Does home owner’s insurance cover all of your appliances?

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Asked October 20, 2011

1 Answer

Homeowners insurance will insure your home and the property it contains against all of the perils named in the policy. It does not insure your appliances against normal wear and tear, improper maintenance or other losses that are not clearly defined by the policy. There are other limitations on your coverage of property as well, and you may not get full replacement value even when the appliance is covered.

If your dishwasher is damaged because of a fire, for instance, it is usually covered by a standard home insurance policy. If that same dishwasher stops working because it is getting old, then it is not going to be covered. Similarly, if a tree is blown over by high winds and falls directly on your utility shed containing your washer and dryer, those appliances would be covered, since most homeowners insurance policies do cover damage caused by winds.

However, if the tree that fell had been dead for some time and you simply have not gotten around to removing it, the insurance company may regard the damage as being caused by negligence on your part, and that is an exception to coverage that is spelled out in most policies. As long as you keep your home maintained and take reasonable precautions against property damage, the insurance company will work with you.

Keep in mind that insurance usually covers property for original value minus depreciation, not replacement value. The difference is that replacement value would pay to replace your dishwasher, while value minus depreciation would only pay a portion of the cost, based on the age of the equipment and what it cost when it was purchased new. Older appliances that are destroyed by named perils may only yield a small part of what it costs to buy a new one, no matter that the equipment was in excellent condition.

Answered October 20, 2011 by Anonymous

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