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Homeowner's Coverage
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If you're relying on your homeowner's insurance policy to cover the cost of replacing hearing aids, make sure you do this with your eyes wide open. Our son had just gotten new hearing aids. The container he kept his hearing aids in during his bath flipped over just as he was flushing and one of the hearing aids he had just received that morning went down the toilet. We felt certain our homeowner's policy would cover it. We received the following letter:

Dear Mr and Mrs Powell;

We have carefully reviewed the facts concerning this loss. We are sorry to inform you that we are denying the claim for the loss of your son's Starky hearing Aid, when it was inadvertently lost down the toilet.

Coverage for personal property extends for loss or damage caused by one of the 12 perils listed in the policy, "Lost" is not one of the covered perils listed.

The specific reason payment cannot be made is:

SECTION I - PERILS INSURED AGAINST

COVERAGE A (DWELLING)

We insured against all risk of physical loss to property described in Section I Property Coverage, Coverage A (Dwelling) unless loss is excluded in Section I Exclusions.

COVERAGE B (PERSONAL PROPERTY)

We insure against physical loss to the property described in Section I Property Coverage, Coverage B (Personal Property) caused by a peril listed below, unless the loss is excluded in Section I Exclusions.

  1. Fire and Lightning.
  2. Sudden and Accidental Damage from Smoke.
  3. Windstorm, Hurricane and Hail.
  4. Explosion.
  5. Aircraft and Vehicles.
  6. Vandalism and Malicious Mischief.
  7. Riot and Civil Commotion.
  8. Collapse of Building or any part of the building.
  9. Accidental Discharge, Leakage or Overflow of Water or Steam from within a plumbing, heating or air conditioning system or household appliance. 
  10. Falling Objects.
     Exclusions 1.a. through 1.h under Section I Exclusions do not apply to loss caused by this peril.
  11. Freezing of household appliances.
  12. Theft, including attempted theft and loss of property from a known place when it is likely that the property has been stolen.

This peril does not include loss to property contained in a building unless the roof or outside wall of the building is first damaged by the falling object.

We are available to discuss the position we have taken. Should you wish, please feel free to contact us at ###-####, ext ####.

Sincerely,

XXXXXXXX
Claims Adjuster

The moral of the story? Make sure you are aware of exactly what your policy will, and won't cover. We were fortunate in that the manufacture of the hearing aid provided a replacement under their warranty, but if your hearing aid is no longer covered under that new hearing aid warranty, you might not be so lucky.

One other thing to look into is how much coverage will apply should the device not be on your property when it is lost, broken, or stolen. When we were looking into this aspect of insurance to cover our child's cochlear implant speech processor, we found out coverage for the processor when it is not physically on our property is limited to 10% of the total coverage of the policy. 

 
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