Insurance is something every homeowner needs to buy, but have you ever actually read what your policy covers? If you’re lucky, you never have to get into the nitty-gritty about the details of your homeowner’s insurance, but some unfortunately learn too late that they don’t have the level of coverage they thought they did. Home insurance coverage varies from provider and even policy to policy.
You have to choose which types of coverage matter most to you and not assume that the default insurance you were offered has everything you need. Below are a few things you may not expect to see on your policy; knowing them can help you figure out how to choose the right amount of home insurance coverage. By assessing your needs vs. realistic risks, you’ll be able to build a policy that’s perfect for your family and budget.
One form of optional coverage on many home insurance policies covers damages incurred by identity theft. Fraudulent charges made by someone else under your name can take years to correct and thousands of dollars to recover from. People have had their entire lives turned upside down by someone stealing their identity; if you don’t have this coverage on your policy already, it’s a great idea to add it ASAP. This add-on can pay for legal expenses, notary fees and other expenses associated with recovering your identity and absolving false charges.
Did you know that if your dog bites someone on your property, you may be covered by insurance? Legal fees can be extensive for someone who has been sued after their dog bit someone. Most home insurance policies include personal liability coverage, so you can have greater peace of mind in the event your pet injures another person, accidentally or not. You should note that some types of pets are excluded from coverage, including certain breeds of dog and exotic pets like snakes and lizards. If this type of coverage is important to you, ask your provider to walk you through all the details.
Lightning strikes are rare, but they can cause fires or structural damage by fracturing stone, bricks and concrete. Chimneys and roofs can be damaged, which can lead to leaks and water damage as well. Your insurance policy should cover weather-related damages, and if it doesn’t, these are some of the most fundamental worth adding.
In the extremely off chance someone drives a car through your house, your insurance should cover the cost of damages and repairs. Even if the damage doesn’t destroy the exterior walls, any type of property damage caused by a car could be covered under a standard policy.
Hotel Costs After Damages
Living expenses for homeowners who are displaced due to qualifying damages may be able receive reimbursement from their providers. This is generally explained under “loss of use” coverage in your policy; you should be able to receive money for rental costs or hotel accommodations, laundry services and similar costs until your home is repaired and livable again.