Homeowners insurance provides coverage for built-in systems and appliances, including furnaces, boilers, and other equipment that heats or cools your house. If your furnace or another part of your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system is suddenly cracked or damaged by a covered peril, homeowners insurance can help cover the cost of replacement or repairs.
However, a standard policy doesn’t cover damage caused by wear and tear or mechanical breakdown. So if your furnace overheats and breaks down due to routine mechanical issues or neglect, homeowners insurance won’t reimburse you for furnace replacement or repairs.
Homeowners insurance can help pay for broken furnace replacement or repairs if the cause of damage or loss is covered by your policy.
A standard policy specifically covers damage to household systems, including furnaces, if they’re damaged due to sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning, or bulging.
If your furnace breaks down due to a lack of maintenance, wear and tear, or mechanical problems, you likely won’t be able to use home insurance to pay for a new furnace.
Some insurance companies offer equipment breakdown coverage — an optional policy add-on that covers causes of furnace damage that aren’t normally covered, like mechanical or electrical breakdown.
Are broken furnaces covered by homeowners insurance?
Yes, homeowners insurance can help cover the cost of furnace replacement or repairs if your broken furnace, boiler, air handler, or another part of your HVAC unit is damaged due to a covered peril or loss.
Here are some instances where furnaces are typically covered by homeowners insurance:
Sudden and accidental damage
If a burst water supply pipe floods your basement and your furnace incurs water damage, homeowners insurance can pay you for a new furnace. If your furnace suddenly explodes or cracks, that is also generally covered.
If your furnace freezes up and breaks, homeowners insurance can cover its replacement as long as you maintained heat in your home at the time of the loss.
If your outdoor condenser is damaged by a fallen tree, that may also be covered by your policy.
Other causes of furnace damage
Homeowners insurance also covers your furnace and other built-in systems or appliances from any other peril or loss that’s covered by your policy’s dwelling coverage. That means if your furnace is damaged during a fire or severe storm, you’ll be covered for replacement or repairs.
When are broken furnaces not covered by homeowners insurance?
Homeowners insurance likely won’t cover furnace replacement if it’s damaged by any of the following:
Wear and tear or mechanical breakdown
If your furnace gives out due to poor maintenance, old age, or neglect, homeowners insurance likely won’t reimburse you for the loss. In other words, if your furnace breaks down because of a dirty filter, overheating, old age, or other types of wear and tear, insurance likely won’t pay to replace it.
Consider equipment breakdown coverage for an added layer of protection
Equipment breakdown coverage is an optional home insurance policy add-on that provides additional coverage for furnaces, boilers, heat pumps, and other household systems for an additional cost. With equipment breakdown coverage, your furnace is protected against several causes of loss that aren’t covered under a standard policy, including mechanical breakdown, electrical breakdown, and improper installation.
Standard homeowners insurance policies typically exclude damage from “earth movement,” including earthquakes, sinkholes, mudslides, and landslides. For additional protection, consider adding an earthquake endorsement to your homeowners insurance or purchasing a separate earthquake insurance policy.
Natural flooding or sewer line backups
A standard policy covers sudden and accidental water damage, but natural flooding, sewer backups, and preventable pipe or HVAC leaks are generally not covered. For additional protection against water damage, consider a water backup coverage endorsement or separate flood insurance policy.
Pest damage is common when it comes to HVAC systems, but if a rat chews through the different components of your furnace or HVAC, you probably won’t receive coverage for repairs. In general, damage from animals, birds, vermin, rodents, insects, and your own pet is generally not covered by homeowners insurance.
3 broken furnace insurance claim tips
Furnaces and other types of HVAC equipment are typically protected under the dwelling section of your policy. That means if your furnace is damaged or destroyed by a covered loss, you can file a home insurance claim to get reimbursed for the damage.
But just because the damage is covered doesn’t necessarily mean you should file a claim. Before filing a broken furnace claim, do the following:
Look at your policy deductible: Your insurance company will require you to pay your out-of-pocket deductible before they’ll pay for the remainder of a loss. If furnace repairs cost, say, $1,000 and your deductible is $500, your insurer will only reimburse you for half of the repair costs. Small home insurance claims can often lead to higher insurance premiums, so you may want to forgo the claims process if you can comfortably afford a new furnace yourself.
Notify your insurer immediately: That being said, a new furnace can run you thousands of dollars.  So if your furnace or other HVAC equipment suffers extensive damage and the loss is covered by your policy, contact your insurer as soon as possible and file a claim.
Document the damage: Having photo or video proof of the damage or other documentation, like a household inventory, can improve your chances of a successful claim. Be sure to document the damage before removing the damaged furnace.
Additionally, if your furnace is damaged in the dead of winter and you need to stay at a hotel for a few days while your furnace is being replaced, you can file a loss of use claim to get reimbursed for your hotel stay.