if you intend to file a claim:

  1. Get an estimate of the repairs. Precise information on how much the repair will cost allows you to weigh your options against your deductible. Knowing when to push through with a claim or shoulder the expenses saves you the bigger trouble in the future.
  2. Get accurate product information about your HVAC unit. The model name, type, serial number, date of purchase, and years of use will all come in handy when you communicate with your insurance provider.
  3. Take photos of the damaged unit.
  4. Prepare your statement when the insurance adjuster comes to inspect and validate. Be sure to be consistent as you mention all relevant issues. Do not expect your adjuster to uncover all the issues by all by himself. The task of convincing your adjuster rests on your shoulders.

Since an HVAC system is an integral part of your home, in most cases, similar grounds for homeowners coverage apply. Knowing its proper usage and adhering to its technical specifications assure you of a longer service and better return on your investment.  At any rate, repairs and replacements entail large amounts, and the option to file for a claim or to spend from your own pocket will always be determined by a thorough understanding of your policy.

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