Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are valuable investments that provide heating and cooling relief for homeowners for several years. It’s important to know how these systems are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy. In this article, we’ll review everything you need to know about HVAC systems regarding their homeowner’s insurance coverage.
When Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover HVAC Units?
Home insurance helps to cover costly repairs in the event that a covered peril damages your HVAC system. They may be covered under dwelling coverage or personal property coverage, which are both included in a standard home insurance policy. Dwelling coverage may cover built-in units since they are considered part of the home's structure. Window-based units may be covered under personal property coverage because they are considered personal possessions.
Repairs or replacement of your air conditioner may be covered by your homeowner's insurance under the following circumstances:
Certain Weather-related Damage
In the event of damage caused by high winds, fallen trees, or hail, homeowner’s insurance will cover HVAC systems. If lightning strikes your HVAC unit and damages its electrical components, your policy would also likely cover it. It depends on what type of unit is damaged as to what portion of your policy provides this protection. A fallen tree that damages a window unit and the exterior of the home might be covered by insurance. Hail damage to window AC units may not be covered since they are considered personal property.
Fire and Water Damage
If a fire breaks out in your home or a pipe burst suddenly, and you need to repair or replace your AC as a result, homeowner’s insurance may cover some of the costs. Typically, standard home insurance policies do not cover water damage caused by flooding or sewer backups.
Theft and Vandalism
In the event that your AC unit is damaged as a result of vandalism or theft, the damage may be covered. A police report is typically required before a claim can be filed for theft or vandalism.
When Does Homeowner’s Insurance Not Cover HVAC Units?
If an HVAC unit is damaged outside of a covered peril, your home insurance policy will not cover the claim. While your homeowner’s insurance will cover many situations, you should know about the following exclusions:
Unless you have extra coverage, like flood insurance, damage from catastrophes, such as earthquakes and floods, is usually excluded from coverage.
Wear and Tear
Modern heating and air conditioning units are built to last 15 to 20 years, but with regular use, they will eventually break down due to age. Homeowner’s insurance will not cover your HVAC system if it needs to be repaired or replaced due to wear and tear or an accident.
Additional HVAC Coverage Options
Homeowners have a few options to get more coverage on appliances and other home equipment like HVAC systems.
Equipment Breakdown Coverage
Some insurance companies offer endorsements for additional home appliance coverage, also known as equipment breakdown coverage. They may extend coverage for your AC system or furnace to cover electrical or mechanical breakdowns.
Home Warranty Policy
Unlike home insurance, a home warranty will cover wear and tear for HVAC systems. Home warranties can be a valuable addition to a standard homeowner’s policy by providing compensation for equipment that deteriorates over time. Home warranty programs typically offer a flat fee for HVAC repairs regardless of the cause. Claims are usually only denied due to owner neglect or improper servicing.
Filing an HVAC Insurance Claim
If the damage to your HVAC system is more costly than your deductible, you may want to file a claim. Be sure to take pictures of the damage and make note of your system’s serial and model number. Then, call your insurance provider or file a claim online. Keep all your receipts for the repairs and submit them to your insurance provider for proper reimbursement.