Washing machine insurance
Whether it's a top loader or a front loader, a voice-activated smart device or a no-frills workhorse, your washing machine is an asset that's worth insuring.
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Even the fanciest modern washing machines can be prone to issues like a burst or leaking hose, motor burnout and potential fire risk.
If something does go wrong, washing machine insurance – taken out as part of a contents or a combined home and contents policy – can cover you in lots of ways that a basic warranty won't.
What is washing machine insurance?
Today's washing machines are cheaper to buy and more environmentally friendly to run than their forerunners. The less good news is their lifespan isn't what it used to be. Today, it's estimated that we can expect a new washing machine to last 5 to 11 years, and some kind of mechanical issue to happen within 4 to 7 years.
A warranty will cover inbuilt electrical and mechanical defects for a set period of time, but insurance can protect your washing machine against a much wider range of issues, including fire and water damage (to it and by it).
Most contents and home and contents policies will include your washing machine as part of their standard contents coverage. Your contents insurance should cover (up to a specified amount) damage to and loss of the machine as a result of various insured events, with motor burnout coverage generally being an optional add-on.
If you take out home insurance, you can also get cover for certain types of damage that your washing machine causes (for example, water damage or fire).
How do I get washing machine insurance?
If you're looking for washing machine insurance, consider either a contents policy or a home and contents policy. You'll also be able to add on motor burnout cover if you want extra coverage.
- Contents insurance. By getting a contents insurance policy, you'll be able to protect all of your belongings (up to a certain limit) from things like water damage and theft.
- Home and contents insurance. If you want more comprehensive cover, a home and contents insurance policy can cover your washing machine and the damage it can cause to your home if something were to go wrong.
Compare the benefits of up to four different contents policies by checking the Compare box under the insurance brand's name. Once you've found a policy that's right for you, select Get a quote and we'll take you directly to the brand's website.
Why is it a good idea to be covered by home insurance?
Washing machines are damageable, but they're also capable of causing damage. A leaking hose, for example, can quickly cause water damage, which can, in turn, create an electrical fire risk.
The right home insurance policy can cover you against damage to your home and belongings from those kinds of serious incidents.
What does home insurance cover?
Under most contents policies, your washing machine should get the same level of cover as your other contents, and it should be covered against the same insured events: lightning and storm (including tree) damage, fire damage, water damage, theft, vandalism and so on.
Specific problems that can appear over the lifetime of a washing machine include:
- Damaged circuits and driver belts
- Burst or leaking inlet hoses
- Burnt-out motors and pumps
- Blockages caused by foreign objects
- Oversudsing from using the wrong detergent or using too much detergent
Lots of these problems can lead to leaks, as well as the risk of flooding or fire. While your insurance won't cover standard maintenance costs, if flooding or a fire was to happen as a result of your washing machine, most home and contents insurance policies would cover the resulting damage (up to a specified amount).
Pros and cons
- With the right home and contents insurance policy, you'll know your washing machine plus the damage it could potentially cause is covered.
- If you have a standalone contents policy, only the machine itself will be covered.
What doesn't home insurance cover?
Cover for burnout of your washing machine's motor will generally be available as an optional add-on rather than included in your standard contents coverage.
When motor burnout happens, it often spells the end for washing machines and other appliances. (These days, the cost of replacing the motor often outweighs the cost of replacing the appliance.) When a motor burns out, it can also create a fire risk.
Motor burnout can happen because of:
- Electricity supply issues
- Power surges (caused by faulty wiring, overloaded circuits or lightning, for example)
- Other factors
Excessive vibrations and noise when the washing machine is being used can be a warning sign that the motor is on its last legs. Given the relatively low cost of motor burnout insurance, consider giving your washing machine the extra protection that it offers.
Washing machines are high-value items that can create risks around the home. Getting the right home insurance for yours will mean that you'll be covered if one of the risks becomes a reality.
Picture: Getty Images
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