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My Homeowners Policy Covers THAT?

My Homeowners Policy Covers THAT?

From break-ins and fires to slips-and-falls and dog bites, you probably think you have a pretty good idea of everything that your homeowners insurance policy covers.  You might be (pleasantly) surprised to find that the policy covers more than just the run-of-the-mill accidents.

Please note that these are examples of coverage that may be available under your policy. Read your policy or talk with your broker to verify coverage.

Gravestones

You may not have purchased the gravestone, and it doesn’t have to be on your property. If you are the primary caretaker of a headstone and it is damaged or vandalized on your property or at a cemetery, your policy may consider it personal property and offer coverage to replace it. There is usually a sub limit on this coverage, so check with your broker.

Dorm Burglary

College age children living in dorms away from home may have coverage for their personal belongings under their parents homeowners policy for theft and other covered causes of loss. This coverage is usually a percentage of the homeowners property coverage, and may have age limit restrictions for the student.

Falling Objects

Occasionally you hear about strange objects falling from the sky and crashing into people’s homes. These have included large chunks of ice and even plane tires. Falling objects are a covered peril no matter where it came from or what it is.

Spoiled Food

If your refrigerator or freezer loses power due to a covered cause of loss, your insurance policy will pay for those spoiled steaks and rotten milk. Coverage for groceries is usually subject to a limit of $500 (or less). If your refrigerator or freezer is old or in disrepair and causes the spoilage, this is not covered.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

Unlike other items mentioned in this article, there is no specific line item or sub limit for coverage of STDs. Should the infected party choose to sue, the homeowner may receive legal protection under the coverage for negligent acts. However, some policies may specifically exclude this coverage, so check with your broker.

Clean-Up

Should someone in your home fall victim to murder, suicide or unattended death, there will most likely be cleanup involved after the fact. This is another coverage that is not guaranteed to be on your policy, so check with your broker if you think this might be a future concern.

A Few Things Your Policy Won’t Cover

Now that you know some of the bells and whistles offered by your homeowners policy, beware of the things that it won’t cover:

  • Wear and tear. Over time personal property and home features wear out or become susceptible to damage. This damage is not covered.
  • Flood is excluded under every homeowners policy. Coverage may only be obtained under a policy with National Flood Insurance Program or through a private flood insurance carrier.
  • Earthquake coverage is also excluded under homeowners insurance policies. This coverage must be purchased as an endorsement or under a difference in conditions or earthquake policy.

Most homeowners insurance policies can be customized to cover a wide variety of perils. Talk to your broker about your needs and to find out what special coverage may be available.

Galen Hayes is president of El Sobrante, California-based Hayes Insurance, a full-service commercial insurance brokerage and risk management firm. Email him at ghayes@hayesbrokers.comOpinions expressed in this article are his own.

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