Home appliance insurance

Kim Jones
Kim Jones
Updated 7 December 2021  | 5 mins read

What is home appliance insurance?

From our fridge-freezers and washing machines to our tumble dryers and televisions, most of us couldn’t do without our domestic home appliances on a daily basis.

Home appliance insurance provides cover for the white and brown goods in your home that can be expensive to fix and replace.

Depending on the policy, it can protect you from electrical or mechanical faults, breakdown and even accidental damage.

Key points

  • Home appliance insurance offers repair and replacement of those essential items you use every day.
  • It covers electrical and mechanical faults and breakdowns that aren’t usually covered by your home insurance.
  • A multi-appliance policy can work out cheaper than buying extended warranties offered by retailers.

Why take out home appliance cover?

If anything goes wrong with a home appliance, it’s not just a major inconvenience, but it can be expensive to repair and replace.

Your home contents insurance should already cover these types of goods against loss or damage due to an insured event such as theft, fire or flood.

And if you’ve added accidental damage to your home policy, then your appliances will be covered for any unfortunate mishaps too.

But your home policy is unlikely to cover your white and brown goods against breakdowns, electrical or mechanical faults as these are seen as ‘foreseeable events’ that may happen as your appliance ages.

This is where home appliance cover can step in. It can pay for call-outs, repairs and even replacement appliances if yours go wrong.

Which appliances are covered?

Policies will differ as to what they accept for inclusion. But in general, these sort of white goods can be included:

  • Fridges, fridge-freezers and chest freezers
  • Cookers, ovens, hobs, hoods, range cookers
  • Dishwashers
  • Microwaves
  • Washing machines, washer dryers, tumble dryers.

Brown goods typically covered by a home appliance policy include:

  • TVs and set-top boxes
  • Hi-fi systems and speakers
  • Games consoles

What does home appliance insurance cover?

In the event of a breakdown or fault, home appliance cover will pay for an engineer to come to your home to repair the appliance. In most cases, parts and labour will be covered too.

If the faulty appliance can’t be repaired then most policies will replace it with a like-for-like replacement.

In many cases, physical, accidental damage to an appliance which stops the equipment from working is also covered. Some policies exclude TVs from accidental damage cover.

What are the exclusions?

Most appliance policies will exclude:

  • Faults or damages that arise from theft, attempted theft, malicious damage, fire or explosions. You can normally claim for these sorts of damages on your standard home insurance policy.
  • Faults or damage to an appliance arising from wear and tear, rust or corrosion, build-ups of sludge, hard water scale deposits, lint or dust.
  • Appliances used commercially.
  • Routine maintenance of the appliance.
  • Faults that existed before you took out the policy.
  • Cosmetic damage.
  • Misuse. For example if you’ve continually overloaded your washing machine.
  • Appliances over a certain age.

Policies might also exclude:

  • Secondhand or refurbished appliances.
  • Small appliances like kettles and toasters.

It's a good idea to check the policy’s claim payment limit. Most providers offer a capped amount of cover per claim, which means you’d need to pay the rest.

There may be a limit on the total number of claims you can make in a year, too.

Can I insure more than one appliance?

Yes, insurers will cover several appliances under one policy - often up to 15 different appliances or even an unlimited amount.

Flexible policies allow you to add or remove items at any time, so you’re only paying for cover that you need.

How much does home appliance insurance cost?

Cover can start at just a few pounds a month and will depend on several factors such as your claims history, and the type of and how many appliances you choose to insure.

Is home appliance insurance worth it?

Before taking out home appliance insurance, check that your appliances aren’t already covered - or you’ll be paying out twice for the same thing.

Your machines may still be under the manufacturer’s guarantee. This typically lasts for 12 to 24 months or longer.

During the guarantee period, the manufacturer should repair or replace your appliance if it breaks down.

If your appliances are no longer under guarantee, and you’re considering home appliance insurance, then it’s worth calculating the costs of a policy over, say, two or three years compared with the cost of repairing or replacing your appliances should they break down. Also don’t forget to take into account any excesses that might apply.

If your appliances are cheap to repair or replace then you might decide paying for cover isn’t worth it.

If you have expensive appliances, you may feel it makes financial sense to take out insurance.

Appliance cover also gives you peace of mind that, should an appliance fail, you don’t have to search for a reputable repair company - the insurer will arrange that for you.

You also won’t need to find a large sum of money at a time you can’t afford it, to repair or replace a vital piece of equipment.

Do be aware, though, that under the 2015 Consumer Rights Act, you have a legal right to get either a refund or repair on goods that are of unsatisfactory quality or unfit for purpose, depending on how long you’ve owned it.

What if I’m renting?

If you live in a furnished rental, then the appliances in the property are the responsibility of the landlord. If they go wrong, then the landlord should arrange for repair or replacement.

Do landlords need it?

There are special ‘home appliance for landlords’ insurance policies which will cover appliances in one or several properties owned.

It’s well worth considering a policy if you’re a landlord to ensure your tenants get essential appliances repaired quickly if they break down.

Is appliance cover better than extended warranty?

You may be offered the chance to buy an extended warranty from a retailer when you buy an appliance - a type of insurance policy that covers you after your initial guarantee expires.

Extended warranties can be expensive and you may find that specialist insurers offering multi-appliance deals work out better value. So do some calculations before you commit.

Also, many extended warranties won’t cover appliances for accidental damage whereas appliance insurance protects you from these kind of mishaps as well as breakdowns.

Will my appliance be replaced with a new one?

If your appliance can’t be repaired, some policies will replace it with a new appliance, as close to the model you have, and with the same specifications.

Others may give you a voucher towards the cost of replacing your machine.

Does the age of my appliance matter?

While some will cover any make, model or age of appliance, most policies won’t cover appliances over a certain age - that might be 5, 7 or 10 years old depending on the particular insurer.

Does my home insurance cover appliances as a standard?

Home insurance should cover your appliances against fire, theft and flood as standard. But it’s unlikely to cover them for mechanical or electrical breakdown.

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