Posted in: Homeowner tips

Eight surprising things covered under your homeowners insurance policy

Surprising things covered under your homeowners insurance policy

Key insights

  • From damaged food to hurt house guests, typical insurance policies offer coverage to protect your home.
  • Although a hodgepodge of items are covered under most insurance policies, flood damage generally isn’t. Prepare in advance if you live in a flood zone.
  • If you’re unsure about your coverage, reach out to your insurance company. They will fill you in on the specifics of your individual plan.

Many people assume their homeowners insurance policy is only for major damage to the structure of their property, but these plans also cover a lot of day-to-day damages.

Here are insights you can use to understand the unique coverages found under most homeowners insurance policies. When in doubt, always reach out to your insurance company for an exact overview of coverage and specifics for your plan.

1. Loss in a college dormitory

If your child is living in an on-campus dorm, their belongings could be covered as “personal property coverage.” While you likely won’t waste a claim on a misplaced iPhone or stolen printer in the college dorms, this coverage would come in handy if the dorm’s sprinkler system damaged everything from the flat-screen TV to the brand-new futon.

However, if your child lives in an off-campus house or apartment, their belongings are not covered under most insurance plans. In this case, they should purchase a separate renter’s insurance policy to protect their abode.

2. Refrigerator re-stocking after a power outage

Many people don’t know what to do with their perishable food after a power outage and may try to salvage items that should be thrown out. If your home appliances shut off and your refrigerated food spoils after a storm, most policies will cover a portion of the damage.

Don’t play the guessing game with the food you consume. Toss out potentially dangerous items that were left unrefrigerated and, if your losses are significantly higher than your deductible, consider reporting your loss to your insurance company for possible reimbursement.

3. Housing needs after a storm

An unexpected storm can put a kink in plans and cause major damage to cars and homes. If the weight of snow causes roof damage or the cold creates a burst pipe, you should file a homeowners insurance claim right away.

Plus, if your home becomes uninhabitable after storm damage, your home insurance company will likely pay for your related hotel and restaurant bills, too.

4. Guest injuries

If your house guests slip on a well-waxed floor or slam their hand in your front door, your policy will likely cover their damage, so long as they choose to make a claim.

5. Buried utility lines

By endorsement, some insurance companies will cover buried utility lines such as sewer and gas lines that lead from the city main to your home. Should one of these lines burst and need repair, it can be claimed on your homeowners policy with the right endorsement. Not all companies offer this coverage and it needs to be added by endorsement so don’t assume it’s automatically included. The cost of that expense out of your pocket can easily reach $10,000 so it’s a worthwhile protection particularly on older homes.

6. Fire department charges

Many fire departments charge for emergency response calls. In fact, the Hopkins fire department charges up to $250 for a false alarm from a home security company, depending on the number of occurrences for your household. As you move into more rural areas, the costs may increase. In Troy, Wisconsin, for example, a house visit from the fire department is $800. Your homeowners policy may cover these charges, up to a certain amount.

7. Dog bites

If Fluffy goes rogue and her bites cause damage to a well-meaning visitor, your policy may cover the resulting medical bills and expenses. (You should also apologize profusely, and bring your pup to obedience classes.)

8. Flying objects (no, really)

This is rare, but should debris from a plane, satellite or other flying object cause any damage to your home, yard or car, then you are typically covered under your policy. We know the chance of this occurring is slim — but should it happen, you won’t be left picking up the literal pieces.

The fine print: No flood insurance

It’s important to remember that even though homeowners insurance covers a lot of the issues noted above, most policies do not cover flood damage. If you live or are thinking of moving to an area where flood damage is common due to excess rain or winter runoff, look into securing a flood insurance policy in addition to your regular homeowners insurance plan.

Deciding to file a claim

In almost all homeowner claims, your deductible will apply so be sure to carefully consider if the losses are large enough to report. Not all damages should always result in a homeowner claim. Making too many homeowner claims can put you at risk for cancellation with your current company and also harm your ability to be eligible for coverage in the future.

What’s covered under your plan?

Wondering about the specifics of your Edina Realty Homeowners Insurance plan? We offer comprehensive plans for your property and possessions. To learn more, reach out to Edina Realty or ask your agent for a referral to one of our qualified insurance professionals.

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