McQuiston: Baby It’s Cold Outside, And Inside Too!

By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency
 
You know that household heating and cooling systems can stop working at any time. And it’s always at a bad time and it’s never cheap to fix.
 
Although you might take them for granted, you probably depend on several major equipment systems to keep your home comfortable. You might assume that your homeowners policy would cover the cost of repairs to these systems should they break down. But the fact is that mechanical breakdown is not a covered cause of loss under most traditional homeowners policies.
 
Is there anything you can do to adequately insure these exposures? The answer could be found with Equipment Breakdown coverage. 
 
Equipment Breakdown extends coverage not included in the standard homeowner policy to your important home systems and personal property due to a covered loss by mechanical or electrical breakdown. This can include, but is not limited to, your washer and dryer, furnace, water heater, air conditioner, entertainment systems, and computers.
 
Coverage can in some cases be comparable to a home warranty; however, one of the main differences is wear and tear. Equipment breakdown coverage does not apply to wear and tear. Officially, wear and tear is the reduction, deterioration, or depreciation in value of property due to normal use. This is commonly excluded from most homeowner policies and equipment breakdown is no different in that sense.
 
Your equipment may be operating and there are no broken parts, but it’s not performing as well as expected- this is a common instance of wear and tear. A common example of this is your A/C is not producing enough cold air- the unit is working, just not optimally.
 
Conversely, Equipment Breakdown means that there is an actual breakdown or mechanical failure that causes the item to no longer work or run. There are three perils that equipment breakdown covers:
  • Electronic or electrical breakdown
  • Mechanical breakdown
  • Rupture, bursting, bulging, implosion, or steam explosion
These three items are not typically covered in the standard homeowner policy, but they can all cause significant angst should they occur.
 
While premiums and coverage limits may vary depending on your insurance company, Equipment Breakdown coverage can be an affordable alternative to costly home warranty plans. In some cases, claims you file won’t increase your rates. As always, I would suggest talking to your insurance professional to see if your homeowners insurance company offers this coverage.
 
Note: Each week we have a drawing to give away two tickets to the Reel Deal Movie Theater. It’s our way of saying thanks to the folks of Los Alamos for over 50 years of their support.
 
This week’s winner is Michael Lyon. Please stop by the office to collect your tickets.
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