Having your HVAC system break down in the middle of winter or summer can be frustrating. If you can’t get the unit back in working order yourself, you’ll need to start looking at options to either repair or replace the system.
Often, one of the first resources homeowners tend to turn to in these times of crisis is their home insurance provider. In this article, we’re going to clear up any misconceptions many homeowners have regarding what is & isn’t covered by their home insurance policy regarding a home’s HVAC system.
Homeowners insurance policies generally cover destruction and damage to a residence’s interior and exterior, the loss or theft of possessions, and personal liability for harm to others. Three basic levels of coverage exist: actual cash value, replacement cost, and extended replacement cost/value.
When Does a Homeowner’s Insurance Policy Cover HVAC Systems?
Most standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for heating and air systems if they are damaged due to a covered peril or disaster. These covered events will be clearly defined within your policy documentation. Insurance is designed to help cover sudden hazards like fires, explosions or damage from falling objects. If your AC unit breaks down from old age or regular wear and tear (the most common reasons for break downs), then your insurance company may not pay to have it repaired or replaced.
If you rarely change your air filter or fail to keep up with regular preventative maintenance, any damage incurred would likely be considered owner neglect and may not be covered under your insurance policy. That’s why it’s so important to stay up to date on your HVAC system maintenance.
How to File an HVAC Insurance Claim
If your HVAC system was damaged due to a covered event, then you should refer to the specific language within your policy that dictates how repairs or replacements should be performed. You should consider whether or not it makes sense to file a claim if your HVAC system is damaged by a covered hazard. If the damage is more costly than your deductible, you may want to file a claim.
Usually your insurance company will have an adjuster determine the damage and estimate the cost of repairs for your system if you choose to proceed with filing a claim. If the unit must be replaced, then your policy may either specify that you will be reimbursed based on replacement value (the full cost to replace the unit) or actual cash value (the market value of the unit at the time of loss).
Consult with your insurance representative to be sure what options you have, and to determine the course of action that makes the most sense.
Other Options For Repair & Replacement
If your system breaks down but is not covered by your homeowners insurance policy, then it is time to start considering other options. Many HVAC companies like Paschal Air, Plumbing & Electric offer payment plans to help you cover the cost of necessary repairs or to replace the system. To consult with a representative about your available options, give us a call at 479-202-8961.