Does home insurance protect against issues with my air conditioner?

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Asked April 27, 2015

1 Answer

A standard homeowner’s policy is meant to provide you the broadest protection at the lowest cost. To do that, most home policies exclude the failure of major home mechanical devices, such as water heaters, furnaces, and air conditioners. Since those devices could function indefinitely if they are properly maintained, most insurers consider them the responsibility of the homeowner.

One exception to this is theft. If your air conditioner, whether it is a window unit or a full heat transfer unit, is stolen or vandalized, the personal property portion of your policy would cover the loss. The policy may not cover the full replacement value, and you may have a deductible to meet before the insurance company settles, but a majority of policies may accept your air conditioner as a personal property theft claim.

Another exception is loss through a covered peril. If your home catches fire and the HVAC unit is destroyed by the heat, it would be covered under your home's fire protection. Refer to your policy to find what perils, such as fire, lightning, and wind storm, are covered. Be sure that air conditioners are not specifically excluded. In the event of a total loss, the entire home is covered up to the value of the policy, including major mechanical devices. In this case, the air conditioner may not even be a separate claim, simply part of the larger home loss claim.

Window units might be best covered under individual personal property policies. That would give you most protection for the unit without having to modify your home inventory if the air conditioner is replaced or upgraded. The advantage of insuring the unit separately is that it removes some of the burden of your home's personal property coverage, and that coverage must protect all of your personal property within the home but cannot exceed a specified percentage of the policy value, usually around 10 percent.

Answered May 2, 2015 by Anonymous

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