Does Homeowners Insurance Cover An AC Unit or HVAC System? Factors & Reasons
Air conditioning is a very important part of a modern home. When an air conditioner goes bad, it can be extremely uncomfortable or even dangerous in the wrong situation. The problem is air conditioning can be extremely expensive to have fixed. An unexpected AC repair can really set you back. Not to mention if you have a problem with the internal HVAC system as well. Repairs can quickly balloon into thousands of dollars. As such an integral part of the home and with a large price tag, it begs the question as to whether or not your homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of an air conditioner or HVAC system.
The answer to this question is complicated and nuanced. It depends on what kind of insurance policy you have and the situation that caused your air conditioner to go belly up. In some cases, homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost, but in other cases, it definitely will not.
When Homeowner’s Insurance Will Cover HVAC
Central air conditioning, HVAC systems, and built-in air conditioners are covered under a homeowner’s dwelling coverage on their insurance policy. Dwelling coverage covers the physical structure of the home, such as the roof and the foundation. Built-in central AC is covered under this policy. If you have personal property protection, that coverage will include any window AC units that might get stolen, damaged, or vandalized.
Between these two types of coverages, your AC system will be covered from unforeseen disasters. Here are the most common incidents that your homeowner’s insurance will cover for your air conditioning.
Hurricanes are extremely destructive, and they can cause an air conditioner to go bad. Between the strong winds, rain, and debris, it is not inconceivable to think of a way your AC could be damaged or destroyed in a bad storm. If your AC blows away in a hurricane, it should be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy.
If your house burns down or gets smoke and fire damage, homeowner’s insurance will cover the cost of repairs or replacements. This will apply to the external AC unit or the ducts inside the home. If a fire damages the ducts, vents, or cables, then homeowners’ insurance will include those things in their damage assessment. Even if the fire starts in your AC unit, it should be covered if it spreads to another part of the house.
If a tree falls on your external AC unit or falls into your roof and damages the ducts, it will be covered under homeowners’ insurance. Tree falls are one of the most common ways for homes to get damaged, and they are covered by homeowners’ insurance.
Lightning is another common severe weather incident that can cause a ton of damage to an HVAC system. Lightning should be covered by homeowners’ insurance. Lightning can fry the electrical components in an air conditioner or blow the unit itself.
Hail is another weather-related incident that will trigger homeowners’ insurance coverage. If your external AC unit gets battered by hail, it can damage the unit. Hail can also damage or disconnect the power cables and freon carriers from the unit, which can cause serious damage.
Water Damage Not Related to External Flooding
External flooding due to weather events or climate is not covered by homeowners’ insurance. It is covered by additional flood insurance. However, if your AC somehow gets destroyed due to water damage related to water coming from inside your home, then homeowners’ insurance will cover the repairs or replacements.
When AC and HVAC Is Not Covered
Unfortunately, the most common way for an air conditioner to fail is not through external weather events but rather through normal wear and tear. Homeowners’ insurance will not cover air conditioner repair or replacement for general maintenance, wear, and tear mechanical failures, or age. If your air conditioner breaks in any way that is unrelated to some sort of external calamity, your insurance company won’t cover it. Here are three common ways an air conditioner can break that will not be covered by your insurance.
Air conditioners typically last 10 to 15 years. If your AC craps out after 14 years of hard use on a sunny day, your insurance company will not cover it. Homeowners’ insurance is not a home warranty or any type of warranty. Air conditioning units will eventually fail due to age but that has nothing to do with your insurance.
Air conditioners require regular maintenance. Technicians suggest having your AC unit inspected and serviced every six months to a year. A lot of people don’t have AC servicemen out biannually. They only want to call people out to their houses when something goes wrong. An insurance company is not responsible for your rickety AC that is not running properly because it was never maintained.
Many insurance policies have special exclusions. Standard homeowner’s insurance won’t cover flooding in many cases. You need to have special federally backed flood insurance to cover flooding. Some areas won’t cover earthquakes. Other areas won’t cover sinkholes. Some regions suffer from bad wildfires, and those won’t be covered under certain policies. Many policies have special exclusions based on regional hazards that will not be covered. If your AC breaks due to any of these special exclusions, then the air conditioner will not be covered.
Check Your Policy
At the end of the day, your insurance policy is your responsibility. Every policy can be slightly different depending on the individual. Policies can vary wildly between states or regions. A homeowner’s insurance policy in Florida will not be the same as one in Minnesota. Check your policy. Look for special exclusions and read the fine print regarding your dwelling insurance. If you have any questions, call your agent. Ask them a hypothetical about your AC. They should be able to quickly tell you if it would be covered or not.
The only way to know for sure whether your AC or HVAC will be covered is to read the policy for yourself.
The bottom line is that homeowner’s insurance will cover air conditioners or HVAC systems if they break due to a disaster, severe weather event, or calamity. Homeowner’s insurance will not cover general wear and tear, old age, poor maintenance, or mechanical failures related to the air conditioner. Double-check your individual policy and look for exclusions because some insurance policies have exclusions that disqualify certain types of damage from being covered.
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