Seven surprising (and practical) things covered by home insurance
You are probably currently researching home insurance in advance of a big purchase, like a new or second home. As a result, you may have seen an article or two discussing surprising and unlikely events covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy. For instance, meteor strikes, or cattle stampedes (and no, we are not making this up). Fun trivia to share with your friends, but you are here to learn more about homeowners insurance, and find the right plan. So, it's good to know there are also some more, common occurrences that are also covered. Ones that may surprise you.
- Student property – The first thing to know is that, just because it's home insurance, doesn't mean an event has to occur at home to be covered. A good example of this is when a student is off at college. They may be away from home, that doesn't mean they are away from your home policy. In the event their possessions get stolen, your home policy can provide some coverage for this.
- Accidents – outside of your home – Another good example is personal liability coverage. Most homeowners policies come with a degree of this coverage, and a covered event doesn't have to take place on your property.
- Dog bites – Again, it doesn't matter where. If you own a dog, your home policy could provide a level of protection against expenses related to your dog's bites. Which is good, because otherwise, these incidents can take a big bite out of your bank account. Keep in mind, though, that if a lawsuit arises due to a dog bite (or an accident, as mentioned above), costs may exceed the level of liability coverage provided in your home policy. That's where an umbrella policy can provide additional – and affordable – peace of mind.
- Living expenses – Let's say a major accident has rendered your home temporarily uninhabitable. You may start making a mental list of friends or relatives who have couch space available. But, with "loss of use" coverage, your home policy can cover you for reasonable expenses related to a temporary living arrangement while your home undergoes repairs. This includes rent or hotel costs, food and transportation.
- Food – If you've ever experienced a power outage, you probably remember what a bad feeling it was to throw away all of the food from your refrigerator. But, many carriers, including The Hanover, offer optional coverage for refrigerated contents in the event of a power outage. So, at least you won't have to "eat the cost" of what you've lost.
- Identity theft – Home insurance often provides options against many forms of theft, and that includes your personal information. In the event your life has been hacked, your home policy could help cover costs related to restoration, document replacement, and legal expenses. In fact, The Hanover partners with CyberScout to help identity theft victims recover in the event of an incident, and provides resources to minimize the chances of a future hack.
- Building code upgrades – If you live in an older home, you may be familiar with the complications that can arise when you undergo repairs. In the event of a claim, your home policy can make this a little easier. Sometimes called "ordinance or law" coverage, you could be covered if, after a claim, you are required to make additional upgrades to bring your building up to current code.
No surprise here
Your local independent insurance agent is the best source to turn to for more information on the right homeowners policy for you. Talk to your agent today, or find one in your area.
Source: Christian Science Monitor
LC AUG 2018-360
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