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Motor burnout insurance: what you need to know

Mark Bristow avatar
Mark Bristow
- 3 min read
Motor burnout insurance: what you need to know

It may not be the first household problem that comes to mind, but motor burnout can be an annoying and potentially costly inconvenience - especially if your air conditioner breaks down right in the middle of summer. Fortunately, many home insurance policies include motor burnout insurance coverage for this specific situation.

What is motor burnout?

Motor burnout refers to damage that can occur to an electric motor - a key component found in many household appliances, from refrigerators to washing machines, cooktops, dishwashers, microwaves, garage doors and air conditioning units. This damage is often the result of electrical issues such as power surges or overloading, leading to the motor overheating and failing. Repairing or replacing these motors can be costly.

What is motor burnout insurance?

Motor burnout insurance, sometimes called fusion damage insurance, covers homeowners against the financial burden of repairing or replacing appliances and systems that have suffered motor burnout. This type of insurance may be available as a component of home and contents or contents only insurance policies, or it may be available to purchase as an optional add-on or extra for those policies.

What does motor burnout insurance cover?

Motor burnout insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing electric motors in household appliances and systems when they have been damaged due to electrical issues. Importantly, this insurance often covers both the parts and labor costs associated with the repair or replacement, ensuring homeowners are not left out of pocket.

Some insurance can also have additional coverage - for example, if the motor in your refrigerator fails, your insurance policy may pay out a food spoilage benefit, reimbursing you for a certain amount of food that has gone bad. Some policies may even pay out a benefit for belongings surrounding an appliance that have been damaged as a result of a motor burnout.

What does motor burnout insurance exclude?

While motor burnout insurance covers many appliances and systems in your home, there are a number of common exclusions, such as: 

  • Smaller appliances such as hair dryers and heaters
  • Standard wear and tear that over time
  • Motors over a certain age - for example, some policies may exclude motors over five years old
  • Appliances being used for commercial purposes
  • Appliances that have not been maintained per the manufacturer’s specifications

It’s important to keep maintenance records for your appliances, as these can assist if and when you need to make a claim for motor burnout.

How do you choose motor burnout insurance?

When shopping around for motor burnout insurance, a good starting point is to look at whether an insurance policy includes it as standard, or if it needs to be purchased separately as an optional extra. When comparing insurance policies, price is important but it’s also important to check the limits of the policy, to make sure the coverage offered is adequate and you won’t end up underinsured.

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It’s important to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) of any insurance policy, as well as any other relevant policy documents, to make sure you understand what you’re signing up for, and make sure that there are no exclusions and the excess (if there is one) is an amount you’re comfortable with.

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Product database updated 16 Jun, 2024

This article was reviewed by CEO Paul Marshall before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.