Is a Power Surge Covered by Insurance?
The personal property coverage on your home insurance policy can help cover electronics and appliances that were damaged or destroyed by a power surge — but it depends on how the power surge happened.
Knowing how power surges occur is important to understand in order to protect yourself from one. We’ll walk you through what you need to know about power surges and insurance, as well as proactive steps you can take to protect your electronics and appliances from the damage they cause.
What Is a Power Surge?
A power surge is a sudden spike or interruption in a home’s electrical grid that can overload or damage appliances or electronics in a home. A power surge usually occurs very quickly — lasting less than a thousandth of a second. What causes power surges? Power surge causes occur due to the following:
- Overloading outlets
- Damaged wiring
- High-powered devices
- Downed power lines
- Power outages
Protect your home from power surges by installing surge protectors and/or unplugging appliances during storms. Small, proactive steps like these can make a huge impact if you ever experience a power surge.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Power Surge Damage?
Standard homeowners insurance policies usually provide protection for covered events under your personal property coverage, up to your policy limit. So if a covered event causes a power surge and damages or destroys your appliances or electronics, your personal property coverage may help cover the cost to repair or replace them. But whether you’re covered depends on your specific policy and insurance provider, so it’s important to understand the terms and limits of your coverage when it comes to power surge insurance. A great way to do this is by scheduling a personal insurance review with your agent. They can walk you through everything you need to know in your policy to gain confidence in your coverage.
There are some exclusions on your policy for whether or not you’ll be covered for a power surge, so if you want peace of mind that your electronics have protection, no matter the cause of the power surge, you can add equipment breakdown coverage. This coverage offers protection should things like your appliances, home systems or smart home devices be damaged due to mechanical, electrical or pressure systems breakdown. It helps protect you from paying for expensive repair or replacement costs after a power surge.
So, while your standard home insurance policy does cover lightning damage, as well as damage from artificially generated electrical current, having equipment breakdown coverage means there are no per-item limits and there is a lower deductible. Find out more about equipment breakdown coverage.
If your appliances, like washing machine or fridge, face power surge damage, you should be covered under your personal property coverage on your homeowners insurance policy.
The dwelling coverage on your policy typically covers your home’s wiring if it’s damaged by a power surge.
Similar to your appliances, if your electronics, like computer or TV, are damaged by a power surge, you can usually depend on your personal property coverage to help repair or replace the damaged item.
With American Family Insurance, your basic homeowners insurance policy covers up to $1,200 per item of personal property (subject to your overall personal property limit). Adding equipment breakdown coverage enhances your coverage by replacing that per-item limit with a $100,000 total limit.
Power Surge Insurance Claim Process
If you experience damage from a power surge, you can submit a claim with your insurance company to recover from those losses. Be proactive and create an inventory of the electronics (and other personal property) in your home in case you do need to file a claim. Not only will this help you determine that you have the right amount of coverage, but it’ll make filing a claim easier, too.
Here’s what to do when filing a power surge claim:
1. Assess the damage that was sustained as soon as it’s safe to do so. The insurance claims adjuster will need to know what damage occurred, so be thorough and write down everything that happened, including the date and time of the incident.
2. File a claim with your insurance provider. At American Family Insurance, you can file your claim online, by contacting your agent, or by calling 1-800-MYAMFAM (1-800-692-6326). You can also file through My Account or the MyAmFam app.
3. Consider your deductible. You’ll likely have to pay a deductible before your insurance covers the cost. If the cost to repair or replace the damaged property is more than your deductible, you can choose to continue with the claims process and your adjuster will work with the insurance company to determine a settlement for repairs.
4. Get paid. Once your claim has been accepted, you’ll receive a check — or checks — to repair or replace your damaged property.
Power Surge Safety and Protection Tips
Taking proactive steps to protect your home from power surges is a smart move as a homeowner. Simple safety measures can go a long way. Here are a few power surge safety and prevention tips:
Unplug the electronics and devices you aren’t using. Not only does this help prevent them from being damaged in a power surge, it helps you save on your energy bill!
Unplug electronics during a storm. Make sure to unplug your electronics during a storm to prevent them being affected by a power surge caused by lightning.
Use surge protectors. Plug your electronics into surge protectors. These help block excess voltage from reaching your electronics during a power surge.
Upgrade old or inadequate wiring. If you’re noticing frequently blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers, or if the lights flicker or dim when a large appliance kicks on, you may have bad wiring. This not only could cause a power surge, but a fire, too.
Power surges are caused by the unexpected — but with American Family Insurance, you’re prepared. Get an American Family Insurance quote today for power surge home protection.