Does Homeowners Insurance Cover HVAC Systems?

Most standard home insurance policies protect damage to HVAC systems stemming from a covered event, like a fire or windstorm.

Miranda Marquit
Miranda Marquit Insurance Writer
  • Co-hosts the Money Talks News podcast

  • MBA from Utah State University

Miranda is a financial writer and avid podcaster with nearly two decades of experience contributing to major outlets, including Forbes, The Hill, and NPR.

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Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

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Updated July 11, 2024 | Reading time: 3 minutes

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Standard homeowners insurance generally covers your HVAC system as long as the damage is due to a covered peril. Like other appliances in the home, including furnaces​ and refrigerators, if a covered disaster causes the damage, your insurer will likely cover the cost​ once you meet your deductible.[1]

But if the damage was due to lack of maintenance or other causes, you’d have to pay for repairs or replacement out of pocket. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about home insurance and your HVAC system.

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When homeowners insurance covers HVACs

One of two areas of your home insurance policy often covers HVACs: dwelling or personal property coverage.

  • Dwelling coverage: If you have an HVAC unit built into your home, such as central air conditioning, your dwelling insurance coverage would likely include the covered loss.

  • Personal property coverage: On the other hand, a window AC unit, for example, typically falls under your personal belongings, and your insurance company would treat it as a possession rather than part of your dwelling.

Good to Know

Coverage only kicks in if the damage to the HVAC system or component is due to covered perils, such as certain natural disasters, fire, water damage caused by a burst pipe, or a fallen tree.

When homeowners insurance doesn’t cover HVACs

Homeowners insurance doesn’t always cover your HVAC system. Read your policy carefully or check with your agent if you’re unsure if you have HVAC coverage. Some examples of when your insurer might not cover your system include:

  • Regular wear and tear

  • Neglect

  • Old age

  • Sudden damage, such as dropping a window AC unit

Standard homeowners policies also don’t protect against damage from uncovered perils, such as earthquakes and floods. To fully protect your HVAC, consider a separate flood insurance policy or an earthquake policy.

Alternate coverage options

You can purchase add-on coverage to provide extra protection against damage to your HVAC system. Consider these options:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/435ffd976a/freezing-of-appliances-or-hvac.svg

    Home warranty plan

    A home warranty can help you cover regular HVAC repairs and maintenance costs, handle the effects of normal wear, and deal with mechanical failures.[2] As long as neglect isn’t the reason, there’s a good chance the company will accept your claim.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/df526b3cdf/surgery-96x96-yellow_028-form.svg

    Equipment breakdown coverage

    This additional protection is designed to help you get service for your system and can potentially help with replacement costs for a new HVAC system if the issue can’t be resolved through repairs.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/150x150/262b007b88/renewable-energy-96x96-green_041-tidal-power.svg

    Water backup coverage

    This endorsement is usually available for an additional cost and can cover damage by a backed-up sewer, which isn’t usually included in a standard home insurance policy.

Your insurance agent can help you understand whether you need extra coverage for earthquake or flood damage — especially if you live in an earthquake- or flood-prone area.

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How to file an HVAC claim

After you’ve noticed damage to your HVAC, start by verifying that your homeowners insurance company covers the event. Then, take the proper steps to file an insurance claim:[3]

  1. Write down the model and serial number of your unit.

  2. Take pictures of the damage.

  3. Visit the insurance company’s website or open the app on your phone to start a claim. You can also call your insurance agent.

  4. Get copies of the police report if the damage was due to theft or vandalism.

  5. Talk to the insurance adjuster to get instructions for reimbursement, and learn whether you need to get quotes on prices before choosing a repair option.

  6. Keep your receipts and submit them to your insurer.

Depending on the part of the home in which you have the HVAC or whether you make your claim under the category of personal belongings, your insurer might require other documentation. Get specific information and gather what you need. Communicate with your claims agent to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

If you disagree with the insurance company’s decision during this process, you may be able to negotiate or appeal in the case of a claims denial.

HVAC coverage FAQs

As you consider your standard policy and ensure that your case is heard if you need to make a claim, here’s some additional information about air conditioners and HVAC systems coverage.

  • When does insurance cover HVACs?

    Homeowners insurance generally protects HVACs when a covered peril causes the damage. Fallen trees, high winds, hail, and sometimes lightning strikes might be covered, depending on the policy.

  • When does insurance not cover HVACs?

    A standard home insurance policy usually doesn’t cover a mechanical problem, short circuits due to a power surge, accidents, or uncovered perils such as flooding or earthquakes.

  • Does insurance cover AC leaks?

    Not usually. Poor maintenance or standard wear and tear might cause an AC leak. In many cases, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover this cost. So you might need additional coverage or a home warranty plan to have your repair expenses reimbursed.

  • Does insurance cover heat pumps?

    It’s possible. As with furnaces, boilers, and other appliances, heat pumps might be covered under one of the different aspects of insurance as long as the problem is due to a covered event or peril.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute. "Homeowners Insurance Basics."
  2. National Association of Insurance Commissioners. "A Consumer's Guide to Home Insurance."
  3. Insurance Information Institute. "How to file a homeowners claim."
Miranda Marquit
Miranda Marquit Insurance Writer

Miranda Marquit, MBA, is a freelance financial writer covering various markets and topics since 2006. She has contributed to numerous media outlets, including Forbes, TIME, The Hill, NPR, HuffPost, Yahoo! Money, and more. Her work has been syndicated by MSN Money, Marketwatch, Credit.com, and other publications. She has written about insurance topics for Clearsurance, HealthCare.com, and various other websites. She is also an avid podcaster and co-hosts the Money Talks News podcast. Miranda has a Master’s Degree in Journalism from Syracuse University. Connect with her on LinkedIn.

Sarah Archambault
Sarah Archambault
  • Experienced personal finance writer

  • Background working with banks and insurance companies

Sarah enjoys helping people find smarter ways to spend their money. She covers auto financing, banking, credit cards, credit health, insurance, and personal loans.

Featured in

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