Does my homeowners insurance policy cover my HVAC unit?
UPDATED: Jun 3, 2013
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Asked June 3, 2013
Whether or not your HVAC is covered by your homeowner's coverage policy depends on what is wrong. If the unit was damaged or destroyed by one of the named perils in your home insurance policy, it is probably going to be covered by your coverage company. If it simply stopped working for apparent reason, then you are probably going to have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. Your policy is not meant to pay for the repair expenses or replacement costs of personal property for any reason, only for reasons covered by the policy and not for the cost of damages unrelated to these reasons. You can still try to submit a claim, but don't be surprised if it gets denied.
What is covered under a homeowners coverage policy?
There is a huge difference between a damaged HVAC and one that is nonfunctional, in the eyes of the insurer. Typically, the working status of your household appliances is covered under a home warranty, not by your homeowners insurance coverage. Home warranties are special kind of coverage that guarantees your appliances for the period of time listed in the policies while home insurance products are limited to protecting you against lost or failed appliances in the event of a covered peril. In the first case, appliances will break down and need to be repaired, while the second case is reserved for things such as fire, wind storms and other perils named specifically in your homeowners policy.
Major appliances will only be covered if they're part of a covered peril listed in your policy. This includes not only HVAC units but also septic systems and plumbing systems, as well as other major systems including mechanical systems and even major household appliances like dishwashers, cooktops and ovens, and refrigerators and freezers. But if the damage was caused by neglect or wear and tear, it won't be covered.
One example would be where the compressor on your HVAC unit goes out. While this could lead to some uncomfortable evenings, and it does lower the value of the home, the HVAC heating & cooling appliance is not considered a necessary major home systems appliance for being able to live in the home. If the HVAC is not covered under a regular warranty plan with the company and you did not purchase a home warranty plan when you bought the home, then you will need to find and pay a contractor out of pocket to get the compressor replaced or repaired so you don't have to go all winter without air conditioning or all winter without central home heating.
How can you find out if your HVAC central heating and cooling unit is covered under your homeowners policy?
If customers believe that the HVAC unit should be covered under their home insurance, contact your insurance agent and find out. If it is covered, the insurance company can tell you how to proceed. If it is not covered, the insurance will tell you so. The same information is available in your policy, so be sure to start there, looking for specific exclusions to home appliances.
Answered June 3, 2013 by Anonymous