What Is And Isnt Covered By Homeowners Insurance
Properly understanding what is and isnt covered by homeowners insurance requires policyholders to ask a lot of questions and to read the fine print on their insurance contractbefore they purchase a policy. Although every homeowners insurance policy is different, there are some things that almost all insurance policies have in common.
Anything You Travel With
No matter how many times you’ve experienced it, whenever you lose your luggage or had something stolen it can make for a very bad trip.
It might seem like “All Is Lost” if your credit card company or the airport won’t cover the cost of your lost luggage or stolen property.
Well there’s no longer a reason to be worried, almost all homeowner’s insurance policies may cover what’s known as off-premises items.
These are the household times that you may lose while traveling.
Be sure to read your policy specifics to make sure there’s enough coverage for more expensive items if you plan to travel with them.
Home Sharing As A Renter
Youll also need to cover your insurance bases if youre a renter and subletting to someone else. First things first: You have to be sure that your landlord allows you to sublet. From there, you need to check with your renters insurance company to see if your coverage would apply to someone whos subletting.
If youre not planning to live in the rental while youre subletting, the sublessee would need his or her own renters insurance. Keep in mind that if the sublessee damages any of your personal belongings while youre away, your renters policy may not cover it.
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Does Home Insurance Cover Water Leaks
While sudden water damage is typically covered, insurance companies generally wont cover water leaks that appear gradually due to wear and tear, or are the result of poor maintenance.
In other words, if your roof is old and springs a slow leak, or if a pipe freezes and bursts because you didnt shut off your water supply when you were away over winter break, good luckyou could be on your own.
Its also important to know that your insurer will help cover the damage caused by water, but it probably wont help pay to repair or replace the of the damage. In other words, it wont be buying you a new dishwasher if your own appliance flooded your kitchen.
Avoid Dreaded Surprises: What Is Really Covered Under My Homeowner’s Policy
When you buy a home, your initial concern about your home insurance coverage is that it meets the requirements of your mortgage. For most people, that’s the last time they think about their coverage until they need to file a . Avoid dreaded surprises and take a closer look at your home insurance policy before problems arise.
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Levels Of Homeowners Insurance Coverage
Just about everytype of homeowners insurance policy provides the same basic coverages, but the amount youâre paid out or reimbursed for property damage or theft will vary depending on which level of coverage you have. While coverage availability varies by company and policy type, there are generally four different coverage levels in homeowners insurance:
Actual cash value:This is the cheapest level of coverage but it subtracts depreciation from your claim payout, leaving you paying more out of pocket on a claim if your home is damaged.
Replacement cost value:This is more expensive than actual cash value, but youâre reimbursed for the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home to its original condition before it was damaged.
Extended replacement cost:A more costly level of coverage than replacement cost, but it increases your coverage by a capped amount if your home is damaged and your policy limit isnât high enough.
Guaranteed replacement cost:The most expensive level of coverage, but it reimburses you for a full rebuild regardless of the cost.
Imagine your house is insured for $300,000. One day, a natural disaster destroys both your home and others in your community, and you discover it’ll cost $500,000 to rebuild due to the increased demand for labor and construction. Hereâs how much youâd be reimbursed on a claim for each policy level.
Losing Your House To A Hurricane
Luckily for me, living in Georgia, we don’t have much to worry about when Hurricane season starts.
We have received some of the aftermath in the form of strong wind, rain and sometimes hail.
I always wonder how people get through the real thing, it just seems so horrifying.
If your home doesn’t survive the ordeal then your homeowners insurance coverage will kick in.
It’s going to cover the loss of all things associated with the hurricane.
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Damage To The Interior Or Exterior Of Your House
In the event of damage due to fire, hurricanes, lightning, vandalism or other covered disasters, your insurer will compensate you so your house can be repaired or even completely rebuilt. Destruction or mutilation from floods, earthquakes, and poor home maintenance is generally not covered and you may require separate riders if you want that type of protection. Freestanding garages, sheds or other structures on the property may also need to be covered separately using the same guidelines as for the main house.
Clothing, furniture, appliances, and most of the other contents of your home are covered if they’re destroyed in an insured disaster. You can even get “off-premises” coverage, so you could file a claim for lost jewelry, say, no matter where in the world you lost it. There may be a limit on the amount your insurer will reimburse you, however. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most insurance companies will provide coverage for 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home. For example, if your house is insured for $200,000, there would be up to about $140,000 worth of coverage for your possessions.
If you own a lot of high-priced possessions , you might want to pay extra to put them on an itemized schedule, purchase a rider to cover them, or even buy a separate policy.
Typical Homeowner Insurance Forms
An insurance form is another name for an insurance policy, and it sets forth your coverage and identifies which perils your home and belongings are insured against.
The following are descriptions of the various insurance forms available for homeowners, renters, and condominium owners. Not all insurers use these exact terms or form numbers to describe their home insurance forms however the coverage will be similar.
Homeowner Insurance: Most of the standard homeowners insurance forms offered are HO-2 and HO-3. The more perils your policy covers, the more you will pay for your policy. Most companies have their own variations of these forms, so check with the individual company.
Mobile Home Insurance: There is a specific policy that is available for mobile homes since there are generally no attached structures. It is a package of insurance written specifically for mobile homes that includes coverage on the mobile home as well as theft and liability protection.
Renters Insurance: If you rent an apartment or a house, you still have an exposure to personal liability coverage and are responsible for insuring against damages to your personal belongings. Personal liability coverage protects renters the same as it would if you were a homeowner. The owner of the building is responsible for insuring the building and for obtaining business liability insurance.
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Weight Of Snow Damage
When we get snow down here in Atlanta, it always seems like we are going to war.Everything closes, even the highways become mass parking lots.People literally just get out of their cars and start walking.
After all the chaos is over and things have settled down, it really is a beautiful sight to see the snow everywhere.But what happens when that snow is so heavy that it completely causes your roof to collapse?Well, you better call your homeowners insurance company because they may cover it.And I can’t say this enough, read your policy to see exactly how it will work.
Does Home Insurance Cover Hurricanes
This also depends, since hurricanes inflict damage in one of two wayswind and water.
Damage from wind is typically covered, although your insurer may put in place a separate, higher deductible for wind damage caused by hurricanes.
Meanwhile, flooding caused by hurricanes is typically not covered by a standard homeowner insurance policy.
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Home Insurance Settlement Options
Your insurance company will review your claim and decide how it will settle your claim.
When you make a claim, you’re always responsible for paying the deductible. The amount of money you get from your insurance company will depend on your insurance benefits.
Remember that the amount of your deductible may reduce the amount you get from a claim.
What Is The Best Home Insurance Company
The best homeowners insurance company for you depends on your specific rating factors, like the age of your house, its location, your coverage needs, your budget and more. You might be able to find a company that fits your needs by obtaining quotes from several carriers. This could allow you to compare the coverage options so you can find the protections you are seeking.
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What Does A Home Warranty Cover
Your home is one of your most expensive and near and dear possessions, so you want to ensure that you get as much protection for it as you can. Obtaining a home warranty is a smart way to safeguard the belongings inside your home, so you do not have to pay more than you should for maintenance or replacements. Continue reading to learn about home warranties and what they cover.
Dog Bites Cat Bites Or Snake Bites
I assure you this isn’t the name of a Dr. Seuss book.
Pets can be very unpredictable at times and they can also be very predictable the other times.
Regardless of how your pet feels at a specific moment, if your dog, cat, or snake bites someone you will be covered.
Your liability coverage will kick in and cover any type of claim or suit filed against you for the bite.
If you have an exotic pet, like a pet skunk, you might want to reach out to your homeowners to confirm if that type of pet is covered.
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Does Home Insurance Cover The Roof
This depends on what caused the damage. If your roof gets pummeled by wind, hail, or a healthy tree falling, this is typically covered by home insurance.
Its a good thing, too, since approximately one in every 40 insured homeowners suffers wind and hail damage each year, with claims paying out $11,200 to fix the problem.
Yet once again, your policy wont help you out with normal roof aging and wear and tear. Youre responsible for maintaining your roof, which will need to be replaced around every 30 years .
If a tree falls on your roof because it was dead or rotted out, this could constitute neglect, and you could be on your own.
Personal Liability Coverage Limits
Personal liability coverage limits are essential, and you should set them carefully. Here are a few things you need to know about liability limits:
The majority of homeowner policies come with $100,000 in liability, but this is the low end of the coverage. If a serious fall or injury were to happen in your home, medical expenses would quickly eat up this amount of protection to say nothing of the cost of a lawsuit. Most experts recommend upping your limits to at least $300,000. The medical payments portion has its own limits as well. The amount of medical payment coverage you can purchase varies by the insurance company, but at least $5,000 is recommended.
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Besides Insurance What Else Can I Do To Protect My Collectibles
While having a sports memorabilia insurance policy is a great way to protect the value of your collection, there are other ways to keep them safe.
- Use protective cases: Sports cards, jerseys, and other items can get damaged simply by the passage of time. Protect them by using cases designed to keep them from fading, molding, and decaying.
- Install a security system: Home security systems are great for making thieves think twice before swiping your memorabilia collection. As an added bonus, you may be able to convince your insurance company to lower your premiums when you let them know you have a security system in place.
- Get a fire safe: Protecting your special items from fire is also a good idea. Many of us believe that if a fire happens we will be able to grab our most important and valuable possessions, but that is often not the case. Even if a fire is quickly managed, smoke damage alone can be catastrophic.
- Do not broadcast the fact that you have a valuable collection: This is especially important online. Far too many people forget that everything they post online is public and can be viewed by anyone, including thieves. Never share your home address or the details of your collection on public forums or social networking sites.
Does My Home Insurance Policy Cover Plumbing
Many people often ask, Does homeowners insurance cover leaks? or Does Homeowners insurance cover plumbing? The answer to both questions depends on the circumstances.
If the damage is from a burst pipe that happened suddenly in the middle of the night your home insurance provider likely will cover the cost of repairs.
Likewise, if the damage is caused by a frozen pipe, and you took every precaution possible to prevent it from happening by keeping your home warm, your provider will likely work with you.
Plumbing damage repairs and expenses are often covered with the following coverage options:
- Dwelling Coverage: Dwelling coverage will pay for any damage done to the overall structure of your home. So if a pipe bursts and the resulting water damages your walls, this type of coverage would pay for repairs up to your policy limit.
- Property Coverage: Any personal property in your home that is damaged by water will be replaced up to your policy limit with this type of coverage. For example, if a pipe bursts and damages your laptop, property coverage would pay for its replacement.
- Additional Living Expenses Coverage: If your home is damaged and must be extensively repaired, additional living expenses coverage would pay for the costs of lodging and meals while you are away from home .
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What Insurance Options Are There For Sports Memorabilia
Since standard homeowners insurance is not reliable when it comes to protecting your sports memorabilia, you need something extra. One option is to add additional coverage to your current homeowners policy. This saves you from the hassle of having to find another insurance company. You may be able to work up an extended policy with your agent easily.
On the other hand, it is nice to have a collectible policy that is specifically designed to protect the value of your one of a kind cards and jerseys. Specialty insurance companies offer policies that usually cover loss and damage by:
- Natural Disasters
Collectible insurance policies still do have some exclusions, so be sure to carefully review any policy you are offered before making an agreement.
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How Personal Liability Insurance Policies Work Together
Insurance policies work hand in hand and build upon each other. Your homeowners personal liability insurance, for example, can only provide a certain amount of coveragesay $300,000. And your umbrella policy is limited to the same amount. This means that if you’re sued in an incident covered by both policies and need more than $600,000 worth of coverages then it’s going to take both policies combined to fill the gap.
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Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage
Water damage is typically covered by a standard homeowner insurance policy, as long as it was sudden and accidentali.e., a pipe freezes, bursts, and floods your basement, or your hot water heater explodes.
Roughly one in every 50 insurance homeowners files a claim for water or ice damage every year. On average, insurance companies pay out $10,849 per claim. However, not all water issues are covered .
The Different Parts Of Your Home Insurance Policy
Homeowner insurance policies do differ in their actual structure, but usually contain basically the same components.
The parts of the policy are referred to in this way:
Insurers use a set of requirements, also known as underwriting guidelines, to make decisions about whether they will accept, modify, or reject the application of a prospective insured. When you complete an application, the producer or company may issue you an insurance binder, which is a statement that you have immediate protection but only for a specified period of time while the company decides whether or not to issue you a policy. At the end of the binder period, if the company formally accepts your application, you will be issued a policy, usually for one year. If you near the end of the binder period and you havent heard from the company, its best to contact your producer or company.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Dog Bites
Most of the time.
When dog bites are covered
Homeowners insurance covers you if your dog bites someone inside or outside your home. So if Fido bites his doggy BFF or your owner BFF youre covered.
Bonus: Homeowners insurance also has your back if you or your dog cause damage to other people or property.
When dog bites arent covered
There are three exceptions to dog bite coverage:
1. If Buddy bites someone covered under your policy 2. If he has a history of biting3. If your dog is categorized as high-risk
Dogs in this category include: Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Chows, Great Danes, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, and Wolf-hybrids.
Side note: At Lemonade, we dont discriminate against these types of breeds intentionally. But based on national insurance data, we must exclude certain breeds with a propensity for biting.