Do Fridges Fall under Dwelling Coverage?

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Woman opening fridge (Photo: @crystalmariesing via Twenty20)
A broken fridge and spoiled perishables could mean getting emergency takeout or cracking open the canned goods… but it could also mean a costly bill to replace or repair your fridge.
If your fridge is broken or damaged, do you know what coverage it falls under on your homeowners insurance policy? And, more importantly, do you know when your insurer will payout for a broken or damaged fridge? Here’s everything you need to know.

Are fridges protected under dwelling coverage?

No, fridges do not fall under dwelling coverage because they are not a built-in or structural element of your home like your furnace, cabinets, roof, etc. Your fridge falls under personal property coverage (or Coverage C) of your homeowners insurance policy because it can be carried away from your home with relative ease (if you have a dolly or a friend’s help).

When would my homeowners policy cover a broken or damaged fridge?

Your fridge is likely covered if it was damaged by a covered peril in your homeowners insurance policy.
However, most perils are limited to unexpected and unavoidable occurrences, like fire, inclement weather, and criminal activity. For instance, if lightning caused extensive damage to your home and fried your fridge, the replacement or repair of your fridge would probably be covered by your insurance company.
If your fridge qualifies for coverage and you need a replacement, it falls under one of the two primary types of insurance coverage:
Actual cost value: This coverage will reimburse you for the market value of the refrigerator at the time that it was damaged. For example, if your fridge was seven years old, your coverage will factor in seven years of depreciation.
Replacement cost value: Replacement cost covers the value of replacing the fridge with a brand new model.

When would my homeowners policy not cover a broken or damaged fridge?

If your fridge wasn’t broken by a peril listed in your home insurance policy, it won’t be covered. As mentioned earlier, homeowners insurance usually only applies to the unexpected and avoidable, which means malfunctions and damage caused by normal wear will not be covered.
That means if your fridge is nearing the end of its life, the damage that occurs as a result of its old age falls on the homeowner.
You may have coverage if you have paid for additional home repair insurance, home appliance insurance, or equipment breakdown coverage.

Should I consider a home warranty?

Some homeowners also opt for a home warranty policy to protect them from a big financial burden if one of their major appliances or home systems, like air conditioning, hot water heaters, or washing machines, were to break suddenly.
If your fridge breaks, you should also check your manufacturer’s warranty. Your fridge may still apply for coverage.