Now that summer is at an end, we may not be needing our AC units anytime soon, but you may not be exempt from any damage to these expensive items once they are out of use for the year. If you experience a break-in or other issue resulting in problems with your AC, facing the issue head-on is the only way to make sure you won’t be on your own with these repairs.
If you’ve experienced damage to your AC units, check with your insurance company to see if you will receive coverage based on the cause. If the cause was due to lack of maintenance or age, you may need to pay for the repair or replacement costs out of pocket. However, if you believe you deserve coverage on the AC units, you’ll need to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company.
Call your insurer as soon as you notice the damage.
Just because you aren’t using the AC units anymore this year doesn’t mean you shouldn’t act quickly. The longer you wait to call your insurance company, the less likely you will be to receive coverage. Right when you notice that something is off, you should call up your insurer to make them aware of the issue.
Take pictures of the damaged AC units to supply to your insurance company. In addition, record the model name and serial number of the units. The more information you can supply your insurer with, the better. If these damages resulted from vandalism or a break-in, you may want to submit a police report. Along with the photos and model information, sending a copy of the police report will support your case.
Call your insurance company to begin the claims process.
Having a conversation with your insurance company about the damages is an important step in the claims process. Your insurance company will ask you details about the damaged AC units and will ask you what caused them to break. If the cause is supported by your insurer, the agent will move forward with the claims process.
Expect an adjuster to inspect the damage.
On the phone call with your insurance company, the agent will coordinate a time for an adjuster to come over and take a look at the AC units. Make sure you’re home when the adjuster comes to your house so he or she does not miss anything during the inspection. With this information, the adjuster will make an estimate of how much the repairs will cost.
Decide if it’s worth paying the deductible.
If the costs to repair the AC units are lower than the cost of your deductible, it would be better for you to pay this expense out of pocket. Even if the cost is only slightly higher than what you would be paying for a deductible, you might want to pay on your own, as seeking repairs through your insurer will raise your premiums.
Determine the replacement value.
If your homeowners insurance covers the actual cash value (ACV) of the units, you will be reimbursed the amount of money the unit was worth when it got damaged, with depreciation into account. If your insurer covers the replacement cost value (RCV), you’ll be provided with the amount of money the AC unit was worth when you first bought it. In almost all instances, people receive more money on damaged items when they have a RCV policy then an ACV policy.
Your insurer approves the claim.
To finish off the claims process, your insurer will provide you with half the ACV/RCV or repair cost at the beginning. Once the work is completed, they will give you the second half of these costs.
Filing a claim on any damage in your home involves what seems like a bit of a process, but if performed in an organized fashion, it is nothing to worry about. When next summer hits, you’ll be grateful that your AC units are in great shape.