Homeowners' Insurance: What Does It Cover?

by Marisa Disano 02/16/2020

Photo by Feng Yu via Shutterstock

Few things are more mysterious than insurance. When you think you know what's covered, you find out the hard way that it wasn't. Since your home is likely your greatest asset, you want to know what it includes and what it doesn't before you need to make a claim. Whether you're “in good hands” or in the hands of a small company mascot, you need to be fully aware of where your coverage stands.

Few people actually make a claim on their insurance outside of catastrophic coverages. Here are some basics on homeowner’s insurance coverage:

  • Damage from fire and smoke
  • Wind or hail damage
  • Personal property theft
  • Damage from vandals
  • Ice and snow damage including water damage or a collapsed roof
  • Damage from internal water sources (washer, dishwasher, broken pipe) but not from external flooding caused by rising rivers, seepage or groundwater.
  • Losses caused by others during a civil disturbance such as a protest or riot
  • Explosions caused by gas appliances or other combustible materials
  • Damage from vehicles or aircrafts

Policies set limits on coverages for damage to landscaping, fencing, pools, garden sheds, workshops and barns. Most policies cover contents up to a dollar limit as well but allow you to add extra for jewelry, firearms, artwork, antiques and the like.

Often, your policy has a provision for temporary living expenses if your home is rendered unlivable by a covered event. Also, most policies include liability if a family member, guest or even a delivery person is injured on your property or bitten by a pet. However, providers reserve the right to exclude specific breeds of dogs, so check with your provider to make sure you’re covered.

Items typically not covered include natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods. When your home is in one of these areas, often a particular rider or separate policy is required for coverage. Other items usually excluded include sinkholes, mudslides or damage due to an act of war. Most often, accidents caused by a nuclear event — even a nuclear power plant — do not have coverage.

Before signing for coverage on the dotted line, make sure your insurance agent thoroughly explains your coverage and exclusions so that you're not surprised if calamity hits. 

About the Author
Author

Marisa Disano

 

 
Marisa DiSano exercises integrity, hard work, and thoughtfulness in every aspect of your Real Estate transaction. Marisa grew up in Petaluma, CA and spent the first ten years of her career doing Marketing and Communications in the High-Tech Electronics Industry. When the economy turned, she moved to Solano County to help manage the family Real Estate business that had just opened in 2008. She quickly obtained her Brokers license and was able to utilize her skills with negotiation, marketing, and client relationships to help many clients buy and sell their homes. Marisa and her husband were blessed with beautiful twin babies in December 2015 (just in time for taxes!) and though she stayed home for a year to take care of her children, she was actively selling Real Estate in every minute of her spare time. Her passion for Real Estate and helping her clients with their monumental decision to buy or sell homes shows in every transaction, as her clients often become her close friends and sometimes, best friends!
 
She strives to turn an often stressful process into a cohesive and exciting time in her client's lives. In her spare time, Marisa loves hiking, playing with her dogs, and introducing her twins to new adventures.