Appliance Insurance: Keep your Home Appliances Safe
Appliance insurance will make sure all your kitchen and electrical appliances, from your washing machine to your new TV, are covered if they unexpectedly break down. In this guide we take a closer look at what home appliance insurance covers and compare quotes to give you an idea of what it will cost. We also answer the all important question: do you need domestic appliance insurance?
Appliance insurance covers the cost of repairing or even replacing your home appliances if they break down. Most new appliances come with a one year warranty, but how are they covered after this? This is where appliance insurance kicks in.
What does it cover?
Firstly, let’s take a look at the appliances this insurance will cover. Kitchen items and electrical goods (often referred to as white goods) are typically classed as home appliances and are included in appliance insurance policies. These can be:
- Washing machines
- Tumble dryers
- DVD/blu ray players
- Music and game systems
Items such as your mobile phone, laptop and tablet are classed as gadgets and fall under gadget insurance, not appliance insurance.
It’s all well and good knowing that these items are protected, but what exactly are they protected from? As with all insurance, the exact coverage will depend on the provider, but appliance insurance usually includes the following cover:
- Mechanical or electrical failure - this means you are covered if your appliance stops working due to damage or a fault. In most cases this includes damage caused by wear and tear over time.
- Accidental damage - if you cause damage to your appliance by accident, for instance your toddler spills water on your brand new HD TV, appliance insurance can still cover it.
- Call-outs - the insurance will cover the costs of calling out an engineer to fix the appliance.
- Labour and spare parts - as well as call-out charges, it will cover the cost of hiring the engineer and the cost of parts needed to repair the item. If the item cannot be repaired, the policy will cover the cost of replacing it.
A new for old replacement policy is usually applied. This means that your appliance will be replaced with a new appliance of the same market value (not necessarily the same make or brand), if it cannot be repaired.
Good appliance insurance will cover an unlimited amount of items, allowing you to include all of your household appliances on the same policy. A lot will even apply discounts for every item you add. Some policies will also have an unlimited claim limit, meaning they will cover the cost of fixing or replacing your item no matter how expensive it is. However, quite a few will enforce claim limits and therefore only cover costs up to a set amount.
What cover is excluded?
Elements that are excluded from an appliance insurance policy also varies from one provider to the next. To give you an idea of what to expect, here is a list of what is not likely to be included:
- Unnecessary call-outs - if an engineer finds nothing wrong with your appliance, the cost of the call-out will not be covered.
- Cosmetic damage - any damage that is simple visual, such as a scratch, won’t be included.
- Delivery/removal/installation costs - costs for delivering and installing a new appliance, as well as removing an old one, will not be covered.
- Deliberate damage - accidental damage might be covered but damage you cause on purpose won’t be.
- Failure to follow manufacturer’s instructions - if you do something that goes against the instruction manual, such as load your washing machine above the specified weight, and it breaks, your claim will be rejected.
- Using a non-authorised repairer - if someone other than a registered engineer has tried to fix the appliance in the past, it will invalidate your insurance. Put simply, don’t try and fix it yourself!
- Pre-existing damage - any damage that occurred before you bought the policy won’t be covered. This is why a lot of providers state a set amount of time must pass before you can make a claim.
- Still under warranty - if your appliance is still under the one year warranty it was purchased with, appliance insurance might not be valid.
- Old appliances - most policies will have age-limits for items, for example, any appliance over 10 years old might not be covered.
- Brands - in some cases certain appliance brands might not be included. All established UK and well-known brands will likely be included, so this is more an issue if you purchased your appliance(s) from abroad.
- Claiming for business - appliance insurance is aimed at domestic household goods, so anything used for business purposes will not be covered.
Do you need home appliance insurance?
As with most home insurance add-ons, appliance insurance is not mandatory and not essential. When deciding whether you need appliance insurance, it mainly comes down to the value of your appliances and whether you can afford to and/or are willing to buy a new one if one goes kaput.
If your appliances are quite old and not worth much, appliance insurance might be a waste of money: you could end up paying more for the insurance than what it would cost you to replace an item yourself. Chances are that if your appliances are over a certain age, providers won’t cover them anyway. However, if you’ve just splashed out on some brand new, top of the range appliances, it’s probably worth it.
Tenants and landlords
Do you need appliance insurance as a tenant or landlord. The answer to this lies in who owns the appliances.
If, as a tenant, you’ve rented an unfurnished flat and therefore have bought the washing machine, dishwasher, etc. yourself, then these appliances belong to you. Weighing up what we have mentioned about value above, it is your decision whether you want appliance insurance.
Like normal home insurance, your tenant’s insurance won’t cover you for your appliances breaking down. It also won’t cover your laptop, mobile or tablet if they stop working. To protect these you need gadget insurance.
If you’re a landlord and have supplied a fully furnished home to your tenant, then the appliances belong to you and it’s up to you whether you want appliance insurance. It can be a good idea for landlords as it ensures appliances are fixed quickly, e.g. if the washing machine breaks, it will be sorted quickly and your tenant won’t be pestering you every five minutes because they can’t wash their clothes.
There is nothing stopping both the landlord and tenant taking out appliance insurance. For instance, if the landlord owns the washing machine and oven, but the tenant bought the TV, both parties could get appliance insurance if they wish.
Does home insurance cover appliances?
If you’re thinking, ‘hang on a minute! I thought my home appliances were covered in my home insurance policy’, you’re not completely wrong. Home insurance policies that include contents insurance will cover such items, but it’s coverage is much less extensive than appliance insurance.
For example, home insurance will likely cover your washing machine against theft and any damage caused by an insured event, such as a flood or a fire. If you have included accidental damage in your home insurance, it might even cover your washing machine from accidental damage caused by you or a family member.
However, your home insurance policy will not cover you if your washing machine just decides to stop working, leaving you with a tonne of dirty washing. If your washing machine breaks down due to a mechanical or electrical fault, home insurance will not cover the costs of repairing or renewing it, whereas appliance insurance will.
Domestic appliance insurance vs an extended warranty: what’s the difference?
An extended warranty is when you pay to lengthen the time of the warranty guarantee that comes with a new appliance. A normal warranty usually lasts for one year, but in a lot of cases you can choose to extend it. With this being the case, what should you do - extend your warranty or get appliance insurance?
Firstly, while both types of insurance provide cover for your appliance, there are three main differences between them:
- Who supplies the cover - an extended warranty is provided by the appliance’s manufacturer or retailer (the company you purchase the appliance from), whereas appliance insurance is supplied by an insurance provider.
- Extent of cover - an extended warranty usually only covers mechanical and/or electrical faults. It might not cover the cost of a call-out and will not cover accidental damage. Appliance insurance can cover all of these.
- Amount of appliances - an extended warranty only applies to one item, e.g. you buy a washing machine and choose to take out an extended warranty on the washing machine. If you buy a dishwasher at the same time, you would need to take out a speratate extended warranty on the dishwasher.
Appliance insurance is a lot easier as you can put all of your appliances on one policy. Whether you buy all your appliances at once or get new ones over time, it doesn’t matter - you can add the appliances on to your policy whenever you want. Obviously adding an appliance will alter your premium, but typically you will get a discount for every appliance you add on.
Considering that appliance insurance offers greater coverage and lets you insure multiple appliances on one policy, it seems the better choice of the two.
How much does home appliance insurance cost?
As with all insurance, the cost of appliance insurance depends on the provider. Some companies have higher premiums and some offer cheaper prices. A number of factors affect how much an appliance policy costs:
- Appliances - both the amount of appliances you want to insure, their value and their age will play a factor in determining the price of your premium.
- Coverage - if you go for a basic policy, it will be cheaper than a more comprehensive one with extra cover added on.
- Your claims history - if you have made home insurance claims in the past, your policy will be more expensive than if you haven’t.
- How you pay - paying monthly can work out more expensive than if you pay annually as interest is added to your monthly installments.
To give you some idea of the prices on the market, we have gathered quotes from three different providers: 24/7 Home Rescue, Row and Surewise.
|24/7 Home Rescue appliance insurance||Appliance Package Basic 3||Appliance Package Standard 5||Appliance Package Premium 7||Appliance Package Deluxe|
|Price (per month)||£18.00||£19.000||£33.50||£22.00|
|Surewise appliance insurance||Bronze||Silver||Gold|
|Price (per month)||£10.99||£17.99||£21.99|
|Price (per year)||£121.76||£205.41||£253.11|
|Excess||£20 (£40 for items over 5 years)||£30 (£60 for items over 5 years)||£35 (£70 for items over 5 years)|
|Total value of items||£1000||£3000||£5000|
|Max claim amount for each item||£200||£300||£800|
Unlike 24/7 Home Rescue and Surewise, Row does not offer set packages. Instead, when getting a quote you simply enter what appliances you want covered (including the brand, make and value), and it gives you a price based on this information. You can include as many items as you wish.
We ran a quote for 5 LG appliances: a washing machine, tumble dryer, dishwasher, combined fridge freezer and a DVD player (all valued at up to £300, except the DVD player which was £200). Here are the results:
As you can see from these quotes, prices do vary, but not too dramatically. By running a couple of quotes with different companies you should be able to easily figure out what a reasonable price is for you. Remember to bear in mind the excess and the claim limits alongside the price.
Choosing appliance insurance
Here are Selectra’s top six things to keep in mind when searching for appliance insurance:
- Age limits - if you have older appliances, check that the policy still covers them.
- Accidental damage - does it protect against accidental damage or just mechanical faults? You want both included.
- Appliance limits - is there a limit on the items you can include? This could be a limit based on the number of items or a limit on the maximum value of the items, e.g. no more than five items or no more than a combined value of £2,000.
- Claim limits - is there a maximum you can claim for? This can be both an overall maximum claim limit and a single-item claim limit.
- Single-item value - some policies have a maximum value for one appliance, e.g. one item cannot be worth more than £1000. It’s particularly important to check this if you have expensive appliances.
- Call-outs - make sure the cost of an engineer call-out is included in the cover.
Home appliance insurance companies in the UK
When comparing home appliance insurance, these are some of the best known companies in the UK to take a look at:
- 24/7 Home Rescue
- Smart Cover Insurance
- Home Emergency Assist
- Warranty Wise
- Domestic & General
- Home Appliance Guard
Data and information correct as of October 2019.
All material on this page and the selectra.co.uk website is for information purposes only and does not constitute any form of financial advice. Selectra.co.uk is not responsible for any consequences that might arise from your use of the information provided.