Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Garbage Disposals?
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Garbage disposals are an appliance commonly found in older homes. And if you’ve purchased a home with one installed, it may have become an essential part of your everyday routine. Like any of your home’s systems, you would be disappointed if it was damaged. In that scenario, what would the recourse be for your broken garbage disposal? Are garbage disposals generally covered under standard home insurance policies?
Does homeowners insurance cover garbage disposals?
In some rare instances, yes — but, mostly, no. It depends on your unique coverage and how it was damaged.
In most cases, no
Garbage disposals can be finicky appliances that are prone to misuse. Odds are, if your garbage disposal breaks, it is due to its old age or someone in your household testing its limits (for example, trying to shred the carcass of an entire holiday turkey).
The easiest way to find out if your garbage disposal is covered is to check if it was damaged by one of your home insurance policy’s listed perils. Listed perils are usually limited to damage incurred by unexpected and unpreventable occurrences like fires, inclement weather, and criminal activity. And, going back to our holiday turkey example, in that scenario, I think we can agree that the garbage disposal breaking was both expected and preventable.
Although a broken garbage disposal likely won’t be covered under your home insurance policy, it may be covered by your home warranty. Some homeowners, especially people that buy new properties, often opt to get home warranty coverage. These plans offer additional coverage (minus service fees) if major appliances suddenly break or stop working.
Although garbage disposals break more frequently than other home appliances or systems, they’re also more affordable to repair. However, that does not mean they’re easier to repair. So, if your disposal breaks always put in a service request whether you are covered or not. Unless you are a trained professional, don’t stick your hand in there!
However, if your disposal breaks, it may not be worth putting in a claim to your home appliance warranty because the service fees and/ or deductibles may outweigh the cost of getting it fixed out of pocket. In other words, you may want to reserve using your home warranty policy for bigger expenses.
In rare cases, yes
If your garbage disposal is damaged by one of the perils listed in your home insurance, you will be covered. For instance, if your plan covers fire damage and your garbage disposal was damaged in a fire, your policy will pay out for repair or replacement.
Depending on the extent of the damage, however, it may not be worth making a claim if the damage is localized to your garbage disposal. Making a small claim that could easily be covered could incidentally raise your premiums.
However, in some cases, you should definitely contact your insurance company if your garbage disposal is damaged. For instance, if a storm causes one of your pipes to burst and your home is subjected to extensive water damage that incidentally breaks your garbage disposal, you will probably be entitled to a repair or replacement.