Why Equipment Breakdown Coverage Is Necessary (and Better than a Homeowners Warranty)

January 2023

A young couple works together to put laundry into their front-loading washing machine.

In a previous article, we addressed some of the fundamentals surrounding Equipment Breakdown coverage. We know the subject might be new for some homeowners and maybe a bit complicated for others. But given how much you invest in your expensive appliances and home systems, it really pays to get a handle on your coverage options. So welcome to equipment breakdown, part two.

Here’s the first thing you need to know: Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover the cost of repairing or replacing essential equipment in your home when it breaks down. We’re talking about washing machines and dryers, refrigerators, high-efficiency central air systems, solar panels—so many of the items you rely on every day.

The most common cause of equipment or system damage might actually surprise you. It’s power surges. Just as the name suggests, these represent a surge of electrical power that’s higher than normal. A single surge event can affect multiple electrical systems, new or not. And as the equipment in your home becomes increasingly complex and electronic in nature, the risk is only going to grow.

So what’s the average cost per claim in a surge situation? You’re likely looking at somewhere around $3,200.1 But it could be more, especially if repair is not an option, such as with an older system that’s hard to source parts for.

There’s also the reality that modern machines aren’t always built to last. One day they’re working fine, and the next day you have no hot water. It’s worth noting that within four years 36 percent of side-by-side refrigerators stop working.1 For front-loader washing machines it’s 25 percent, and it’s 20 percent for dishwashers.1 At some point, we’ve all experienced the sting of one of those unwanted surprises.

A kitchen island with a gas cooktop and two stacked ovens.

Choosing the Best Equipment Protection

Now that you know the risks with your appliances and systems, choosing the right protection is key. Some people will tell you that a home warranty package is the answer. There are many varieties out there that, for a monthly fee, claim to safeguard you from the cost of expensive equipment repairs or replacements.

The problem is these warranties are often expensive, hard to manage, and usually only cover limited pieces of equipment. They might also include hidden exclusions and confusing fine print. On the other hand, equipment breakdown coverage offers a simple, comprehensive, and affordable solution that covers what most home warranties exclude.

For example, equipment breakdown coverage comes at an average cost of about $30 per year. With a home warranty, you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of $500 a year. They differ when it comes to claims too, with equipment breakdown covering a maximum of $100,000, while the warranty option offers just $10,000, and it doesn’t cover spoilage.

Equipment protection will also pay up to 150 percent for replacement of equipment to allow you to get a more efficient option that is better for the environment. This option is also different from most warranties by including off-premises coverage for any equipment, like a laptop, that travels with you.

Ask About Equipment Breakdown Coverage

You insure your home against damage. Now it’s time to do the same for the expensive appliances and systems you have inside it. Equipment breakdown coverage is designed to do precisely that, shielding you from the nasty little surprises life can throw at you.

Mutual of Enumclaw is here to help. Learn more about our equipment breakdown coverage. Or call your agent today for more details.

1 "Equipment Breakdown Coverage Lets You Rest Easy." Mutual Boiler Re, 2018.

The information we share on our site is intended to serve as a general overview. Please refer to your policy or contact your local independent agent for specific coverage details.


File a claim on the go.

File a claim from anywhere with our mobile app. 

Learn More