Does Homeowner's Insurance Cover My TV?

Written by James Hirby and Fact Checked by The Law Dictionary Staff  

If you're like most middle-class homeowners, your TV is one of the most important pieces of furniture in your house. It probably occupies a central location in your living room or family area and may be on for several hours per day. If you regularly entertain guests or host sporting-event parties, it's likely that your TV is a boon for your social life as well. Accordingly, you're probably very protective of this device. Fortunately, it's likely that your homeowner's insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your TV after a break-in or severe weather event.

The exact amount that you'll receive in exchange for your lost or broken TV will depend upon several factors. First, you'll need to call your insurance agent or provider and ask about the type of coverage that you're carrying. There are three basic types of homeowner's insurance policies: HO-1, HO-2 and HO-3. If you're like most homeowners, you carry an HO-2 policy. Due to their relatively poor mix of coverages, HO-1 policies have fallen out of favor in recent years. Likewise, HO-3 policies are too expensive for the average homeowner. They're typically used to insure high-value homes in exclusive communities. Fortunately, most HO-2 policies provide reimbursement for broken or lost TVs under certain circumstances.

On the other hand, your HO-2 policy may not reimburse you for the full retail value of your lost or broken TV. When your claims adjuster surveys the damage at your home, he or she will calculate your TV's "current estimated" value. Depending upon the age and condition of the device, this could significantly reduce the value of your expected payout. In order to calculate your TV's current value, your claims adjuster will inspect it for evidence of pre-event wear and conduct a thorough analysis of the market for secondhand TVs in your area. If your TV is no longer present, its current estimated value will be based on recent resale figures for identical models.

In addition, your payout might be reduced even further by your policy's deductible. If your home sustained serious damage in a storm or robbery, you may have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars out of your own pocket. Although your insurance company will still provide you with a fair assessment of your lost or broken TV's value, the payout that you receive for it will be offset by your policy's deductible. In addition, your provider will almost certainly raise your policy's premiums in response to your claim.

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