Does Renters Insurance Cover Appliances?

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Sometimes you can get much cheaper rent by simply supplying your own appliances in the unit. Sometimes you’d just rather bring your appliances along rather than putting them in storage for a year. And other times, the home you rent just doesn’t come with appliances, so you’re forced to buy your own.

Whether you bring major appliances with you or the basic kitchen appliances suffice, renters insurance can actually have your back in some instances if they’re broken. Let’s take a look at how your policy can provide coverage and which appliances typically fall under that coverage.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Appliances?

Renters insurance will cover damage to, or the destruction of, many appliances you own and bring into your rental unit if they’re damaged or destroyed by a covered peril or if they’re stolen from your home. However, appliances that you don’t own in the rental home will never be covered by your insurer.

The damage or destruction must have occurred by a covered peril listed in your renters policy. Any damage not caused by a covered peril, such as wear and tear or malfunctions, won’t be covered under any circumstance.

So if you bring a washer and dryer into the property and it suddenly malfunctions and goes kaput, you won’t be covered. However, if lightning strikes your home, causing an electrical surge that fries your washer and dryer, your renters insurance policy may reimburse you for a new set because lightning is covered by your policy.

The most commonly covered perils are natural disasters, such as a hurricane or tornado blowing a hole in the wall or ceiling and carrying the washer and dryer into the abyss. If the natural disaster spares your appliances, but they’re then stolen by a vandal combing the neighborhood, you’d also be covered because theft is a covered peril.

One of the only natural disasters you wouldn’t be covered from is flood damage. Flooding isn’t covered by any home insurance policy, so you’d need to have separate flood insurance to ensure you’re covered. Getting flood insurance is especially important if you live in a moderate- to high-risk flood zone.

How Your Appliances Are Covered by Renters Insurance

Since renters don’t own the property they live in and the appliances aren’t built into the home, they’re covered by the personal property portion of the renters insurance policy. Personal property coverage simply reimburses you for any belongings that are damaged by a covered peril. It’s then up to you to replace your items.

Depending on the type of coverage you enrolled for, you’ll either be reimbursed for the actual cash value or replacement cost of your items. Actual cash value (ACV) factors depreciation into the value of your items to determine how much you’ll be reimbursed while replacement cost (RC) coverage simply reimburses you the exact amount you paid for the item when you bought it.

So a $1,000 washer and dryer set bought five years ago will fetch considerably less money from your insurer under actual cash value coverage than it would under replacement cost coverage. If your insurer deems the lifespan of such appliances to be 10 years, it would only cut you a check for 50% of their value (since they’ve already been used for five of 10 years).

Upon filing a renters insurance claim for the damage, you’d still need to pay your deductible. After your deductible, your insurer would cut you a check for the rest. With a $250 deductible, you may only receive $250 from your insurer under ACV while you’d receive $750 under RC.

In that case, it’s probably not even worth filing a claim and risking a premium increase, as you’d be better off paying out of pocket. Since RC reimburses you more for each personal property claim, it also increases your renters insurance premiums, too.

Which Appliances Are Covered By Renters Insurance?

While the term “appliances” may invoke the thought of larger items like a washer/dryer combo and dishwasher, your insurance policy may classify smaller items as appliances, too. Luckily, this classification extends to nearly every type of portable appliance you bring into the rental property. These are some of the most commonly covered appliances under your policy:

  • Personal air conditioning and heating units
  • Small kitchen appliances like coffee machines & blenders
  • Washer & dryer
  • Refrigerators
  • Vacuums
  • TVs & projectors
  • Computers & laptops
  • Video game consoles

Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken Appliances?

Renters insurance only covers broken appliances if they break due to a covered peril, such as a pipe bursting and causing water damage or a hurricane destroying them. Unfortunately, broken appliances aren’t covered if they break due to normal use, wear and tear, human error, malfunction or any similar event.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Appliance Repairs?

Appliance repairs are in a similar category as breaks. Your policy will only cover your appliances if they break or get damaged by a covered peril. If a covered peril is the culprit of the damage, your insurer may reimburse you to repair the appliance. However, many times they’ll simply reimburse you for a new appliance altogether.

Protect Your Belongings With Renters Insurance

Averaging just $12 per month, renters insurance can protect your belongings for the cost of a few cups of coffee.

The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.

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