You are probably aware that homeowners insurance protects you in a variety of ways, including helping to rebuild your house after a fire, replacing priceless items after a break-in, and paying legal fees if someone is injured on your property. What, however, does homeowner’s insurance not cover?
Don’t assume your insurance will pay out in the event of every accident or calamity. It’s critical to have the facts straight in order to prevent future problems.
Let’s start by going through the fundamental things that homeowners insurance does cover.
Basically, there are six categories:
- Your home’s structure is safeguarded by dwelling coverage from “open risks.”
- Other structures provide protection from ‘open hazards’ for items like your driveway, fence, or tool shed.
- Your belongings, such as your motorcycles, stereos, and furnishings, are considered personal property.
- If your home becomes uninhabitable due to a specific risk like a fire, windstorm, etc., Loss of Use coverage helps with additional living expenses (like hotel bills).
- If you cause bodily harm or property damage to other people (or their possessions) as a result of your own conduct, whether at home or elsewhere, liability coverage or personal liability insurance can help.
- Medical payments to aid with medical costs associated with visitors getting hurt at your house, usually around $5,000.
Although there is a lot of coverage, there are still some situations in which it is useless.
What home insurance does not cover includes the following:
One of the most frequent natural disasters in the United States is flooding. But a typical homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding brought on by natural disasters.
Why? Because flooding occurs frequently and often results in significant damage, most house insurers are unable to offer coverage for it. Many insurers are unable to take this risk.
Nevertheless, you can safeguard yourself by getting a separate flood insurance policy (in some cases, you’ll be forced to do so by law).
Another frequent, destructive natural disaster that occurs frequently in the United States is earthquakes, particularly in the states of California and Oklahoma.
You are not covered by homeowner insurance coverage for earthquake damage. You’ll probably need to get an additional earthquake coverage in addition to your standard homeowners insurance policy if you reside in a high-risk area.
In addition, you’ll need to buy extra coverage for sinkholes and landslides!
As a side note, homes insurance policies may provide coverage for some earthquake related damages, such as those brought on by fire, explosions, or theft.
Your business’s data loss, income loss, or liability for injuries and property damage are not covered by your homeowners insurance.
Your homes insurance may provide coverage for up to $2,500 worth of equipment and supplies for your business that are kept in your home, or up to $1,500 if the loss occurs off-site (like having your laptop snatched at Starbucks).
If you really are operating a home-based business, you should make sure you are protected by researching business insurance, such as a Business Owners Policy (BOP) for small enterprises.
Bed bugs, indeed—the stuff of revolting, itching nightmares.
If these intruders have affected you, you are not alone. Bed bugs are the most difficult insect to get rid of, according to 68 percent of pest-control specialists, who claim to have treated infestations in the past year.
The duration and cost of treatments can vary greatly. Additionally, homes insurance won’t pay for them. Why? For better or worse, it is believed that bed bugs can be avoided. You can prevent bed bugs from infecting you by reading our helpful explanation—don’t worry, there aren’t any revolting images of real insects!—and being cautious when you go to places like hotels or theaters.
Damage from lack of maintenance, neglect, or wear-and-tear
There is a lot to keep track of, from heating and cooling systems to home plumbing. However, a clean, well-maintained home is less likely to experience ongoing issues.
You won’t be covered for bed bugs or some instances of burst water pipes for the same reason. Even while certain problems are unavoidable, you may lessen your chances by following your basic house maintenance routine.
Purchase Buried Utility (BU) coverage, an endorsement for homeowners insurance that covers underground utility lines, if you want to give your house a little extra security. For damage from a leak, rip, break, or collapse brought on by a mechanical failure, artificially generated electric current, wear and tear, freezing, weight of humans, animals, or equipment, BU offers coverage up to $10,000.
Before renting out your house, be sure your homeowners insurance is up to date. The majority of policies exclude house sharing.
This means that if a fire breaks out while a paying visitor is present in your house, your homes insurance won’t cover their personal belongings. And if your short-term tenant steals your belongings, you won’t be covered. (However, you should check out Airbnb and other comparable firms’ own insurance coverage.)
You might be covered by some homeowner’s insurance policies for a one-time occurrence. However, if you intend to sublease or rent your property—whether it be a single room or the entire property—you must have landlord insurance (or business insurance, if you intend to utilize Airbnb as a primary source of revenue).
In any case, not all policies are created equal, so ask your insurance provider what you are and aren’t protected against.
Extremely high-value items
If your possessions are lost or damaged as a result of theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, or more than a dozen other awful occurrences (referred to as “specified perils” in insurance lingo), your homes policy may be able to assist you get compensated. Therefore, your policy can assist in making a new purchase if your ring is stolen at the gym or your collection of earrings is destroyed in a fire.
However, extremely pricey jewelry, such as an engagement ring or a diamond brooch, is probably not going to be covered by your typical coverage. That’s because more expensive products are more likely to be stolen.
Most standard insurance coverage will pay up to $1,500 for jewelry. In the language of insurance, if your necklace or bracelet is worth more than that, you’ll need to buy a “scheduled personal property endorsement.” We just refer to it as Extra Coverage because that only sounds more fun
Jewelry and other valuables like bicycles, cameras, fine art, and musical instruments are covered by Lemonade’s Extra Coverage.
Extra Coverage has some advantages, such as:
Insurance against unintentional loss (also known as strange disappearance, such as when you return from a weekend trip without your wedding band and are unsure of what happened to it).
Protection from any unintentional physical harm (your bike got smashed up)
For any property that Extra Coverage is applied to, there is no deductible.
If in doubt…
Some people believe that their homeowners insurance will protect them in any situation, but this belief will ultimately be expensive.
Never assume your insurance will cover all improbable, bad, or extreme events that can occur in a given day. Understand the limits and exclusions of your coverage in addition to paying special attention to what it covers.
It’s preferable to be cautious than sorry if you’re unclear about what your homeowners coverage covers. Simply ask!
You can always get in touch with our dedicated staff of (truly human, genuinely polite) customer support professionals if you’re smart enough to have joined up with Lemonade.
In which states is homeowner’s insurance currently available?
Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.