10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know Home Insurance Covers
Most people understand that their homeowners insurance will pay if a tree lands on the roof or the garage goes up in flames. However, many policies cover a number of other losses that you may not expect.
Of course, it goes without saying that every insurer is different, and you should check your policy to determine what coverage you have specifically. When you do, you may find you have coverage for the following things.
1. Terrorist attack
As long as the U.S. isn’t at war, your insurance company should pay for any damages caused by a terrorist attack.
Most insurers specifically exclude acts of war, but an isolated event that results in fire, smoke or other damage to your property should be covered under your policy’s standard provisions.
2. Dorm room contents
When your son or daughter moves to college, your home insurance may protect their possessions as well. But that’s only if they live in a dorm, as we detail in “3 Types of Insurance Every College Student Needs.”
3. Your lawn and landscaping
If someone drives over your yard and tears up the grass, your insurer may pay to fix the damage, says Mike Crowe, founder and CEO of Clearsurance, an insurance review and ratings website.
That’s because trees, plants and shrubs are generally covered by standard homeowner insurance policies. The Insurance Information Institute says plants are generally covered up to $500 per item as long as they are not diseased and have been properly maintained.
4. Marijuana plants
Surprise. Marijuana plants may also be covered by your insurance policy.
Depending on the insurance company and the state law, marijuana plants may be treated the same as shrubs and other plants, Crowe says.
5. Stolen goods
Speaking of personal possessions, if you have belongings stolen far from home — anywhere — a standard homeowners policy should cover the loss.
“People assume if something is stolen from their car, it’s covered by car insurance,” Crowe says. “It’s not.”
Instead, it’s a home insurance policy that will pay.
6. Falling objects
A Michigan couple were surprised to find a Samsung satellite had landed in their yard this past October. While it didn’t cause any damage, if it had hit their house, their insurer likely would have picked up the tab for any repairs.
The Insurance Information Institute says falling objects — from satellites to asteroids — are covered under most standard homeowners policies.
Speaking of falling objects, your homeowners policy could come to the rescue if your drone drops from the sky and hits someone.
The liability portion of your plan may provide coverage if you injure someone or are sued for inadvertently invading another’s privacy, the Insurance Information Institute says.
However, don’t plan on your home insurance paying if you are purposely trying to peep on people.
8. Items in storage
You might assume your home insurance only covers the items in your house. However, standard policies typically cover your personal belongings, including things that are kept offsite, such as in a storage locker or unit.
Some companies limit coverage for items in storage to 10% of your personal belongings coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
9. Spoiled food
If your power goes out and all the food in your freezer goes bad, you may be in luck.
Insurance companies may replace food that spoils as the result of a covered peril, Allstate notes. That means that if a tree takes out a power line, you may be able to file a claim for rotten food. But if the electricity gets turned off for nonpayment, you won’t see a dime.
10. Unauthorized credit card purchases
Given that many credit cards offer cardholders zero liability for fraud, your homeowners insurance coverage for unauthorized purchases may not be necessary. Still, it’s nice to know your insurer will pay up to $500 to cover unauthorized credit card charges, according to the Insurance Information Institute.