Most people don’t look into everything their homeowner’s policy covers when purchasing insurance. Instead, the attention is focused on the premium, the deductible and the coverage limits. If your house catches on fire or a drunk driver decides to park their SUV in your living room, you’d expect it to be covered by your policy.
Besides the usual types of covered claims, there are several cases that seem unlikely but might also be covered. It’s pretty nice to know that you’re covered for some pretty odd situations.
1. Toppled Gravestone
Sadly, cemetery vandalism is much more common than most people realize. But the damage may be covered under your existing homeowner’s insurance policy. It’s important to be careful in placing blame. A lot of damage to grave markers is actually caused by heavy equipment operated by landscapers. Spray paint is one thing, but if you notice a cracked or chipped headstone, report it to the cemetery’s management.
Grave markers and other funerary items are generally considered “valuables” under most homeowner’s insurance policies. Most polices will limit coverage to somewhere between $1,000 and $5,000. If you want to make sure a family crypt is covered, you’ll want to talk to your agent about purchasing expanded coverage.
2. Animal Stampede
An animal stampede might seem extremely far-fetched for some people, but it's a probably a risk for more homeowners than you think. Imagine what a herd of deer might do to your landscaping and fencing.
Homeowners Insurance typically covers damage caused by animals that are considered wild. So if you live next to an alpaca farm and a few of them eat all of the flowers in your backyard, you’ll need to seek compensation from the farmer rather than your insurance company.
3. Dorm theft
According to the Insurance Information Institute, most personal possessions in an on-campus dorm room are covered under a parent’s homeowner’s insurance policy. Some policies limit dorm room coverage to ten percent of the policy’s total for personal property. Also, most insurance providers have an age limit, usually 25 or 26 for the student involved.
It’s important to know that a homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t provide coverage for students in off-campus housing. Separate renters insurance needs to be purchased to cover that student’s belongings.
4. Food Spoilage
The food in your fridge may not your first concern when a big storm’s wind or lightning knocks the power out, but getting it replaced is a nice perk in many home insurance policies. According to one expert, people often don’t report food spoilage because the limits (usually $500) are lower than the deductibles. So, why pay $500 to collect $500 in damages?
When the covered weather event that caused the blackout also causes damage to your home, it makes sense to include the spoiled food as part of a larger claim. So in addition to replacing windows or cleaning out a water damaged basement, you might as well replace those pizzas you had in the freezer too.
Nastiness between neighbors may start as unkind words hurled over the fence, but it can easily escalate into accusations and civil suits. If your client is accused of defamation or slander, some home insurance policies may cover their defense. Some policies may exclude coverage if a libel suit is related to business pursuits—that would be something covered by a business policy.
6. Falling objects
Here’s a scenario for you, You’re in your kitchen on a sunny Wednesday afternoon when you suddenly hear a loud crash. When you check the exterior of the house, you notice a large hole in the roof. You discover a moist, smelly mess in your attic. Since it was a nice day outside, the damage was definitely not related to weather. Eventually you discover the falling object that caused the damage was likely from a passing airplane.
The Federal Aviation Administration says these so-called “blue ice events” happen a few times every year, and should be reported to the FAA for investigation. Luckily, damage from blue ice (and other falling objects like meteorites) is usually covered under the “open perils” section of your homeowners policy.
Get started on a homeowner's insurance policy quote for yourself today because you can never know what’s coming your way so you might as well be prepared for it.
AZ Insurance Team
*All home insurance policies are a little different and this may not be applicable to your home insurance policy, talk to your agent to see what your home policy covers.