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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A/C?

Jaime Wagoner Headshot
by Jaime Wagoner, Regional Sales Director, Main Street America Insurance •

According to HomeAdvisor, the average cost to replace an HVAC unit in the United States is $5,000. With numbers like that, it’s no wonder so many homeowners want to ensure they have the proper coverage in place to protect their homes and families after a loss.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover A/C Units?

Most homeowners insurance policies have coverages available that protect your home’s A/C system. In fact, there are two ways your equipment can be protected — dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Which one you choose depends on the type of equipment you need to repair or replace.

Dwelling Coverage — Dwelling coverage is a small part of your homeowners insurance policy that pays to repair or replace any damage done to the actual structure of your home after a covered loss. This coverage is used when a built-in system (the big, external unit that heats and cools your whole home) unexpectedly breaks.

Personal Property Coverage — Personal property insurance, on the other hand, is used to protect the items in your home. In this case, your personal property coverage would help pay to repair or replace a damaged window A/C unit because it’s not considered part of the structure of your home.

An independent insurance agent can review your policy to ensure you have the right coverages in place.

When Does HVAC Insurance Coverage Kick In?

Keep in mind, insurance coverage is meant to protect you from sudden losses, called “covered perils,” not everyday use. While air conditioning insurance coverage can’t help when your A/C system breaks down with age, it can protect you from:

  • Smoke and fire, should a house fire damage your system
  • Severe weather, like lightning storms, hurricanes, snow, hail and more
  • Explosions and falling objects
  • Damage from vehicles like planes or cars
  • Theft and vandalism

Your homeowners insurance coverage may also exclude things like earthquakes, flooding and damage caused by improper care. For these situations, you’ll need to look into other options like flood insurance or a home warranty.

Home Warranties vs. Homeowners Policies

Key Insight - The biggest difference between a home warranty and a homeowners insurance policy is that insurance is required for most homeowners.

Did you know that, in addition to the warranty offered when you purchase an HVAC system, you can also get a home warranty? Home warranties work like a traditional warranty in that they protect certain items, like appliances, from general wear and tear. But they also work like an insurance policy in that they don’t just protect one thing.

With a home warranty, many major systems and items in your home will be protected, including septic, HVAC, boilers and household appliances. And just like any other warranty or insurance policy, your home warranty will help cover the cost to repair or replace damaged items.

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a homeowners insurance policy is that insurance is required for most homeowners. Lenders will not allow you to take out a mortgage on a home, or continue paying on a mortgage, without proof of insurance. Home warranties, however, are just an added protection you can rely on when your insurance coverage isn’t enough.

Many insurance providers offer home warranties. Talk to an independent agent about your options.

Filing an Air Conditioner Insurance Claim

After a covered loss, the first thing you’ll want to do is determine if getting insurance involved is the right move. For example, if a hailstorm causes about $200 in damage to your HVAC unit but your deductible is $500, you’re better off paying out of pocket. However, if a lightning storm destroys your system and you need a total replacement, insurance will be your best bet.

Once you’ve decided to file a claim, here’s what you’ll want to have on hand:

  • Information about the system — brand, model, serial numbers, etc.
  • Information about the purchase — purchase price, purchase date, etc.
  • Photos of the damage
  • Details about how the loss occurred
  • Policy numbers and other necessary insurance information

Learn more about homeowners insurance and how it could help you save money on A/C repairs.