YOU ASK:

Will homeowners insurance cover TV lost to power surge or electrical storm?

WE ANSWER:

Electrical storms, lightning strikes or power surges are covered by the standard homeowners insurance policy. Any appliances affected by a power surge will be replaced or indemnified.

However, most insurance companies will first take a look at the affected electrical appliances and will try to fix the things first. Otherwise, you can also bring the appliances to a repair shop with a repair form from the insurance company. The repair shop technician should fill the form out and you will submit this to the insurance company. The insurance company will pay for the repair costs and only those appliances that can't be fixed will be paid for.

If you have a current value policy, the insurance will pay the deprecated value of the appliance minus the deductible. That means that you won't get the full value of your electrical appliance. If you bought your washing machine for $1,500 last 5 years ago, you can't expect to get $1,500. Usually, the depreciated value is computed by deducting the residual value from the purchase price and dividing the difference by the number of useful years.

A better policy would be a replacement value policy, which will pay approximately the value to buy the exact same unit, or if this is not available, to buy a unit that resembles the appliance most closely in features.

Another avenue you could look into in your effort to recover any damaged equipment would be to look at product warranties, especially if your electrical appliances are fairly new and the warranties are still in place. This is so that you won't have to run the risk of having your homeowners insurance premiums increased because of your claim.

To determine whether you have a current value or replacement value policy, you should review your policy, as well as its terms and conditions with regards to lightning strikes and electrical surges.

If there are other items that were damaged as a result of the damaged electrical appliance, you can also include this in your claim. For instance, if your refrigerator was damaged and as a result, perishable food items were also lost, you can tally this up along with all electrical items that were lost during the storm. That is if your policy has a food spoilage endorsement included in your policy.

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