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Renters insurance provides robust coverage over all of your belongings, including common household machines and gadgets. We discuss how you can use renters insurance to protect household appliances below.
When does renters insurance cover appliances?
Your appliances are covered in much the same fashion as all your other belongings. The following are the most common perils that can destroy your belongings:
- Fire and smoke
- Leaky pipes
- Wind damage
Should you find your toaster or refrigerator destroyed by any of the perils listed above, you will be able to file a renters insurance claim to have their replacement costs reimbursed to you. The appliances need to be located on the premises which your policy is insured for unless they are in a storage unit. You cannot, for example, bring your toaster to your office and have it be covered by your renters policy. You will be covered — albeit to a lesser amount — if you store your appliances in a storage unit and they are destroyed there.
Electrical appliances also get a special coverage section in renters appliances for short circuits. Should there be an "increase or decrease of artificially generated electrical current" and your appliance is damaged as result, you would be paid out by your renters insurance policy. Be aware, however, that there may be a restriction as to how much coverage you would get in this instance. For example, State Farm only offers coverage up to $1,000 in this case.
While not technically an appliance, should the contents of your fridge go bad because of a mechanical or power failure from your fridge, you can actually be reimbursed for what was lost. Groceries can be expensive, so this may be a useful part of your policy to use if there is ever a major blackout.
Household appliances like washing machines can also be sources of destruction in your home if they leak. Luckily, your renters insurance covers damages from floods caused by leaky appliances. Interestingly though, the appliance itself wouldn't be covered in this case.
If your washing machine breaks or malfunctions and leaks into your home, anything that the water destroys will be covered — but not the washing machine. If the same washing machine was destroyed in a fire as we describe above, then it would be covered.
Filing a renters insurance claim for a damaged appliance
You would file a claim in the same fashion for anything else that was damaged in your rental apartment. If the cause of the damage was from fire, water or wind, you should take photos of the damage as well as prevent any more damage from taking place. If a fire swept through your home destroying multiple objects, you do not need to file a claim for each individual item — just be aware of which items will be covered and if there are any restrictions on their coverage. In terms of electric appliances, you should be fine although some policies may restrict coverage amounts on certain electronic devices.
If your appliances were damaged as a result of vandalism or stolen, you should follow the same advice as above, but also be diligent about securing a copy of a police report. Whenever it comes to submitting a claim for theft or vandalism, you need to give your renters insurance company a copy of the police report to lend legitimacy to your claim.