Does Home Insurance Cover a Damaged Refrigerator?

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By Travelers
2 minutes
man in background next to an open fridge while a child in the foreground is playing with food on a table.

Your homeowners insurance policy covers much of your personal property, including large appliances, from specific perils like theft, fire or damage from a storm. This typically includes protection for your refrigerator, which can be a costly appliance to replace or repair if it is damaged.

Your homeowners policy may not provide coverage for every type of damage to your refrigerator. That’s why it’s important to understand your policy’s details regarding insurance coverage for damage to a refrigerator and any loss of food due to a power outage. You also may want to explore equipment breakdown coverage, which offers protection for a broad range of household appliances and equipment against mechanical or electrical failure. Ask your Travelers representative about this unique coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover a Damaged Refrigerator?

Whether your homeowners insurance covers a damaged refrigerator depends on how the damage occurs. Your homeowners policy will likely help with the costs of repairing or replacing your refrigerator if the damage is due to a sudden covered event like a burst pipe, fire or lightning.

However, a homeowners insurance policy typically does not cover damage to a refrigerator that breaks down due to regular wear and tear, or that is caused by lack of maintenance.

Coverage for Refrigerator Leaks

Many refrigerators have cold water dispensers and built-in ice makers. These conveniences can contribute to water leaks that may damage other appliances and surrounding areas. Your homeowners insurance may cover damage that results from a refrigerator leak, subject to your deductible and policy limits. However, any repair or replacement of the refrigerator itself typically would not be covered.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Food Spoilage Caused by a Power Outage?

Coverage for food spoilage due to a power outage is extremely limited in a standard homeowners policy. Your homeowners insurance potentially could cover spoiled food due to a power loss if your refrigerator was directly damaged by a lightning strike or a power surge. If you want to make a claim for spoiled food, it’s a good idea to take pictures of the food in the refrigerator to support your claim before you discard the contents.

If you think you could benefit from additional protection against food spoilage or power outages, talk to your Travelers representative to explore coverage options.

Prepare for the Unexpected

Taking preventive measures can help protect your refrigerator and other valuable appliances from a lightning storm or other power surge:

  • Install a whole-house surge protector to your home electrical system.
  • Add point-of-use surge protection devices (SPDs) and outlets. Be sure to use the correct SPD for your refrigerator and washing machine.
  • During a storm, unplug unused appliances (except your refrigerator), especially sensitive devices such as computers.
  • Keep your refrigerator clean and well maintained.
  • Freeze containers of water and gel packs and transfer them to your refrigerator to help keep food cold in the event of a power outage.
  • Discard spoiled food regularly.

Never taste food to check for spoilage. When in doubt, throw it out. Learn more about food safety during a power outage:

  • When to save food and when to throw it out from
  • Keeping refrigerated food safe during emergencies from the USDA.

Looking for more ways to help keep your family protected? Find a Travelers representative near you to get a homeowners insurance quote that covers your appliances. Get protected with home insurance from Travelers.

Image of man and son taking cookies out of the oven in their home.

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