The frequency and cost of homeowners claims have increased quite steadily over the last few years, with the average homeowners insurance loss from 2016 to 2020 nearing almost $14,000. Many homeowners don’t have enough money sitting in a bank account to pay for damages, so insurance is necessary.
Most people know that homeowners insurance covers fire, but there are many hidden bells and whistles that you might not know about.
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Your Stolen Packages
In the past year, people have stolen packages from the porches of over 49 million Americans, including items with a median value of $50. While that amount alone may not seem like much if you order several packages at once and each has a value of $50, that can add up fast.
Thankfully, your homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage for your personal property, and more than that, your personal property includes deliveries once they are on your premises. The possible bad news is, you will be responsible for your deductible, so it will only be helpful if the items exceed that amount.
Injuries to Others Even While Away From Home
Homeowners insurance not only covers your home but your liability as well. That means if someone is injured on your property, even if you aren’t home, you will be liable for it. Also, if you injure someone while away from home, the liability from your homeowners insurance may also step in here.
Sometimes you can file a claim for medical payments if the injury is minor, like a broken finger or laceration. Other times you may be involved in a lawsuit. This could happen if your lawn is not kept nice and someone trips or your dog gets out and bites someone.
It is important to note that if you are in a car accident and cause injury to someone else, your homeowners insurance will not cover it as anything related to auto accidents would be excluded. You would look to your auto insurance policy for this coverage.
Damages You Cause Even While Away From Home
Like injuries to others mentioned above, homeowners insurance also covers damage you cause away from home. An example is if you and your family play baseball at the local playground. You or a family member hit a ball through someone’s home or car window. Your homeowners insurance policy may likely pay for those damages.
Another example would include if your dog gets out and attacks another dog. That would be considered property damage under your homeowners insurance as well.
Your Stolen Things Even While Used Away From Home
Suppose you are traveling, someone steals your jewelry from your hotel room, or your son is away at college, and another student steals his cell phone. In that case, your homeowners insurance may provide coverage under your policy’s personal property coverage section. Anything considered personal property that is stolen may be covered here, regardless of where you and the property are.
It is essential to note that you have a limit and a deductible. So, the claim must be no larger than the personal property limit on your policy and more than your deductible for the claim to be paid.
Damage to Your Yard
Your insurance can cover the landscaping you have invested in, like trees, shrubs, and plants for your home to make it more beautiful, which can be quite costly. A homeowner policy covers trees, plants, or shrubs up to 5% of the dwelling coverage limit and a maximum amount of $500 per tree, plant, or shrub.
You must understand what is considered a covered loss, however. Your homeowners insurance policy will not cover improper maintenance, but lightning damage could be.
Unlikely Damage Events
Some other events are often covered under your homeowners policy, which is essential to know, even if they may be rare.
Animals Gone Wild
Your homeowners insurance policy should cover any damage to your home caused by a wild animal that may get into your house. Whether a deer, bear, or even an animal that has escaped from a zoo. In most cases, your insurance won’t cover damage caused by pets or other animals you own unless they are considered “wild.” However, there may be exceptions for rats, squirrels, and insects that cause damage to your home. As always, it is essential to read your policy thoroughly.
The Sky Is Falling
Your homeowners insurance policy should cover damage by tree limbs and the like, but did you know it will also cover damages to your home made by objects that fall from a meteorite, airplane, or other aircraft?
While rare, this does happen. A woman in Canada had some plane debris fall through her kitchen roof. She could file a claim with her homeowners insurance policy for the damages that resulted from the falling objects.
Again, if this unlikely event occurs, it will be subject to your deductible.
While you may not live in an area prone to volcanic eruptions, most homeowners insurance policies can cover it. Usually, it will cover damage from ashes, lava flow, eruption, and other particles.
This is excellent coverage for those who live near volcanoes, and while you may not experience an eruption, you could deal with the damages caused by the aftermath.
Read Through Your Policy to Know Your Coverage
With any insurance policy, you must read through all of the inclusions and exclusions. While all of the above things can be covered, each claim will need to be reviewed and processed by an adjuster and it helps if you know how your policy will respond in any event.
There are so many ways that homeowners insurance is beneficial, above and beyond those instances discussed here. It can help prevent financial devastation to your and your family.