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does-home-insurance-cover-TV-damage

If you have an expensive television, you may be thinking about what you’d do if it was damaged or stolen.

The good news is, homeowners insurance does cover TV damage if it’s due to a covered peril — such as when lightning fries your TV or someone steals it. But if you accidentally drop it or it falls off the wall, you may be out of luck. 

Here’s a closer look at when homeowners insurance does (or doesn’t) cover TV damage. 

Key Takeaways

  • TVs and other electronics are typically covered under home insurance if the damage is due to a fire, lightning strike, break-in, pipe burst or other covered peril.
  • Home insurance typically doesn’t cover TV damage caused by accidental drops, floods, earthquakes or normal wear and tear.
  • Depending on your policy, your insurer will either reimburse you for the actual cash value of your TV (i.e. what it’s worth today after depreciation) or the full replacement cost.
  • There’s typically a reimbursement limit for electronics, so review your policy to see how much you’re covered for.

What types of TV damages does home insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance covers TVs and other electronics through your personal property coverage. If any of your personal belongings get damaged or stolen due to an event or “named peril” outlined in your policy, then you’ll get reimbursed for it. It doesn’t matter if the event occurred inside or outside your home.

Even with personal property coverage, you’ll need to meet your deductible first, but if covered, your insurer will pay to repair or replace your TV. There’s typically a cap on how much they’ll pay (otherwise known as a limit of liability), so review your insurance policy to see if you have adequate coverage. If your policy has a $2,500 limit for ALL electronics and your TV alone costs $3,000, you may be underinsured.

When does home insurance cover TV damage, and when does it not?

Basic homeowners insurance covers TV damage that results from any of these 16 named perils: 

  • Fire or lightning strikes 
  • Windstorms or hailstorms
  • Explosions
  • Riots
  • Aircrafts
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • The weight of ice, snow or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental tearing, cracking, burning or bulging
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Sudden and accidental damage due to short-circuiting
  • Volcanic eruption

Basic homeowners insurance typically does not cover TV damage due to: 

  • Accidental drops or damage
  • Normal wear and tear 
  • Floods or earthquakes 
  • Power surges not caused by lightning
  • Pets
  • Water damage from outside the home (such as a sewage overflow)
  • Birds, vermin, rodents or insects 
  • Mold or fungus

If you’re looking for a policy that covers accidental damage, floods or earthquakes, shop around for add-ons or premium H0-5 policies.

Does homeowners insurance cover TV replacement?

If you have a standard HO-3 policy, which is what most people have, your insurance will typically provide actual cash value coverage (up to your coverage limits) of your TV (i.e. what it’s worth today after depreciation) under your personal property coverage. So, if you bought your TV in 2016 for $2,000 and it’s now worth $1,000, you’d get reimbursed for $1,000, minus your deductible. 

If you have a replacement cost policy add-on, you’ll get reimbursed for the full amount it would cost to replace your TV today. So, if you bought your TV for $2,000 and it would cost $2,000 to buy a similar model, you’d get the full $2,000, minus your deductible.

Is it worth filing a homeowners insurance claim for a damaged TV?

It depends. Filing a home insurance claim for TV damage could increase your premium, so it’s a good idea to weigh the pros and cons before you make a decision. 

If your deductible is $500 but your TV is only worth $750, it may make more sense to pay out of pocket to not risk increasing your premium. But if your TV is really expensive, it may be worth considering. 

Frequently asked questions

Does homeowners insurance cover lightning damage to all electronics?

Good news — most insurance covers lightning damage to electronics, including your TVs, laptops, smartphones, and tablets. Just keep in mind that you may be subject to an electronic reimbursement limit unless you have additional coverage. 

Does renters insurance cover the TV falling off the wall?

If your TV fell off the wall because of a defective wall mount or self negligence, your renters insurance policy won’t cover the damage. However, if it fell off the wall because of a windstorm, a falling tree, a break-in or any other “accidental and sudden” event, then you’re covered. The same applies to broken TV screens. 

How can I protect my expensive electronics? 

There are a few steps you can take to protect your expensive electronics and increase your chances of getting your claim approved should something happen to them: 

  • Save all your receipts so you know when you bought an item and how much you paid for it.  
  • Contact your insurance company when you buy a new electronic — such as a high-end TV — so your insurer has a record of the item.
  • Consider buying additional coverage for your existing policy or shopping around for a new one if you want a higher reimbursement limit for your TV and other electronics. 

How do I file a claim for a broken TV? 

Follow these steps if you need to claim TV damage on your home insurance policy: 

  1. Notify your insurance company as soon as possible.
  2. Make a list of all damaged electronics.
  3. Take photos of all the items.
  4. Gather receipts or estimates for damaged items.
  5. Follow any other instructions given to you by the claims department.

If your standard home insurance policy doesn’t offer the type of TV coverage you’re looking for, consider shopping around for a policy that better meets your needs.

author image
Cassidy Horton
Contributing Researcher

 
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Cassidy Horton is a finance writer with an MBA and a bachelor's in public relations. Her work has been published in Forbes Advisor, The Balance, Finder.com, Money Under 30, Clever Girl Finance and more.

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