Unlike a furnace, which uses hot air via ducts to generate heat for a home, a boiler uses hot water or steam. First invented in the late 1800s, steam boilers are still found in homes throughout the US.
If you have a steam boiler, do you know if it is covered by your homeowners insurance policy? The answer may surprise you. Here’s everything you need to know.
When will a homeowners insurance policy cover a damaged or broken steam boiler?
The simplest way to find out if your steam boiler is covered is by checking whether or not it was damaged by one of the listed perils on your homeowners insurance policy. Common perils include weather events, fires, and criminal activity.
When will a homeowners insurance policy not cover a damaged or broken steam boiler?
Most standard home insurance policies cover unexpected and unpreventable occurrences, whereas damage from wear and tear falls on the homeowner. That means, if your steam boiler was destroyed in a fire, your plan will most likely cover the replacement. However, if the steam boiler was 12-years past its warranty and suddenly stopped working, odds are, you will be on the hook for the expense.
Your steam boiler will also not be covered if you or someone in your household is responsible for damaging it. For example, if you tried to do some DIY electrical work and there was a power surge that resulted in your steam boiler suffering a mechanical breakdown, you would not be covered under your home insurance policy.
You will also not be covered for perils that are not listed under your policy. For instance, if you don’t have flood insurance and your dryer is damaged in a flood (even though the incident was unexpected and unpreventable), you will not be covered.
Home Warranties vs. Equipment Breakdown Insurance
If your homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover your steam boiler, you still have many other coverage options to explore.
For instance, your boiler may still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty. If the warranty is up, and you’re worried about incurring a potential large expense from a broken boiler, consider purchasing a home warranty.
Many property owners opt to purchase a home warranty plan so they don’t have to bear the financial burden of repair or replacement if one of their major appliances or home systems — like air conditioning, hot water heaters, garbage disposals, or steam boilers — suddenly breaks or stops working.
Just like with insurance, home warranties have deductibles, and you must pay a copay when a technician services your boiler. Most home warranties are offered by third-party companies outside of your insurer. Equipment breakdown coverage, on the other hand, is an endorsement offered by many insurance companies for existing homeowners policies. In many cases, equipment breakdown coverage requires that covered equipment malfunction occurs due to a sudden and/ or accidental cause.
Low in cost, an equipment breakdown endorsement carries a deductible, just like the rest of your homeowners insurance, although it’s usually not as high.