If you have a vacuum system, gone are the days of lugging a cumbersome vacuum cleaner up and down the stairs as part of your cleaning routine… that is, unless your vacuum system becomes damaged or breaks down.
In that situation, do you know if you would be left paying for the repair out of pocket or if it would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy? Here’s what you need to know.
What Is a central vacuum system?
Also referred to as a whole-house vacuum, a central vacuum system is built into the walls of your home. While a central vacuum system costs thousands of dollars more than a traditional vacuum cleaner, it is far easier to maneuver, store, and you don’t need to empty it.
The system operates via suction ports that look similar to electrical outlets, which allow you to attach vacuuming hoses. The whole system feeds into a large vacuum system located in the garage or the basement of your home.
While designed to be more robust than a traditional vacuum cleaner, central vacs do have their downsides. One of the most notable downsides is the risk of clogging. If you have a clog in a traditional vacuum, removing it is usually relatively easy; whereas, if you have a clog in your central vac, you will probably have to call a professional to get the issue resolved.
Since the majority of a central vac’s components are hidden behind your walls, it may also be hard to determine what condition it is in. As the system ages, the pipes can begin to leak, reducing the vacuum’s efficiency when it comes to sucking up dirt and debris.
Does homeowners insurance cover vacuum system damage?
While a standard homeowners insurance policy does provide some protection for central vacuum systems, it doesn’t provide total coverage.
Your homeowners policy protects the built-in devices in your home from covered perils. However, it’s important to keep in mind that most perils are limited to unexpected and unavoidable occurrences, like fire, inclement weather, and criminal activity.
That means, a standard homeowners policy doesn’t protect against the mechanical breakdown of your central vacuum system. If it breaks due to old age or neglect, you will have to pay for the damage or repair out of pocket, unless you have additional home warranty coverage.
How to cover a central vacuum system
Another option for protecting your central vacuum system against breakdown is a home warranty. Usually offered through a company separate from your homeowners insurance provider, a home warranty pays to repair or replace the appliances and systems in your home, including parts and labor.
While a home warranty provides broader coverage when it comes to protecting your home’s systems and appliances from unexpected damage, it’s not absolute. In other words, just like a homeowner’s policy, there are limits, restrictions, and deductibles.
A final option is equipment breakdown coverage, which is offered by many insurance companies. Equipment breakdown coverage covers many of the same items and systems as a home warranty. The difference is that, unlike a home warranty, you can usually get equipment breakdown coverage directly from your home insurance company.
There are deductibles associated with making a claim, but the overall cost for the coverage is relatively low. And, just like a homeowners policy or home warranty, there are limits to how much the coverage will payout. In addition to a central vacuum system, equipment breakdown coverage provides protection to the following equipment in your home.
- AC systems
- Deep well pumps
- Heating systems
- Lawn tractors
- Media systems
- PCs and laptops
- Pool filtration systems
- Water heaters
Your best bet is to talk with your insurance agent to determine what type of coverage is best for you. A lot depends on how much you’re willing to pay out each month for coverage and how much protection that coverage provides.