call

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover HVAC?

Homeowners insurance pays to repair or replace heating, ventilation and certain types of air conditioning systems (HVAC) damaged by perils listed in a policy. A home insurance claim payout for your HVAC depends on whether the unit is portable or built into your home's structure.

A home insurance claim payout for your HVAC depends on whether the unit is portable or built into your home’s structure.

Here's everything you need to know about how to get insurance to cover HVAC replacement and repairs.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover HVAC Replacement?

Yes, standard homeowners insurance covers repairs for your heating, ventilation or air conditioning (HVAC) when the system is damaged by a covered peril. Two coverages typically pay for HVAC unit damages: dwelling insurance or personal property insurance.

  • Dwelling insurance covers the cost to repair or replace built-in HVAC units that are part of a home's existing structure. 

  • Personal property insurance covers portable systems. Unfortunately, most home insurers rarely cover damages for window-based AC units.

How Home Insurance Covers Your HVAC Repairs

Depending on your home insurance policy, your carrier will pay to repair or replace your malfunctioning HVAC system using one of two methods, replacement cost value or actual cash value. Either way, you will have to pay the deductible first.

  • Replacement cost value pays to replace your damaged HVAC unit with a new system, without considering depreciation. 

  • Actual cash value pays to repair or replace your broken HVAC or air conditioning unit at its market value minus depreciation.

Your carrier will pay to repair or replace your HVAC system using one of two methods, replacement cost value or actual cash value.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover HVAC?

Home insurance protects homeowners against sudden problems and unexpected hazards. Here are several situations when your home insurance policy may pay to repair or replace a  damaged HVAC unit:

Fire and Water Damage

If a fire unexpectedly burns your HVAC system, your home insurance may cover the repair costs. Additionally, your homeowners insurance policy may pay when a burst pipe causes water damages to an HVAC unit. 

Unfortunately, homeowners insurance doesn't cover water damage resulting from floods. You must purchase a separate flood policy from FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program or a private insurer to receive coverage for these repairs. 

Theft and Vandalism

A criminal may damage or steal an HVAC system. Vandalism and theft are two perils covered under most homeowners insurance policies, so your home policy may pay to repair or replace your unit following a criminal act.

To report the crime, call the police first. You must attach a copy of the police report when filing your home insurance claim.

Weather-Related Damage

Severe storms are common perils that damage HVAC systems. Your homeowners policy may cover HVAC damages caused by the following weather-related events.

Lightning and Fire Damage

According to the Insurance Information Institute, lightning strikes cost homeowners $2.1 billion in losses in 2020. Your homeowners insurance may repair or replace your HVAC if lightning strikes cause a fire that damages the system's electrical components. 

Hail Damages to AC Units

Hailstones are solid ice that form inside thunderstorm updrafts. This precipitation can cause significant damages to central air conditioning units. 

  • Dwelling coverage may help to repair or replace your built-in HVAC if hail damages the unit unless an insurance policy excludes this peril in your policy. 

  • Personal property insurance usually protects portable AC units; however, insurance carriers rarely cover damaged window units. 

Avoid Unexpected HVAC Repair & Replacement Costs. Get Home Insurance!

When Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover HVAC Systems?

Home insurance policies cover damages from sudden and unexpected events. Your homeowners coverage doesn't pay to repair or replace broken HVAC units in these situations:

  • Poor maintenance – Your home insurer won't pay for HVAC damages caused by neglected maintenance issues. For instance, a home insurance carrier won't cover repairs if you didn't clean debris that clogged your HVAC system and ultimately caused the unit to fail. 

  • Old age – According to Consumer Reports, an HVAC unit's typical lifespan is 15 years, so your home insurer won't pay to repair your 18-year-old AC unit that recently malfunctioned. You'll have to cover these repairs yourself. 

  • Cosmetic damages – Your home insurance won't cover HVAC repairs when the unit suffers superficial exterior damages.

  • Normal wear and tear – Homeowner insurance policies don't pay to repair or replace systems that fail due to general wear and tear. Under these circumstances, a home warranty may pay for your HVAC system repairs. 

  • Exclusions – Homeowners policies may also exclude coverage for HVAC units damaged by earthquakes, floods or wildfires

Here's how home insurance and home warranties cover repairs in different situations: 

Situations that Cause Damage 

Home Insurance Coverage

Home Warranties Coverage

Lightning/Fire

Yes

No

Theft, Vandalism, Criminal Acts

Yes

No

Internal Water Damage

Maybe

No

Earthquakes

No

No

Flood Damage

No 

No

War or Nuclear Explosion

No

No

Normal Wear and Tear

No

Yes

Neglect

No

No

Additionally, your home insurance may not cover water damages caused by leaking HVAC units. Insurers consider this preventable damage related to maintenance issues. 

For instance, an HVAC cooling system may produce excessive condensation that causes water damages to a home's structure. Your insurer may refuse coverage because you could have prevented the damage by ensuring your HVAC system or AC unit drained properly.

How To File an HVAC Insurance Claim

If your HVAC system has malfunctioned because of a covered peril, there are several steps you may take to file a homeowners insurance claim with your insurance company. 

  • Contact your home insurance company to report the damage immediately, since most carriers have claim filing deadlines. Your home insurance provider will send an insurance adjuster to examine the system. 

  • Call the police to file a report if a criminal act damaged your HVAC system. Ask for a copy since you'll need this document to file a claim.

  • Record your HVAC's model, brand and serial number and take pictures of all visible damages. You'll need to include this information when you submit your claim paperwork.

  • Get repair estimates from several HVAC companies before the insurance adjuster visits. These estimates can later help you determine if the insurance adjuster is giving you a fair settlement. 

  • Submit all documentation and photos to your home insurer.

  • An adjuster will visit your home to assess your HVAC damages to estimate repair costs for your carrier. During the home visit, accompany the adjuster to ensure that the person examines all HVAC damages.

  • You'll receive a settlement, minus your deductible, if your home insurer approves your claim.

Get Affordable Home Insurance to Protect Your HVAC System

Standard homeowners insurance pays to repair or replace HVAC or AC systems damaged by covered perils named in your policy. The home insurance coverage you receive for your HVAC depends on the type of HVAC system: Dwelling insurance provides coverage for built-in systems; Personal property coverage may cover (or exclude) portable units.

If you need better, more affordable home insurance, SmartFinancial can help you find a new policy that meets your needs and budget. Get a free home insurance quote from one of our 200+ insurance partners by entering your zip code below and answering a few questions.

Get a Free Home Insurance Quote Online Now.