Q

Q

Does homeowners insurance cover broken TVs?

A

A

Homeowners insurance may cover your broken television if it’s damaged by a covered loss, like a fire or storm. Damage from earthquakes or your TV falling from the wall would not be covered.

Stephanie Nieves author photo

Stephanie Nieves

Published August 27, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Homeowners insurance covers electronic appliances, including broken TVs, up to the coverage limits in your policy

  • If the damage was caused by an earthquake, flooding, misuse, you likely won’t be reimbursed for the loss

  • Many companies offer additional protection for expensive valuables if you’re looking for higher coverage limits for your TV

Homeowners insurance covers electronic appliances, including TVs, if they’re stolen or damaged by a covered peril in your policy. If your TV was damaged in an act of vandalism or by any other covered peril, you’d be covered for repairs or a new television up to the personal property coverage limit in your policy. But if the TV was accidentally dropped on the floor and damaged, a basic homeowners insurance policy likely won’t cover its replacement or repairs.

Personal property coverage is one of the six basic protections of homeowners insurance, covering damage to your personal belongings inside and outside the home. But property types such as electronics, jewelry, and art, are subject to sublimits, meaning your policy has strict reimbursement limits (usually $1,500) for certain categories of items. If you have an expensive television, check with your insurance company to see if it’s covered up to its full replacement cost. If there’s a low sublimit on electronics and you’d like to insure your belongings up to their full value, you may be able to add a scheduled personal property coverage endorsement if it’s offered by your insurance company.

IN THIS ARTICLE

When does homeowners insurance cover broken TVs?

Homeowners insurance covers broken TVs, and other tech devices, under the personal property coverage section in a standard policy. In the event your TV is accidentally damaged or destroyed by a fire, windstorm, or another covered loss, you may be paid for repairs or a replacement TV up to your coverage limits. You’ll just need to pay your deductible first, which is the amount of money you pay upfront before your insurer can cover the rest of the loss.

Fire and storm damage

If your TV is destroyed in a storm or by a fire and you file a claim, you’ll likely be reimbursed for the damage up to your personal property coverage limits. With homeowners insurance, you’re also covered for damage caused by heavy winds, hail, smoke, and the weight of snow, ice, or sleet.

Power surges

A power surge can fry your appliances and destroy anything plugged into your walls, including your television. If a lightning strike causes a power surge that destroys your TV, you’ll likely be reimbursed for the damage.

Water damage

Water damage is covered by homeowners insurance when it is sudden and comes from inside the house, so a burst pipe could be covered in a standard policy. Water damage that results from floods and sewer overflow are not covered and would require additional coverage.

Theft and vandalism

Homeowners insurance covers both theft and vandalism to your home and personal belongings, so if your house is broken into and your TV is vandalized or stolen, you could be reimbursed for the loss. Keep in mind that coverage for certain expensive valuables may be limited and could necessitate additional coverage.

When are broken TVs not covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance covers TVs and other electronic appliances if they’re damaged or broken because of a covered loss. But a few type of loss are generally excluded from coverage, including:

If the TV is dropped or accidentally falls off the wall

Homeowners insurance generally doesn’t cover personal belongings if they’re accidentally damaged or misused. If you drop your TV during a move and your screen cracks, standard homeowners insurance wouldn’t cover the loss. And if your TV just stopped working one day, that also wouldn’t be covered.

Earthquake damage

Earthquakes aren’t covered by homeowners insurance, so if you live in an area prone to seismic or volcanic activity, it could be worth finding out if your insurer offers earthquake insurance to protect your TV and other appliances from quake damage.

Flooding

Flooding from stormwater and coastal tides are also not covered, but water damage caused by a ruptured pipe could be.

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How much does home insurance pay for damaged TVs?

In a standard HO-3 policy, personal property coverage typically covers personal belongings up to their actual cash value. That means if your TV is damaged, you’re only reimbursed for its depreciated value, or what it’s worth today.

However, most insurance companies give you the option of adding replacement cost personal property coverage to your policy. Replacement cost is superior to actual cash value in that it doesn’t deduct depreciation from your claim settlement. If your television is damaged and a comparable replacement is $2,000, your insurer would reimburse you for that amount, minus your deductible.

Special limits of liability for expensive valuables

Some property types, including TVs, may have sublimits, which is the maximum amount your insurer will pay out for certain categories of items. For example, electronics may have a sublimit of $1,500, while firearms may have a separate sublimit of $2,500 if stolen. But you may be able to increase limits and broaden coverage on certain items via a policy add-on or endorsement.

Scheduled personal property coverage

If you want to increase your coverage limits on expensive types of property with strict coverage limits, like your TV, you can add scheduled personal property coverage to your policy for extended coverage. Scheduled personal property coverage can raise your payout limits to insure expensive personal items, such as jewelry, furs, and fine art, at their full value.

Scheduled personal property coverage can also expand coverage for scheduled items to cover more types of loss. For example, misplaced jewelry or accidentally dropped and damaged TVs (something that isn’t covered in a basic policy) may be covered with a scheduled personal property endorsement.

To schedule your personal belongings, reach out to your insurance company — they’ll likely provide you with a form where you can indicate which items or category of items you’d like to schedule as well as coverage limits for each. Your insurer may ask for an appraisal to verify the original price of your belongings before scheduling them.

Protecting expensive electronics

Standards homeowners insurance occasionally covers broken TVs and a scheduled personal property endorsement can raise your coverage limits, but there are a few things you can do on your own to protect your valuable devices:

  • Update your insurance company on expensive purchases - Alert your insurance company when you purchase a new high-value item. If the item is stolen or damaged and you file a claim, you’ll have a better chance of being reimbursed if your insurer has a record of the item
  • Consider specialty insurance for electronics - Not all insurance companies offer coverage add-ons for electronics, but you may be able to purchase standalone coverage for your electronics if it's offered by your insurer
  • Keep your receipts - Have evidence of your expensive purchases, like a new TV or an engagement ring, for proof of its retail value and purchase date
  • Add the new item to your home inventory - A home inventory helps you keep track of everything you own, especially your high-value items, by recording dates, losses, and accessories associated with your personal belongings

About the author

Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves

Insurance Expert

Stephanie Nieves is an Insurance Editor at Policygenius in New York City. She has a B.A. in writing and rhetoric and previously worked as an SEO & Editorial Associate. Her words can also be found on PayScale, Fairygodboss, and The Muse.

Policygenius’ editorial content is not written by an insurance agent. It’s intended for informational purposes and should not be considered legal or financial advice. Consult a professional to learn what financial products are right for you.

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