The hidden dozen homeowners coverages
Note: Double check your specific policy to see if these coverages do apply.
1. Spoiled food
The storm knocked your power out. And you just got that subscription to Expensive Cut of Steak of the Month! If your fridge or freezer stops working due to a power outage and that power outage occurs due to a covered reason (say a hurricane takes down your power lines), your homeowners insurance might cover the cost of that spoiled food.
You think of home insurance as covering your home and things on your property, but it can extend to your personal property elsewhere. If you purchased a cemetery plot for a loved one, that gravestone is considered your personal property, so it’s often covered even if it’s not located on your property. If it’s damaged or destroyed for a covered reason such as vandalism or storm damage, you could file a claim.
3. Dorm theft
Again look at things your home insurance might cover even if they’re not in your home. If you’ve got kids in college, their stuff might be covered under your homeowners insurance if it’s stolen from their dorm room. Keep in mind that this only extends if your children are considered among the insured on the policy. If not, they may want to consider renters insurance to cover their belongings.
4. Volcanic eruptions
The United States is home to 169 volcanoes considered to be active, which is more than any other country in the world. Not exactly a daily worry for most of us, but if a volcano were to erupt, your home would typically be covered against the damage.
5. Falling objects
Another peril we don’t think too much about is things falling from the sky and landing on our home. This could include planes, meteors, electricity poles, satellites, space debris, etc. The chances of this happening are small…but not zero, so it’s nice to know If something falls from the sky and damages your home, you're usually covered.
6. Dog bites
Your corgi Massimo is always sweet to you, but when he bites a friend, neighbor or unsuspecting delivery person, you could be looking at some expensive medical bills. Your home insurance may come in handy. Most policies cover personal liability if your dog bites someone, though there might be restrictions on breeds or if there is a history of aggression.
7. Identity theft
Identity theft coverage is sometimes included in standard home policies, but is more often offered as a rider or endorsement. Some policies include services to help you restore your credit and manage the fallout if someone steals your identity. Some may even offer some reimbursement for stolen funds.
8. Uninhabitable home
As the result of a house fire, your home is unsafe to live in until it can be repaired. If you can’t live in your home because of a covered peril, your insurance might pay for a hotel or temporary housing.
9. Damage from civil unrest
Should things get raucous outside, damage to your house from riots or other civil commotion is typically covered.
10. Trees and shrubs
We tend to think of our home as just the physical structures, but trees and landscaping can be expensive to remove and replace. Your outside greenery might be covered for damage due to risks like vandalism or certain natural disasters. Your homeowners insurance is most likely to cover the removal of a tree if it fell on your house or other structure or is blocking a driveway or other entrance to the property.
11. Libel or slander
You shouldn’t slander anyone…but let’s say you do and they sue you. Your homeowners insurance could protect you against legal actions taken against you for things like libel or slander.
12. Gazebo damage
Detached structures like your gazebo or shed are often covered for the same types of risks as your main house.