Surprising Things Your Homeowners Insurance Covers | Bankrate

You’re probably aware of some of the common causes of home damage, including high winds, heavy rain, and vandalism. But did you know that your home insurance policy also covers some pretty amazing things? If someone steals your identity or a meteorite hits your kitchen, your home insurance could step in to pay for the damage. Bankrate’s insurance editorial team has put together six amazing things that homeowners insurance covers.

what does homeowners insurance cover?

Your homeowners insurance coverage is designed to protect your home, your belongings, and your liability exposure. you can often add additional optional toppings as needed.

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There are a few situations that most homeowners policies provide coverage for, regardless of which company you buy your policy from. Losses such as theft, vandalism, and wind damage are frequently covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy. however, homeowners insurance typically does not include coverage for floods or earthquakes. you may be able to add coverage for these cases with an endorsement, or you may need to purchase another plan, such as a flood insurance policy.

The specific protections you get from your policy will depend on the type of policy you purchase. Condominium owners policies, for example, generally offer different standard coverages than homeowners policies. And within homeowners policies, there are different forms of policies that offer different coverage packages. The best way to determine the specific coverages included in your homeowners insurance policy is to discuss your coverage with your insurance company.

Amazing Homeowners Insurance Coverages

While you can often add optional coverages to round out your homeowners policy, there are some standard coverages that might surprise you. Here are six things home insurance typically covers that many homeowners don’t know about.

1. identity theft

If your identity was stolen, you could incur charges to try to repair the damage. you can spend countless hours and thousands of dollars trying to restore your credit.

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Some insurers include identity theft coverage in standard homeowners policies, but most offer it as an optional coverage you can add for an additional cost. This coverage could help pay for expenses after your identity is stolen. Identity theft coverage can pay for legal fees, lost wages, and notary costs associated with restoring your credit.

2. broken dependencies

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You may see “other structures coverage” on your homeowners insurance policy. Other structures coverage comes standard with most home insurance policies and covers structures on your property that are not attached to your home, such as fences and sheds.

For example, if a windstorm damages your detached garage, your other structures coverage may pay for the repairs. similarly, coverage from other structures can extend to barns, detached garages, privacy fences, and gazebos. however, your deductible does apply to this coverage, so be prepared to pay a portion of any claims out of pocket.

3. injuries caused by animals

Personal liability coverage can help cover legal and medical costs if your pet injures someone who doesn’t live with you, like a guest, neighbor, or mail carrier. Personal liability coverage is included as standard on most home insurance policies.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, more than 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year. A dog bite is a serious injury and can lead to expensive medical and legal bills. Pets can also hurt people in other ways, like knocking someone down. If your pet hurts someone, your liability coverage could help pay for medical bills and legal fees if you’re sued. however, not all companies automatically cover pet liability. certain breeds of dogs and exotic pets are often excluded from coverage. You may want to confirm with your insurance company if pet liability coverage is included in your policy.

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4. hotel expenses after a covered loss

If you experience damage to your home that is significant enough, you may need to find temporary housing while your home is repaired. Fortunately, most standard homeowners policies include loss of use coverage, also known as additional living expense coverage.

After a covered loss, your additional living expenses coverage may help pay for expenses associated with a temporary living situation. this could include hotel bills or the cost of a temporary rental house, laundry fees, and other expenses that may arise.

5. lawsuits

Your liability insurance is designed to provide coverage for injuries or property damage for which you are at fault and can help pay the other party’s medical and repair bills, as well as your legal fees. Liability coverage is included in most standard homeowners insurance policies.

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If you frequently host guests, have children who like to host sleepovers, or if your home has a potentially dangerous feature such as a pool or trampoline, you may want to consider increasing your liability coverage. coverage limits typically start at $100,000 and can go up to $1 million. You can even get more liability coverage by purchasing an umbrella insurance policy.

6. meteor damage

Most standard homeowners insurance coverage includes damage from falling objects. If a meteor falls from the sky and hits your house, your homeowners coverage could cover the damage.

However, you may want to read the terms of your policy carefully to find out exactly what types of risks are covered and which are excluded. There are several different types of homeowners insurance policy forms, and each includes different coverages.

frequently asked questions

How do I know what my homeowners insurance policy covers?

Details about the specific coverages and exclusions of your homeowners insurance policy are included in your full policy form, which may have been mailed to you when you purchased your policy. If you have an online account with your company or have signed up for a paperless option, you can also get your full policy online. If you have any questions about your homeowners insurance coverage, your insurance company or agent should be able to help.

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can i add more coverage to my homeowners insurance policy?

If you want to add a coverage option to your homeowners insurance policy, such as identity theft protection, you can start by contacting your insurance provider to see if they offer the coverage you’re looking for. you may be able to simply add the option to your policy. If you can’t get the coverage you want with your current carrier, you may want to consider switching insurance providers.

what are some of the things homeowners insurance doesn’t cover?

Home insurance is designed to primarily cover sudden and accidental damage. any damage that is ongoing or intentional is likely to be denied. For example, if you have a slow water leak that’s putting off repairs, your home insurance probably won’t cover water damage. Most home insurance policies also do not cover flood damage or earthquake damage without an endorsement. And if you run a business from home, you probably need additional coverage.

what is the best home insurance company?

The best homeowners insurance company for you depends on your specific qualifying factors, such as the age of your home, its location, your coverage needs, your budget, and more. You may be able to find a company that suits your needs by getting quotes from multiple carriers. This may allow you to compare coverage options so you can find the protections you’re looking for.

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