Every insurer is different and, therefore, their coverages will differ too. However, given the overall frequency of certain (possibly surprising) claims, many insurance policies will include one or more of those items on there. Here are a few examples:
- Mandatory home repairs
If your home or neighborhood is fairly old, as is the case with many of the houses in the State of Pennsylvania, the city may pass an ordinance to make structural repairs and upgrades to your housing area. These may include a new sidewalk in front of your home or bringing your building up to code. In this case, your homeowner’s insurance will likely cover the construction costs.
- Offsite damages
Did you know that personal items held in storage spaces that are not on the premises of your home, as well as any cemetery property like a headstone or burial vault, are often covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy? That includes reimbursement for losses caused by fire, lightning, theft, and vandalism. You might only be entitled to a small percentage in reimbursement of those expenses, but that can still be of big help if your losses are large.
- Pet-caused injuries
Pets are often great for protecting our properties, but what happens when they become a bit overzealous? Given that dog owners are held liable for their pets’ behavior in 29 US states (Pennsylvania being one of them, with almost 39% of all households owning a dog), injuries caused by your pet to an individual on your property are usually included in your homeowner’s insurance policy. The dollar value of such claims has increased by 163% over the past 17 years. So if your dog has a biting tendency, this policy item might be a good one to get familiar with.
- Hurricane winds damage
Nature will often leave its mark on your property in one way or other. However, natural disasters generally bring about irreparable damages. This is why it’s important to be covered for such incidents. Even though flood and earthquake coverages have to be purchased separately from your standard homeowner’s insurance, most standard policies will cover incidents like the collapse of your roof under heavy snow, as well as any property damages, were done by hurricane winds (not floods) or volcanic blasts. In the case of tornados and hurricanes, you may be required to pay a small deductible first, ranging from 1% to 5% of your home’s value, before your insurer will cover the remainder of your losses.
- Counterfeit money
Agreements, contracts, and monetary transactions are a large part of daily life. While they are supposed to build trust, our good-faith acceptance of the other person’s money or written word may not always be enough. Most insurers understand the prevalence of forged checks, forged signatures, and counterfeit money, and will thus offer a small reimbursement for expenses and losses incurred due to such cases. Counterfeit cash transactions are, however, limited to American and Canadian currencies only.
- Identity fraud consequences
While most major credit card companies have protection measures in place to safeguard you from identity loss and fraud, about 1 in 15 people still fall prey to such attempts. Some premium types of homeowners insurance will provide limited coverage of identity fraud expenses including lost wages, attorney fees, and replacement of government identification documents. If you have multiple credit/debit cards and online accounts, you should check if your insurance provider can cover this for you.
It is always a good idea to read your entire homeowner’s insurance policy and review it often, as your circumstances will likely change over the years. We’ve only scratched the surface here with some of the scenarios that can be covered. Some of them might be more apparent and logical than others. For example, coverage for the fire department’s fees to put off a fire at your house are a no-brainer. However, your insurance may even cover part of your child’s medical bills for injuries incurred on your property. So, the next time your children are playing on the trampoline, you could be studying all two dozen pages of your policy while keeping an eye on them.