The heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems that are part of most modern homes are commonly referred to as HVAC. While these systems are responsible for the comfort level inside the house, they are complex pieces of equipment and susceptible to breakdowns. When that happens, homeowners should understand which insurance covers their AC and heating systems.
Does homeowners insurance cover HVAC?
Standard homeowners insurance will typically cover HVAC. The policy covers your AC and heating system for common disasters that include damage from reasons other than negligence, deliberate acts, or normal wear and tear. You should always know what your policy specifically covers and excludes, so you are aware of your financial responsibilities if your system is disabled.
Does homeowners insurance cover an air conditioner replacement?
If you live where strong winds or typhoons are common, your air conditioner or heat pump could be susceptible to damages. Assuming you made every effort to secure your unit, your policy will probably cover either a major repair or replacement.
If a fallen tree damages any part of the HVAC system, the underlying cause would have to be determined by an underwriter. If a healthy tree in your yard is blown over and damages the unit, it would likely be paid without any issues. If the tree were discovered to have been diseased, however, it could be interpreted as negligence on your part since you could have prevented the damage by removing the tree before it fell.
Does homeowners insurance cover furnace replacement?
While storms and falling trees will usually not have a direct impact on your furnace, insurance will still repair or replace it if it’s damaged from fire, as is your entire HVAC system. The coverage will not extend to situations in which negligence or deliberate acts caused the fire.
For example, if your house caught fire because of a lightning strike or any other cause over which you had no control, all damages will likely be covered. On the other hand, if the fire was caused by a neglected electrical system or a defective appliance that should have been repaired or replaced, the outcome might be different.
When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover the HVAC system?
- Normal wear and tear: every piece of equipment or machinery breaks down eventually, even with the proper maintenance. Although you might have done everything possible to maximize its life, every component of your HVAC system will fail at some point. Replacing or repairing the unit will be your financial responsibility.
- Negligence or poor maintenance: operating your AC and heating units with incorrect installation, improper wiring, or faulty power supply are examples of negligence and poor maintenance.
- Water damage from causes that could have been prevented: the HVAC is part of the structure of your house, so any water damage to the system from a leaky roof or seepage from cracked walls that the homeowner failed to address could result in a claim being denied.
Are there any scenarios in which home insurance will pay for an air conditioning unit?
Yes, there are two that would qualify:
Scenario #1: You’re sitting inside your house on a hot summer afternoon, enjoying the cool temperatures supplied by your central air conditioner. A summer storm rolls in with high winds and blows over one of your trees. It lands on the AC unit and flattens it. Your homeowners insurance will likely pay to repair or replace your air conditioner. And if the AC had been struck by lightning instead of by a falling tree, it would also have been paid.
Scenario #2: It’s the middle of winter, and your AC unit is covered in ice. The pipes freeze and burst, but since your homeowners insurance covers these damages, your policy will probably pay to have the unit repaired.
Remember, if your air conditioner dies of natural causes (old age), home insurance won’t pay for a new one. And if someone in the family accidentally damages it (a small toy breaks the fan), you will have to pay the repair bill.
Home warranties are not the same as homeowners insurance
Homeowners insurance covers the structure of a home and the damages from fires, floods, vandalism, and natural disasters. If your washer leaks and damages the basement furnace, home insurance would pay for the damage to the furnace but would not pay to repair the washer. A home warranty would pay to fix the washer but not the damage to the furnace.
It’s good to know which insurance covers your AC and heating
When it comes to air conditioner insurance and insurance for your home furnace, a thorough understanding of your homeowners policy will let you know if you should file a claim or if you will be spending a substantial amount of money for repairs and replacements to your HVAC system.
But you don’t have to decide on your own.
The insurance advisors at NSI Insurance Group are here to help you. We are in the business of helping people protect what they value and have worked so hard to build. We represent the finest and most reputable insurance companies in the country, and we’ll work with you to find the coverage that is right for you. NSI Insurance Group is an independent insurance agency in Miami, Florida, so call or visit us for all your insurance needs.