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Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken TVs?

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  • Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken TVs?

Many things in this world can break TVs. Unfortunately, most of the broken TV occurrences won’t be covered by your renters insurance policy, but there are a few instances in which renters insurance can come in and save the day by replacing that broken TV for you. Let’s take a look.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Broken TVs?

Yes, renters insurance covers broken TVs if it was damaged or destroyed by a covered peril, which has to occur suddenly and unexpectedly. If a covered peril causes the damage, you’d file a renters insurance claim, pay your deductible and your insurer would then cut you a check for a new one or reimburse you the amount it pays out.

Perils When Renters Insurance Covers Broken TVs

Broken TVs aren’t always covered, but when a covered peril directly causes the damage, you can likely count on your insurer to pay for the damages. TVs are considered electronics or appliances, so they receive the same type of coverage your laptop and blenders receive.

If a fire rips through your home, damaging your TV and countless other belongings, your policy would provide coverage. The same can be said about water damage that affects your TV. You can also expect to be covered from a number of natural disasters, including hurricanes and tornadoes. You may also be covered if your TV breaks during a move. But it’s not just damage to your TV that’s covered.

If a thief breaks into your home and steals your TV, you should be covered. Or if a vandal breaks into your home and simply takes a baseball bat to your TV, which may also include any bad breakups, you should also be covered. Renters insurance policies typically share the same covered perils as other standard home insurance policies, which includes the following 16 named perils.

  1. Vandalism
  2. Theft
  3. Frozen pipes
  4. Damage caused by vehicles
  5. Damage caused by aircraft
  6. Rioting or civil disturbances
  7. Fire or lightning
  8. Windstorm or hail, such as a hurricane or tornado
  9. Damage from smoke
  10. Damage caused by heating, air conditioning or plumbing
  11. Damage due to snow, ice or sleet
  12. Damage from water heater, including cracks, burns or tears
  13. Damage from electrical current, such as downed powerlines
  14. Explosions
  15. Falling objects
  16. Volcanic eruptions
When Does Renters Insurance Not Cover Broken TVs

Just as there are many instances when renters insurance covers broken TVs, there are also many instances when your policy absolutely will not chip in to repair or replace your broken TV.

If your TV breaks due to a rowdy party you’re throwing, or from you throwing something at it when your favorite sports team gets knocked out of the playoffs, your insurer won’t step in to replace it. Damage caused by regular wear and tear or a malfunction also won’t be covered. For the latter two scenarios, you may need a warranty on the TV.

But there are also some natural disasters that could damage your TV and won’t provide coverage under your renters insurance policy. For instance, if your home sustains flood damage, affecting your TV in the process, only a separate flood insurance policy will cover the damage. Earthquakes and other ground movement activities, like sinkholes, aren’t covered either. You’d need separate insurance policies for those instances as well.

Personal Property Coverage

If renters insurance covers your broken TV, it will be protected under the personal property portion of your renters insurance policy. Under this coverage, you’d file a claim, pay your deductible and your insurer would likely just cut you a check for the value of your TV.

However, extremely expensive TVs, like projectors and top-of-the-line TVs, may be capped at $2,500 per claim. If your TV is worth more than that, you may need to invest in scheduled personal property coverage, which increases your coverage limits per item. Your renters insurance payout also depends on whether you have actual cash value coverage or replacement cost coverage.

Your Broken TV’s Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Coverage

Actual cash value and replacement cost coverage are the two types of personal property coverage you can choose from in any home insurance policy. While actual cash value coverage (ACV) takes an item’s depreciation into account for its value, replacement cost coverage (RC) simply reimburses you the exact dollar amount you paid for an item.

So if you bought a $2,000 TV five years ago and it’s damaged by a house fire, you’d get two vastly different payouts with ACV or RC. Under ACV, your insurer may deem the TV’s lifespan to be 10 years. In that instance, it would decrease $200 in value each year, giving it a value of $1,000 after five years. In that case, your insurer would only pay you $1,000 for your TV (minus your deductible). So if your deductible is $500, you’d only get $500 from your insurer.

On the other hand, RC would reimburse you $2,000 (minus your deductible). So the same $500 deductible would garner a $1,500 payout from your insurer. It’s also important to note that RC is more expensive than ACV because it pays out more in almost every instance. But at just $15 per month for renters insurance, it probably won’t increase your premiums too much.

It’s important to keep a home inventory of your possessions to determine exactly how much renters insurance you need to properly protect yourself and your belongings.

Does Renters Insurance Cover a TV Falling off the Wall?

Renters insurance will only cover a TV falling off the wall if the fall was caused by a covered peril, such as a hurricane causing a tree to crash down on the wall, a pipe bursting behind the TV or a thief knocking it off the wall during a break-in. It won’t cover a TV falling off the wall that’s caused by a faulty wall mount or general negligence.

How to File a Broken TV Insurance Claim

Filing a claim for a broken TV is relatively easy. Simply document the damage by taking a picture, contact your insurer, wait for a claims adjuster to survey the scene and, if covered, your insurer will cut you a check for your TV’s value.

Since filing home insurance claims increases your premiums, you’ll want to gauge whether the damage is sufficient enough to file a claim. If your TV was the only thing damaged and you’ll only get $500 back after paying a $500 deductible, you may want to consider paying out of pocket to replace your TV instead.

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