Q

Does renters insurance cover appliances?

A

Renters insurance covers personal appliances if they are damaged, stolen, or destroyed by a covered peril.

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Published January 30, 2020

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • Renters insurance will cover your appliances up to your policy’s limit if they are destroyed, stolen, or damaged by a covered peril

  • If you damage someone else’s appliance, your personal liability coverage may pay for you to fix or replace it

  • You can add equipment breakdown coverage as an endorsement to your renters policy to protect your appliances from typically non-covered perils, like power surge damage

Renters insurance reimburses you if your personal property is stolen or damaged by a covered peril.

Your appliances are considered part of your personal property, so if your appliances are stolen or damaged by covered hazards then your insurance company will reimburse you for the loss.

However, renters insurance will only cover your personal belongings — so if your roommate isn’t on the policy or they don’t have renters insurance of their own, they won’t be covered if their personal appliances are damaged or stolen from the rental property. Certain appliances in your rental property owned by the landlord — like the stove, microwave, or dishwasher — are covered by the landlord’s insurance policy.

In this article:

What appliances does renters insurance cover?

Renters insurance covers different electrical and home appliances owned by the renter, including:

  • Television sets
  • Air-conditioning units
  • Blenders, mixers, cookers
  • Computers and laptops
  • Video game consoles
  • Mini refrigerators
  • Coffee makers and espresso machines
  • Vacuums, fans & portable heaters
  • Washer and dryers

Essentially, renters insurance will cover most personal household appliances up to your policy’s limit. If you have expensive appliances, like fancy TV’s, you should consider adding an endorsement) to your policy to extend coverage for those items.

When does renters insurance cover appliances?

Your appliances are covered from the same perils as the rest of your personal property. So for example, if there is a building fire and your espresso machine is ruined, your renters insurance will reimburse you for the loss up to your policy’s personal property coverage limit.

Some commonly covered perils include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke damage
  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Damage from steam-heating/water-heating appliances/systems
  • Leakage or overflow of water or steam
  • Short-circuit damage caused by electrical appliances

Renters insurance typically doesn’t cover home appliances if they were damaged in a power surge, However, if the power surge is caused by a covered peril, then renters insurance may cover the damage. For example, if a lightning strike causes a power surge to fry your TV, then your renters policy may cover the loss.

Check the personal property coverage section of your policy to see which perils are included or excluded.

When does renters insurance not cover appliances?

Renters insurance will not cover appliances in the following instances:

  • Damage caused by natural disasters like floods and earthquakes
  • The appliance breaks from normal wear and tear over time
  • Maintenance breakdown due to negligence
  • Water damage from groundwater or rain

Read more to learn what renters insurance does and does not cover.

How to file a renters insurance claim for appliances

If an appliance is stolen from your rental property, you should file a police report.

You should then contact your insurance company. Most renters insurance companies require you to file a claim within 24 to 72 hours of the incident. Make sure you have the following on-hand when filing a claim:

  • Your insurance policy number or policy declarations page
  • Police report (if you filed one)
  • Your home inventory containing a record of your belongings and their values
  • Documentation of the damage (photographs, videos, receipts)
  • A phone number that you can easily be reached at

After you file your claim, your insurer will assign you a claims adjuster who will investigate your claim to determine if it’s covered by your insurance policy. Depending on the extent of the claim, it could take weeks to complete. Be sure to check with your insurance company to get a timeline of the claims process. If your claim is accepted, you’ll need to first pay your deductible before your insurance company reimburses you for the remainder of the loss.

Consider equipment breakdown coverage

Equipment breakdown coverage is a renters insurance endorsement that covers home appliances from hazards that aren’t typically covered, like electrical or mechanical failure. Equipment breakdown coverage will protect everything from your TV’s to your dishwasher if they are damaged or broken due to the following incidents:

  • Accidental breakdown due to improper installation
  • Pressure systems breakdown
  • An artificial electrical current, like electric arcing
  • Mechanical breakdown, including rupture or bursting that’s caused by a centrifugal force

If your renters insurance company offers equipment breakdown coverage, it can typically be added to your policy for a small additional premium.