Does Home Insurance Cover AC Unit Replacement?

Air conditioning is something most modern homeowners take for granted – until it stops working on a hot summer day. AC systems inevitably wear out over time. When the dreaded day comes that the old unit finally dies, does your home insurance policy help pay for a replacement?

Unfortunately, the answer is generally no. While homeowners insurance covers damage resulting from some AC issues, it typically excludes normal wear and tear. Replacing a worn-out air conditioner is usually your responsibility.

However, there are some scenarios where coverage could come into play, depending on your specific policy. Read on for more details on how homeowners insurance handles failing and damaged air conditioning systems.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover for Air Conditioners?

There are a few situations where your homeowners insurance may provide some coverage related to problems with your AC unit:

  • Damage from leaking refrigerant – Escaping refrigerant can damage copper piping that homeowners insurance would cover.

  • Damage from condensate leaks – Water leaking from the condensate line can lead to covered water damage.

  • Damage from frozen/burst pipes – Damage from ruptured pipes due to freezing in winter can be covered.

  • Damage from an electrical surge – A power surge that damages the AC unit could be covered.

  • Vandalism/theft damage – Damage from vandalism or stolen equipment may be covered.

  • Damage from falling equipment – If roof-mounted equipment falls and damages the home, it may be covered.

  • Damage from fire/explosion – Damage from an electrical or compressor fire would likely be covered.

The key is that the initial damage has to stem from a listed covered peril on your policy. If the damage results from normal wear and tear, lack of maintenance or mechanical breakdown, it would not be covered.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Air Conditioner Repairs?

For damage stemming from a covered event like the examples above, your homeowners policy would pay for repairs directly related to that event, such as:

  • Fixing leaking refrigerant lines damaged by a covered incident.

  • Repairing water damage from a condenser drain line leak.

  • Replacing a motor that was burned out by an electrical surge.

  • Repairing ceiling damage caused by a fallen AC component.

However, repairs for pre-existing wear and tear or undamaged parts would not be covered. For example:

  • A worn compressor or fan motor.

  • Leaking ducts from normal wear.

  • Refrigerant recharge for a gradual leak.

  • General cleaning and maintenance.

So homeowners insurance will only pay for repairs directly necessary due to a listed covered peril, not for general AC maintenance, repairs or upkeep.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Complete AC Unit Replacement?

Replacing an entire air conditioning unit simply because it is old and worn out is not covered by a standard homeowners policy. The policy excludes normal wear and tear.

In some cases where the AC unit itself was destroyed by a covered event, such as:

  • A falling tree that crushes the exterior condenser.

  • A lightning strike that melts electrical components.

  • A storm that causes the rooftop evaporator coils to detach and leak.

In scenarios like these, your insurer may pay part or all of the cost of full AC replacement. But coverage is never guaranteed – an adjuster would assess the extent of the damage to determine if total replacement is justified or only repairs are needed based on what was actually damaged by the covered event.

They may argue that only certain components need replacement, while older components should be your responsibility due to normal wear. It’s a case by case situation.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Improperly Installed ACs?

If an AC unit was improperly installed by a contractor, which later results in damage, coverage can get tricky. Some key points:

  • Damage stemming directly from improper installation would generally not be covered, since it did not arise from a covered peril.

  • However, resulting secondary damage from the initial improper installation may still be covered. For example, if faulty wiring leads to a fire, the resulting fire damage would likely be covered, even though the original wiring issue would not.

  • Pre-existing improper installation does not necessarily void coverage for future unrelated issues. For example, freezing damage could still be covered even if the unit was installed incorrectly years earlier.

Proving what specifically was damaged by the contractor error versus a separate covered event will be key to getting a claim approved. Photos, invoices and inspection details help with this.

What Does Additional AC Coverage Include?

To expand coverage beyond what a standard homeowners policy provides for AC units, some add-on options to look for include:

  • Equipment breakdown coverage – Covers repairs and replacement costs for mechanical failures from normal wear and tear.

  • Home warranty plans – Optional annually renewed service contracts that include AC coverage.

  • AC manufacturer warranties – Provide coverage for listed parts and scenarios like compressor failure.

  • Appliance insurance – Standalone insurance just for major appliances and systems.

  • Scheduled personal property coverage – For high-value equipment you want individually listed.

Talk with your agent to learn more about expanded AC coverage options that can complement a standard homeowners policy.

Tips for Filing an AC Damage Claim

To give your air conditioning claim the best chance of being approved, keep these tips in mind if you ever experience damage:

  • Document damage right away with photos/video showing the broken components.

  • Do not discard damaged parts until the claim is finalized. The adjuster may need to inspect them.

  • Make temporary repairs to prevent further damage from occurring. Keep receipts.

  • Locate any contractor invoices showing previous AC repairs or installation work.

  • Get a written estimate for repair costs from an HVAC specialist.

  • Note details on the age and maintenance history of the AC unit.

  • Act quickly since most insurer policies have a time limit to report damage.

Thorough documentation and evidence showing covered damage rather than pre-existing wear are key for getting an AC claim approved.

How Can I Avoid AC System Damage?

You can take proactive measures to minimize the chances of costly air conditioner damage:

  • Have a professional perform annual maintenance like refrigerant top-offs and coil cleaning.

  • Clear debris and overhanging branches away from outdoor AC components.

  • Install surge protectors on AC equipment to avoid electrical damage.

  • Have an HVAC specialist confirm proper refrigerant levels and duct sealing.

  • Consider hail guards to protect condenser coils in regions prone to hailstorms.

  • Replace older window AC units that may fall out of aging windowsills.

  • Move portable AC units to avoid toppling when not in use.

With some preventative care, you can hopefully avoid many common sources of air conditioner damage.

The Outlook for AC Coverage

Looking ahead, experts expect homeowners insurance policies will continue providing coverage for air conditioning units similarly to how they do today.

Normal wear and tear will remain excluded, while damage from events like storms, fallen objects, fires and vandalism will continue being covered in most cases.

However, policy costs may rise in areas seeing more extreme weather events that damage AC systems. And tighter restrictions around addressing pre-existing issues like refrigerant leaks before they cause harm could be implemented.

But for now, coverage for sudden and accidental air conditioner damage from standard perils remains intact. Understanding exactly what your homeowners policy does and does not cover is key to getting claims paid smoothly while avoiding unnecessary out of pocket costs.


  • Homeowners insurance generally excludes normal AC wear and tear, repairs and replacement costs.

  • However, damage resulting from accidents, storms, fires and other covered perils is often covered.

  • Photos, maintenance records and repair estimates are crucial for getting AC claims approved.

  • Add-on endorsements like equipment breakdown coverage can expand protection.

  • Take preventative measures to help avoid air conditioning damage.

So while homeowners insurance does not cover replacement of an AC unit simply because it is old, coverage for repairs necessary due to a covered event is available under most policies.



Will my homeowners insurance cover my AC unit?

Your home’s heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) units may be covered by homeowners insurance if the damage was caused by a covered peril. Dwelling coverage on your homeowners policy may pay to repair the damage, up to your policy’s limits and minus your deductible.

How long does an AC unit last?

Here’s how long some of the most common types of AC last: Portable AC — 5-10 years. Residential single whole-home AC unit — 15 years. Central air-source heat pumps — 15 years (and up to 20–25 years if well-maintained and in a well insulated home) Ductless mini-split AC systems (heat pumps) — 20 years.

What does AC replacement include?

Installing Your New HVAC Unit Replacement The components installed may include the inside air handler or evaporator, outside compressor or condensing unit, new refrigerant supply lines, thermostat, condensate drain lines, and the condensate pump when applicable.

Are heat pumps covered by insurance?

Insurance covers AC units and heat pumps similar to how the rest of your home is covered.

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