Homeowners insurance is a remarkably broad insurance policy that provides coverage for structures, contents, loss of use, and personal liability. Most policyholders understand that loss such as fire, wind, and water damage are typically covered. But, that is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to claims that are potentially covered. Here are some claims covered by home insurance that might surprise you.
- Falling frozen waste. From the disgusting file is the story of a homeowner in Long Island NY that woke to a loud crashing sound from the roof of their home. They discovered a hole the size of a basketball and a brown, wet stain inside the damaged attic. The likely culprit is “blue ice” which is formed when an airplane toilet leaks at high-altitude. Yeh, it’s gross and likely covered by your home insurance as a “falling object”.
- Slander or libel. Believe or not your homeowner insurance might provide coverage for slanderous, disparaging, or libelous comments. An optional provision in the liability portion of many home insurance policies includes coverage for “personal injury”. Be aware that coverage does not apply to intentional acts, meaning the insured was aware the statements are false or knew it would inflict personal injury on another.
- Theft from a dorm room. Most home insurance policies provide some coverage for theft of property belonging to a student that is living away from home, such as a dorm room. The student must be an “insured” as defined in the policy. There may be a limit to how much coverage applies off-premise, such as 10% of the total personal property coverage.
- Animal bites. Injuries caused by animals, such as dog bites, are one of the most common causes of home insurance liability claims. These are not inexpensive claims to settle, costing an average of $32,000 per incident in medical bills and settlement costs. The total cost of bite claims annually is over $530,000,000!
- Terrorism. We sincerely hope none of us have a need to claim damage caused by terrorism, but home insurance will generally coverage the loss. While home insurance excludes coverage for an act of war, terrorism claims are generally looked at differently.
As a disclaimer, the coverage offered by home insurance providers does vary and not all policies are created equal. You should carefully read your policy to understand the coverage, conditions, and exclusions.