Can you get insurance on your HVAC system?
If your air conditioner unexpectedly stops working in the dead of summer, you’re likely to be a little stressed about paying to fix or replace it.
Homeowners may be under the impression that their home insurance policy should cover the A/C repair bill. In the event of a complete breakdown, there is a presumption that your insurance plan will provide the money to replace your A/C system or A/C window unit. However, there are many exceptions to the coverage provided by most insurance companies.
This article will discuss when homeowners insurance will and won’t cover heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. We’ll also discuss the benefits of a home warranty and the additional support it can provide you in the event of an HVAC system breakdown.
Does homeowners insurance cover A/C units?
HVAC systems and A/C window units are typically included in a homeowners insurance policy. However, there are specific circumstances under which your repair will be eligible to qualify for coverage.
While every homeowners policy is different, generally speaking, a home A/C is covered either through either “dwelling coverage” or as a part of the “personal property coverage,” depending on your system.
Dwelling coverage refers to a system that has been built into your home. Personal property coverage might apply if you have a window A/C unit, since it is not a part of the home's structure but is a personal possession kept on your property. The homeowners policy might also cover damage to your other major appliances in addition to your A/C system.
As a side note, if your air conditioner has an issue that causes water damage to your home, the damage might be covered if the leak was not caused by a clogged drain line, usually the result of a lack of proper maintenance to your system. Make sure you follow recommended guidelines for A/C inspections and care.
In what instances does homeowners insurance cover A/C units?
If your air-conditioning unit has gone out as the result of a particular “hazard” or “peril” — as your insurance provider often refers to them — there is a chance you’ll be fully or partially covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Insurance providers are not likely to cover an air-conditioning failure caused by what it deems to be normal wear and tear or as a result of neglect.
Some examples of hazards or perils that your insurance company is more likely to cover include:
- Some weather events (wind damage, lightning strike or hail damage)
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Fallen trees
- Weight of heavy snow or ice
- Power surges
Your insurance coverage may also include other rare perils, like volcanic eruptions or damage caused by an aircraft or automobile running into your A/C system.
If your homeowners insurance does cover some or all of your A/C system, you should do a little math before filing an insurance claim. Your policy might have a deductible exceeding the amount it would cost you to pay for the repair yourself. An insurance adjuster will give you an idea of what the damage is and what it will cost you if you go ahead and file a claim.
When homeowners insurance does not cover A/C units
If your A/C system has broken down due to normal wear or a general mechanical failure, it is likely that homeowners insurance companies will not cover it. Examples of general wear might include a frozen coil or broken fan, which could result from a lack of maintenance.
Homeowners insurance also typically does not consider flood damage a covered peril because it is seen as a gradual event rather than a sudden one. Floods caused by a backed-up sewer are also not typically covered under most insurance plans.
You should check with your insurance agent or read the fine print of your policy to find out what your coverage limits are. In some cases, the limits of your “other structure” coverage might be capped at 10% of your home’s value. So, a $300,000 home would be capped at $30,000. Depending upon how your policy is structured, that cap will apply to damage not only to your A/C system, but also your garage or other outbuildings. This cap is something to be aware of when deciding to start your claims process. If you have a window A/C unit, any covered perils will likely be covered under a personal property component.
What is a home warranty, and how does it cover home HVAC systems?
If you feel like your homeowners insurance plan isn’t covering as much as you’d like it to, you’re not alone. Your policy is full of coverage exclusions that make it unlikely you’ll ever use it. Even when your A/C is covered, there may still be a substantial deductible that has to come out of pocket.
If you are looking for a more comprehensive insurance-like option to cover your system for more common A/C issues, you should consider a home warranty. A home warranty is an annual service agreement on top of your homeowners policy. Your home warranty provides breakdown coverage for repairs and replacements of your A/C system — and other home systems — for a fixed monthly cost.
Why opt for a home warranty in addition to homeowners insurance?
Why would you want a home warranty when you’re already paying for homeowners insurance? There are several reasons to choose the additional coverage provided by a home protection plan, not the least of which is greater peace of mind.
- The price is reasonable. Home warranties vary in price, but you can generally add coverage for just about every appliance and system in your home for around $50 a month.
- They cover wear and tear. A home warranty will cover far more common A/C issues, including mechanical breakdowns and general wear and tear on your system. They even cover problems related to your ductwork.
- They will replace what cannot be repaired. Home warranties typically include the complete replacement of unfixable appliances. They also cover the installation cost of the new unit.
- They cover more than just your A/C. Depending on your plan, a home protection plan will also cover home fixes for major appliances, built-in systems like water heaters, plumbing systems, or all of the above.
- They usually have a straightforward claim process. Home warranty providers offer streamlined claims processes that include helping customers connect easily with reputable local repair professionals.
- They are clear about what they cover and what they don’t. Home warranties do have some exclusions for coverage. Still, the most reputable providers spell out the coverage specifics in great detail and plain language, so you won’t have to deal with the coverage shock that you might experience with your homeowners policy.
Protect your home HVAC from costly repairs with Cinch
One of the biggest concerns homeowners have is the fear of an unexpected major expense. The beauty of a home warranty is that it allows home buyers to feel safe when making what is likely the largest single purchase of their lives.
A Built-in Systems plan from Cinch gives you the comfort of knowing that should anything go wrong with appliances or systems in your home, most major expenses will be covered. Check out Cinch's home warranty options, and find true peace of mind in home ownership. Get a quote today!