It’s not uncommon to find out your fridge is broken the hard way— in other words, opening your fridge to discover everything inside is room temperature and your perishables have spoiled. A broken fridge is an inconvenience, to say the least, but is it claimable on a standard homeowners insurance policy? Here’s everything you need to know.
Does homeowners insurance cover refrigerators?
From a general perspective, most questions about insurance coverage cannot be answered with yes’s and no’s. Therefore, your homeowners insurance might cover a broken refrigerator … and it might not. Whether or not you qualify for coverage depends on your policy and how the fridge was damaged.
Your fridge is likely covered if …
Your fridge is likely covered if it was damaged by a covered peril in your homeowners insurance policy.
However, it’s important to note that most perils are limited to unexpected and unavoidable occurrences, like fire, inclement weather, and criminal activity. For instance, if a wildfire caused extensive damage to your home and destroyed your kitchen, the replacement or repair of your fridge would most likely be covered by your insurance company.
It’s also important to remember that appliances do not fall under the dwelling-coverage section of your homeowners insurance because they are not structural elements of your home.
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 and replacement cost value. The former covers the value of the refrigerator at the time that it was damaged. For example, if your fridge was four years old, your coverage will factor in four years of depreciation. Whereas replacement cost covers the value of replacing the fridge with a brand new model.
Your fridge isn’t likely covered if …
If your fridge wasn’t broken by a peril listed in your home insurance policy, odds are, 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 chugging along and 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.
Some homeowners also opt for a home warranty 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.
Home warranty plans are often purchased by new homeowners that want to protect their investment in their new appliances. These warranties can be extended if you want to opt for even more extensive protection.