Home appliance insurance

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Most household appliances such as washing machines and fridge freezers are covered by your home contents insurance or, if you have it, accidental damage insurance.

However, should any of your crucial everyday appliances such as your TV or tumble dryer suddenly breakdown, would you be able to afford to repair or replace them at short notice?

Here’s everything you need to know about domestic and general appliance insurance for white and brown goods in your home.

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Is household appliance insurance worth it?

As alluded to above, a general home contents insurance policy only includes appliance cover for specific types of insured incidents that result from fire, flood or theft.

However, contents insurance will not compensate you for white and brown goods that breakdown unexpectedly unless this is as a direct result of flood, fire, exploding, theft or attempted theft.

And, if you also have accidental damage cover, this will of course cover ‘accidental damage’ but that’s it, nothing else.

This is where individual or multi appliance insurance can come to the rescue and fill in the gaps left by other types of home insurance.

With home appliances cover - subject of course to full compliance with the terms and conditions of your insurance policy - your appliances should be covered for electrical or mechanical faults and breakdowns.

This type of cover can cover the cost of a professional tradesperson’s call out charge and repair fees, or even a like for like replacement of an unrepairable appliance.

Even if you only have budget priced, less well known brands of white and brown goods, they will never be cheap to repair or replace.

And if you have high-end appliances such as an 85 inch 4K television, an AGA or Rangemaster cooker or a gargantuan ‘American style’ fridge freezer, repair or replacement costs can easily run into thousands of pounds.

For all of the reasons outlined above, having household appliance cover can be worthwhile if you want ‘belt and braces’ home insurance protection for your domestic devices.

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Are all household appliances covered by home appliance insurance?

Not necessarily; appliances cover may vary slightly between insurers so check a policy’s terms and conditions to ensure the items you need and want covered are included.

White goods insurance generally covers:

* Sometimes excluded from general home appliance cover and can instead be covered by ‘small appliance insurance’.

Brown goods insurance generally covers:

* Gadget insurance can also cover game consoles

Note: Most policies should cover up to around 15 appliances so make sure a policy covers your most expensive household items.

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What incidents are covered by appliances insurance?

Some insurers will have different criteria in their policy’s terms to other insurers but generally, the following is covered:

  • breakdown or fault (including electrical and mechanical failures)
  • tradesperson’s call-out charges (unless deemed unnecessary so you should check with your insurer before calling a tradesperson out)
  • repairs (typically includes parts and labour)
  • like-for-like replacement (if repairs of appliance are not cost effective)

What isn’t covered by domestic appliance insurance?

Again, this will vary between insurers but typically, the following are excluded from cover:

  • Most small appliances such as:
    • toasters
    • kettles
    • irons
    • vacuum cleaners
    • heaters
    • dehumidifiers
    • cosmetic appliances (e.g. hairdryers, straighteners, curling tongs, etc)
    • food preparation items (e.g. blenders, cake mixers, slow cookers, fryers, breadmakers, sandwich toasters, donut making machines, etc)
    • sewing or knitting machines
    • coffee machines (can sometimes be included in larger appliance policies so check a policy’s terms if you particularly want coffee machine cover)
  • Commercial machines
  • Unnecessary call out charges (speak to your insurer before making a call)
  • Older appliances (typically 7 years old or more) or used / second hand appliances
  • General wear and tear or cosmetic damage (e.g. rust, corrosion, sludge build up, lint, hard water created scale, dust, dents or scratches)
  • Any damage that existed prior to policy inception
  • Manufacturer defects (i.e. where items have been recalled)
  • Any appliance that is still under the manufacturer’s warranty
  • Misuse (i.e. overloading your washing machine)
  • Appliance servicing or routine maintenance
  • Fire, floods, theft or attempted theft, malicious damage or accidental damage

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Can I insure one appliance?

Yes, if you only want washing machine insurance cover after its warranty has expired then you can specifically compare quotes for washing machine insurance UK with reputable comparison sites.

In fact, if there are only one or two very expensive items you’d specifically like to cover more than others you can take out single item appliance cover such as:

  • tumble dryer insurance
  • cooker insurance
  • fridge insurance
  • dishwasher insurance

How to find the best home appliance insurance UK

To get the very best domestic appliances insurance deals you should:

  • shop around and compare quotes
  • compare the most competitive quotes’ individual policy terms and conditions to check what’s included or excluded from cover
  • check all of your appliances are covered by a policy’s maximum single appliance limit
  • compare quotes against what it would cost to extend a manufacturer’s warranty - insuring household devices is usually cheaper than
  • extending individual warranties
  • only insure the items you need or want to and can’t easily afford to replace
  • not double up on cover for certain items you may already have insurance for such as gadget insurance for a games console

Other frequently asked questions:

What’s the average cost of appliance cover?

Should I take out cover for brand new appliances?

Do tenants need this type of cover?

Do landlords need this type of cover?

Will a packaged bank account provide this type of cover?

Do I need contents insurance or accidental damage insurance when I have appliance insurance?

Will I get a new appliance if I claim?

Can I insure used or refurbished brown and white goods?

What’s the average cost of appliance cover?

The answer to this question will of course depend on the value and amount of appliances and can vary from just a few pounds up to hundreds of pounds. MoneySuperMarket states cover with their partner insurers usually starts from £4.99 a month or £53.46 a year for one appliance. However, you should shop around as you can get cheaper cover than this.

Should I take out cover for brand new appliances?

Not if they’re still under warranty, no. But as soon as the warranty period expires, it can be cheaper to collectively insure many appliances rather than paying to extend individual warranties.

Do tenants need this type of cover?

A tenant renting a furnished property would not need this type of cover as it would be your landlord’s responsibility to get items repaired or replaced. But if you’re a tenant renting an unfurnished property, it would be your responsibility to get your own devices repaired or replaced and so appliance cover could be worthwhile.

Do landlords need this type of cover?

No, if you’re a landlord renting out an unfurnished property but if you’re renting out a furnished property, then it’s the landlord’s responsibility to repair or replace broken appliances. You are also responsible for making sure items are in safe working order so appliance cover could help with costs.

Will a packaged bank account provide this type of cover?

It’s possible that some fee paying bank accounts will offer benefits such as free extended warranties so if you have a packaged bank account, check if appliances are covered so you don’t double up on insurance.

Do I need contents insurance or accidental damage insurance when I have appliance insurance?

Contents insurance only covers fire or flood related damage or theft, and accidental damage cover does what it says on the tin: it covers ‘accidental’ damage. So if you want ‘belt and braces’ cover for your domestic appliances, having this type of insurance cover for breakdowns or mechanical failures can plug the gaps left by other types of home insurance.

Will I get a new appliance if I claim?

Most policies will offer to replace broken appliances that cannot be fixed or where the cost of fixing them will cost more than the appliance is worth and may offer ‘like for like’ or ‘new for old’ cover. But this can vary between insurers so make sure you check the policy’s terms.

Can I insure used or refurbished brown and white goods?

No, refurbished or second-hand appliances are usually excluded from this type of cover.

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