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Home appliance insurance explained

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Fridges, freezers, ovens, dishwashers, washing machines and other appliances are all vital parts of a functioning home. The mechanical breakdown of white goods is not normally covered by homeowners’ policies, even from the best home insurance providers, although accidental damage might be.

Home appliance insurance is designed to cover the costs of repairs to or replacement of your domestic appliances if they break down or are accidentally damaged. In addition to your white goods, home appliance insurance can cover items such as your television and games consoles. Having this cover in place can give you peace of mind that you’d be able to repair or replace your essential items in the event of a breakdown.

Insurance for home appliances is often called “domestic appliance insurance,” “appliance cover,” “appliance breakdown cover” or “appliance insurance.” 

Do I need home appliance insurance?

Home appliance insurance is designed to supplement standard home or contents cover. Contents insurance will cover your appliances if they’re damaged in an insured event – such as a fire or flood – or if they’re stolen. Depending on your policy, it may also include cover for accidental damage.

However, home insurance won’t cover the mechanical or electrical breakdown of your household appliances. Home appliance insurance may be beneficial if you wouldn’t be able to pay out of pocket to get a household appliance repaired or replaced. This can be very helpful, as it’s tricky to live without items such as an oven or a fridge for even a short time. 

This cover can be useful logistically, too, as the insurer will arrange for an engineer or technician to visit your home and make repairs – you won’t have to find your own tradesperson.

But before you buy this cover, check whether you have a warranty in place for any of your appliances. Most appliances come with a one- or two-year warranty, and many electrical retailers sell extended warranties, which offer cover for several more years. If your appliances are covered by a warranty, you won’t need appliance cover until the warranty expires.

What does home appliance insurance cover?

A home appliance insurance policy usually covers the following:

  • Mechanical or electrical breakdown
  • Callout charges, parts and labour
  • Replacement on a like-for-like basis if an appliance can’t be repaired
  • Accidental damage

Most providers will send an engineer within 24 hours with the cost of the callout, parts and labour covered. If an appliance can’t be repaired, most policies will pay for a like-for-like replacement or contribute towards a new item.

Some policies also include cover for accidental damage, but TVs are often excluded from this part of the policy. 

You can choose which appliances a policy covers. The more appliances you want covered, the more your policy will cost, although the cost per item may reduce.

You can get cover for:

  • Cookers 
  • Microwaves
  • Fridges 
  • Freezers
  • Washing machines
  • Tumble dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Wine coolers
  • Coffee machines
  • Televisions
  • Games consoles
  • Smart speakers
  • Home cinemas
  • Vacuum cleaners

What doesn’t it cover?

Common exclusions that a home appliance insurance policy might not cover include:

  • Cosmetic damage 
  • Malicious or deliberate damage 
  • Wear and tear
  • Damage sustained before you took out the policy
  • Appliances over a certain age
  • Work done by an unauthorised repairer
  • Incorrect use of an appliance (ie overloading a tumble dryer)
  • Appliances used for business or commercial purposes 
  • Appliances kept at another address
  • Second-hand or refurbished appliances
  • Small kitchen items such as kettles and toasters
  • Gadgets such as smartphones and smartwatches
  • Items still under warranty
  • Delivery, installation and removal of faulty appliances
  • Claims made within 30 days of buying the policy

How much does home appliance insurance cost?

How much home appliance cover costs will depend on several factors, including:

  • The number of appliances you want to cover
  • The age of the appliances
  • How much the appliances are worth
  • The policy excess

As an example, Home Emergency Assist’s appliance cover starts at 69p a month per appliance, while Domestic & General’s cover is more expensive at £5.99 a month for a fridge or freezer.

Make sure you shop around for cover and compare different policies and premiums.

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When you buy an appliance, you’ll normally get a one- or two-year warranty from the manufacturer. This will cover you if the appliance stops working in this period.

 

Retailers will often try to sell you an extended warranty, good for a few years after the standard warranty ends. These deals can be expensive, so don’t be pressured into buying an extended warranty on the spot.

 

Home appliance insurance is often a better option, as you can cover all your appliances under one policy for a cheaper price.

 

Also, many extended warranties don’t cover appliances for accidental damage, while home appliance insurance usually does.

When would I not need home appliance insurance?

Not everyone will need home appliance insurance. New appliances will be covered by the manufacturer’s warranty for a year or two.

Beyond that, the Consumer Rights Act 2015 gives people buying items a certain amount of protection.

Under this law, goods must be “of satisfactory quality, fit for purpose and as described.” The act allows consumers to argue that an expensive dishwasher, for example, should last several years. 

You may be able to use the act to get a repair or replacement if your appliance breaks down, but it can be a time-consuming process, and you’ll need to prove the fault was present when you bought the item. 

Alternatively, if you bought an appliance on your credit card and the item is faulty, you might be able to use Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act to get your money back. 

It you want to cover lots of items, home appliance insurance can be expensive. Policies tend to come with an excess, which means you’ll have to pay part of any claim yourself. You might be better off saving the money you would have spent on insurance and paying for any repairs or replacements yourself – if you don’t need any, you’ll still have your money (plus interest if you keep the money in a savings account). 

It’s also worth bearing in mind that technological advancements mean many appliances last a lot longer than they used to.

If you rent your home and your appliances, such as your oven and washing machine, are provided by your landlord, it will be their responsibility to have them fixed or replaced in the event of a breakdown.

If your home appliances are second-hand, you probably won’t be able to get home insurance cover for them.

What to look for in a home appliance insurance quote

When buying home appliance insurance, it’s important to understand what’s covered, what’s not and any limitations. 

Home appliance insurance will normally come with an excess – this is the amount you need to pay towards each claim.

There may also be limits on:

  • How long you must wait after buying the policy to make a claim
  • The number of claims you can make each year
  • The cost per claim
  • The total cost of claims in a year

Home appliance insurance FAQs

Yes, you can insure multiple appliances on the same policy. The more appliances you add, the less the cost per item is likely to be.

Home insurance will cover damage to or destruction of appliances caused by insured events, such as fire, flood or theft. Some policies also include cover for accidental damage. But home insurance won’t cover mechanical or electrical breakdowns.

Most insurance providers only cover appliances up to 8 years old. Insurers will ask how old your appliance is when generating a quote. The older an appliance is, the more it’s likely to cost to insure.

When it comes to replacements, check the policy wording. Some policies will offer like-for-like replacements, while others include new-for-old cover.

Policy small print might also state that the insurer will make a contribution towards the cost of a new appliance but not cover the entire cost of a replacement.

emma lunn

Emma Lunn

Money Writer

Emma Lunn is a multi-award winning journalist who specialises in personal finance and consumer issues. 

With more than 18 years’ experience in personal finance, Emma has covered topics including mortgages, first-time buyers, leasehold, banking, debt, budgeting, broadband, energy, pensions and investments. 

Emma’s one of the most prolific freelance personal finance journalists with a back catalogue of work in newspapers such as The Guardian, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, the Mail on Sunday, and the Mirror. 

As a freelancer she has also completed various in-house contracts at The Guardian, The Independent, Mortgage Solutions, Orange, and Moneywise. She also writes regularly for specialist magazines and websites such as Property Hub, Mortgage Strategy and YourMoney.com. 

She has a real passion for helping people learn about money – especially when many people are struggling to get by in today’s challenging economic climate – and prides herself on simplifying complex subjects.

Molly Dyson

Editor

After growing up with a passion for writing, Molly studied journalism and creative writing at university in her home country of the United States.

She has written for a variety of print and online publications, from small town newspapers to international magazines. Most of her 10-year career since relocating to the UK has been spent in business journalism, writing and editing for admin professionals at PA Life magazine and business travel managers at Business Travel News Europe and representing those titles at conferences around the world.

Now an Editor at the Independent Advisor, Molly is an expert in a broad range of consumer topics, that include solar panels and renewables, home improvements and home insurance, and consumer technology such as home security and VPNs.

In her free time, Molly can usually be found exploring the outdoors with her husband and their young son or gardening.