What surprises could your homeowner’s insurance be hiding?

Homeowner’s insurance is meant to help pay for repairs if your home is damaged. You also carry liability insurance in case someone is injured on your property.

Sounds easy to understand.

However, some unusual things are covered under a typical homeowner’s policy. You may not even be aware of these provisions.

We look at 10 non-standard things that homeowner’s insurance may cover*.

     1. Dog bites

Dogs bite about 4.5 million people every year, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Around one-third of homeowner’s claims are due to dog bites.

If your dog bites someone, the liability part of your policy is meant to protect you if you are sued.

“Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000),” according to the Insurance Information Institute.

Pay attention to your policy, though. Some carriers will not offer coverage for certain dog breeds. Others might want you to sign liability waivers if you have a dog, especially for particular breeds.

     2. Falling meteors and space debris

How likely is it that your home will be damaged by a meteor or debris falling from the sky? Admittedly low, but it has happened before. Your homeowners’ policy covers such damage in any case.

The coverage extends to your cars as well, so if your truck is hit by a falling object, the damage covered.

     3. Damage from planes and cars

Sometimes planes crash in residential areas, which can lead to property damage or injuries. If a car loses control due to bad weather or lack of concentration, it could veer off the road and hit a house.

Damage and injuries caused by planes or cars are covered under most homeowners’ policies.

     4. Accidents that occur when you’re away from home

Let’s say you’re on a trip and someone breaks into your car and steals something. Or you injured someone else while on vacation. Your homeowner’s policy may cover the damaged or stolen items, even if they weren’t physically in your house.

Your homeowner’s liability policy will also cover you if you accidentally injure another person when you’re not at home.

     5. Burglary in your child’s dorm room

Homeowner’s coverage extends to anything that is stolen from your child’s dorm room. Even though your child is not living with you, their belongings are still covered.

There are some qualifications:

  • They have to be a full-time student
  • They must be living on campus
  • They must be under the age of 26     

     6. Stolen identity

Identity theft is a big problem that affects millions across the country. According to a 2019 Identify Fraud Study, around 14.4 million people became victims of identity fraud. Out-of-pocket costs related to identity fraud doubled between 2016 and 2018.

Some homeowner’s policies include coverage to help you pay for expenses related to identity theft, including attorney fees, lost wages, and fees associated with the reapplication of loans if you were denied based on your credit rating information.

     7. Upgrades due to new regulations

Local governments often pass city ordinances, and that means you have to make changes to stay “up to code.” You could end paying to upgrade things in your home or around your property. Homeowner’s insurance will often pay for improvements, so look for ordinance coverage in your policy.

     8. Damage from riots, Bombs, and explosions

You might not ever have a bomb in your house, but a leaky gas pipe could lead to an explosion. Riots can also break out in your community. These volatile situations often lead to property damage, fires, and broken windows on homes and stores.

After a natural disaster, many communities are left without power and a lack of police presence. This situation is exactly what tempts looters to break in and steal things from homes and stores.

Your insurance can help pay to repair or replace stolen or damaged items.

     9. Floods and earthquakes

It’s important to note that most homeowners’ policies do not cover flood or earthquake damage. Others require a separate policy for wind damage related to a tropical storm or hurricane. However, some states may cover damage to your cars if you have comprehensive coverage.

There are many things included in your homeowners’ policy that you might not think about. Be sure to review your policy to understand what is covered. If you have any questions, or you’d like a quote, contact us today.

*Every state has different requirements, and policies are different. Be sure to review your policy to determine specific coverage.

This blog and website are made available by the publisher for educational and informational purposes only. It is not be used as a substitute for competent insurance, legal, or tax advice from a licensed professional in your state.