Surprise Coverages In Your Homeowners Insurance Policy

October 27, 2023

Homeowners insurance is a crucial safeguard for both your residence and your assets. The standard homeowners insurance policy, typically referred to as HO-3, provides protection against a wide array of unexpected events, ranging from fires and vandalism to lightning strikes and explosions.

Here are some unexpected items and situations that you might not have realized are covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy:

  1. Tombstones: Believe it or not, the grave markers at a cemetery are considered "personal property" and are covered by most homeowners insurance policies. It's essential to note that there might be a special coverage limit on tombstones.

  2. Volcanoes (Not Earthquake): For most of us in the United States, except those in Hawaii, the idea of a volcanic eruption might seem remote. However, if your home happens to be in the path of an erupting volcano, a standard homeowners insurance should provide coverage. It's important to note that damage caused by earthquakes or ground movements is typically not covered under standard policies.

  3. Your Child's Belongings at College: If you send your child off to college and they are residing in a dormitory, their possessions are usually covered under your homeowners policy. Most policies extend coverage to anyone in your household, as well as students under the age of 24. However, it's worth noting that not all policies cover students living in off-campus housing, in which case, additional tenant's insurance may be necessary.

  4. Your Belongings While Traveling: Many homeowners policies include coverage for your personal belongings regardless of where you take them, thanks to the "off-premises" provision. This means that if your luggage is stolen while you're on a vacation, whether it's in China, Turkey, or even North Dakota, you're usually protected. For high-value items like jewelry, it's advisable to discuss purchasing additional coverage with your insurance agent.

  5. Pet-Related Incidents: In the event that your pet, whether it's a dog, cat, or even a guinea pig, bites someone, your homeowners policy may cover the cost of medical care up to your Personal Liability Limit. We recommend maintaining a coverage level of at least $500,000. However, be aware that some animals can cause significant harm when they bite and this may affect your eligibility for coverage with certain insurance companies.

  6. Hotel Stays During Home Repairs: If your home becomes temporarily uninhabitable due to a covered event, your insurance may cover your living expenses, including hotel stays and meals.

  7. Injuries Away from Home: Your policy's liability coverage can extend to incidents that occur off your property, such as if you accidentally injure someone while playing sports or while on vacation.

  8. Spoiled Food: If a power outage or equipment failure causes the food in your refrigerator or freezer to spoil, your policy may reimburse you for the cost of replacing the food.

  9. Stolen Garden Equipment: Items like lawnmowers and gardening tools are often covered if they're stolen, even when they're not in your home.

  10. Detached Structures: If you have a temporary structure like a shed or a detached garage, it may be covered in your policy, though the coverage might be limited.

 It's a good practice to review your policy thoroughly, as you might discover more surprising items and situations that are covered by your homeowners insurance.  

*Coverage is subject to the policy as written.