10 Surprising Things Homeowners Insurance Covers

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Have you read your insurance policy lately?

Here are 10 surprising things that homeowners insurance covers.


If you’re like most people, you probably bought insurance in the hopes that it would pay to repair damage to your home. And for the most part, you’d be right.

While every policy differs, the main purpose of insurance is to cover damage to the physical structure of your home. (Remember, this does not include regular wear and tear!) However, there are a bunch of other things that your standard homeowners insurance covers—things you probably don’t know about.

At Harry Levine Insurance, we believe in keeping our clients educated about their insurance needs so they can make informed decisions about their coverage. In this article, we’ll talk about 10 surprising things that homeowners insurance covers.


1. Detached Buildings

There are many different types of homeowners insurance coverage bundled up into your policy, labeled from A-F. You’re probably most familiar with Coverage A  (also known as Dwelling Coverage), which protects the physical structure of your home. But a lesser known coverage—Coverage B—provides protection for detached structures on your property, such as sheds or a pool house.

2. Personal Property

Disasters like water damage and theft don’t just pose a danger to your walls and roof. Anything inside your home is at risk too.

That’s where Coverage C – Personal Property Coverage comes in.

If your personal belongings (such as clothing, jewelry, electronics, etc.) are lost, stolen, or damaged as a result of a covered loss in your policy, you could be reimbursed up to your policy limit.


3. Theft Outside the Home

It’s true!

Off premises coverage may be offered as part of your standard home insurance policy or as an endorsement, and covers theft of personal belongings outside of your home.

It’s worth noting that off premises coverage is typically around 10% of your personal property coverage limit, so if you have $100,000 of personal property coverage, this would translate to $10,000 for off premise coverage.

4. Food Loss

It’s a common concern during hurricane season—the power has been out for days and all your food has spoiled.

But if you have Food Loss coverage, you won’t have to worry!

While this isn’t included on most standard home insurance policies, it is often available as additional coverage. (Especially helpful if you like to keep your freezer stocked!)


5. Loss Of Use

If a major disaster leaves your home unlivable, your expenses often go far beyond the cost to rebuild your home. Hotel bills, additional food costs, laundry services…all those bills can add up fast.

Did you know that your home insurance policy includes coverage for this? Coverage D – Loss of Use is designed to cover those additional living expenses in the event that you can no longer live in your home due to damage from a covered loss. Things like hotel rooms, restaurant bills, and laundry/dry-cleaning bills (that mirror your lifestyle at home) are a few of the focuses of this coverage.


6. Libel & Slander Lawsuits

We live in a very litigious society nowadays—there’s no telling when you (or your children) will be held accountable in court for something you said online.

Although not included in your Personal Liability Coverage (Coverage E), insurance against allegations of slander and libel is available as a rider or endorsement and generally covers the legal fees needed to defend yourself in court. The extra coverage is known as Personal & Advertising Injury.  A technical mouthful but a very important option in today’s world!

7. Dog Bites

Any time you let someone into your home—whether it be a stranger, family member, or friend—you run the risk of an accident. And the risks are only compounded when you have a dog.

We all like to think of our furry friends as “good boys and girls” who would never harm a soul, but any dog will defend itself if it feels threatened enough.

In most cases, Coverage F (Medical Payments) on your homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for dog bites, but you can purchase pet liability insurance for medical bills related to a dog bite. Review your homeowner insurance to make sure Animal Liability is included, and check for a sub-limit too. Your Personal Liability coverage may be something like $100,000, $300,000 or $500,000, but your Animal Liability may only be as little $25,000.


8. Fire Department Bills

Most people are unaware that some fire departments will send a bill for their services—either to you or directly to the insurance company.

In most cases, the cost is minimal, as fire departments are typically funded by taxpayers. However, it may come as a small relief if you have to file a claim.

9. Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse

Here in Florida, sinkholes are a way of life. But any damage to your home caused by a catastrophic ground cover collapse may be covered by your home insurance policy.

Insurance carriers make a distinction between sinkholes and “catastrophic ground cover collapse”, so certain requirements must be met in order for you to be covered.


10. Riot or Civil Commotion

While most of us don’t live in fear that a riot or civil unrest will force us out of our homes, it is generally covered under most standard homeowners insurance policies.

“Riot or civil commotion” is even included in the 10 perils covered in an HO1 policy, which is the most basic type of home insurance policy available.


Things Homeowners Insurance Does NOT Cover

While you can find a homeowners insurance policy to protect against a wide range of risks, there are certain hazards that require a separate policy.

The first is flood insurance, which must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) if you want coverage against flood damage (which is not the same as water damage).

Another thing that home insurance doesn’t cover? Injuries to members of your own household.

Personal Liability coverage and Medical Payments are only designed to cover injuries to third parties who visit your home. Any injuries sustained by your household will need to be covered by health insurance.


Do You Have Enough Coverage?

This is not an exhaustive list of everything that insurance does (or can) cover. In fact, there are plenty of seemingly crazy insurance policies out there for just about anything you can think of!

But you won’t be adequately protected without the right coverage.

At Harry Levine Insurance, we believe that everyone deserves to be protected against the risks that threaten them the most. That’s why we take the time to discuss your needs, risk tolerance, lifestyle, and more.

By learning more about you and your family, we can help build a network of coverage that addresses as many of your concerns as possible.

Call today for a free quote.

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