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Accidents happen. When they do, homeowners insurance usually pay. When appliances in the home wear out, homeowners insurance does not pay. This general rule applies to furnaces and air conditioning units. The reason for replacement dictates whether insurance companies pay claims. Insurance pays when a tree falls in a storm and strikes an outdoor unit. Insurance does not pay when the same unit stops working after 10 years.

Typical Homeowners Insurance

Insurance companies offer three standard homeowners insurance policies known as HO-1, HO-2 and HO-3. HO-1, which is seldom used, is a basic policy covering 11 perils such as fire, windstorm and theft. The typical policy is either HO-2, which covers the same 11 perils plus 7 more, or HO-3, which covers most perils including those 18. Both provide the same coverage, or non-coverage, for furnaces and air conditioning units.

Wear and Tear

Wear-and-tear does not make the list of perils covered under the typical homeowners insurance policy. Wear-and-tear is simple. Furnaces and air conditioning units wear out. Constant use of the parts leads to unit failure. Parts must be replaced, and eventually so does the unit. Homeowners insurance does not pay for these losses.


An outdoor unit like a heat pump is susceptible to wind and storm damage which is among the listed perils of a homeowners insurance policy. Besides fallen trees, high winds toss objects through the air and tear parts of a home loose. Any of these striking the unit could damage it too much to be repaired. The homeowner would be entitled to a new heat pump.

Sudden Occurrences

Homeowners insurance pays when pipes freeze. If this happens to a furnace or air conditioning unit, the homeowner has a valid claim. Electrical surges, a covered peril, damage wiring which could require the replacement of a furnace or air conditioning unit. Another covered peril is the sudden cracking or breakup of hot water pipes. That occurrence could lead to a new furnace.


An alternative, or more precisely, additional coverage for a homeowner involves buying equipment breakdown coverage. This policy covers the gap in homeowners insurance for general wear and tear. Furnaces and air conditioning units, among other items, are specifically covered. The policy covers repairs if feasible to keep the unit operational. It also pays to replace the unit if the repair costs exceed the reasonable value.

by Robert Alley, Demand Media  


For more information, contact us at 713-515-5774 or complete our Home Insurance Form

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