What You Think Is Covered by Home Insurance but Isn’t
Your home is probably the biggest investment you’ve ever made. You’ve spent time, energy and money customizing it to your needs, as well as making it a comfortable place for your family. You’ve even purchased home insurance to ensure that all your belongings are safe and secure. However, what you might not know is that your typical home insurance policy doesn’t cover everything. If an accident occurs or catastrophe strikes and you aren’t protected, your home and everything in it are at risk of being lost forever. To guard yourself and your possessions, you have to be knowledgeable about what’s covered and purchase additional insurance if needed. The following are a few possible events that are most likely not covered by your home insurance.
Your home is flooded
You don’t live near a body of water, and it doesn’t even rain that much in your area. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look into flood insurance anyway.
According to FloodSmart.gov, in the past five years, every one of the 50 states has experienced flooding or flash flooding, and everyone lives in a potential flood zone. Only a few inches of floodwater can result in tens of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Technically, half an inch of water in your home can be labeled as flooding. Aside from constructing blocks to keep out water, you should look into additional coverage as well.
An earthquake hits your town
So far this year, the United States has had nearly 22,000 earthquakes, with the worst one occurring in Anchor Point, Alaska and registering as a 7.1 on the Richter Scale. An earthquake of that magnitude has the power to move buildings from their foundations as well as form cracks in the earth.
Earthquakes don’t only occur in California or on the west coast. In fact, many states in the middle of the country, like Oklahoma and Kansas, are now experiencing them. States along the New Madrid Seismic Zone, including Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Arkansas, could be devastated if a megaquake strikes.
Earthquake coverage is not included in homeowner’s insurance. Even if you don’t live on or near a fault, it may be wise to invest in this coverage, since earthquakes can affect areas thousands of miles away from where they hit.
You get into an accident with your recreational motorized vehicle
Do you own a hoverboard, dirt bike or motorized scooter? Maybe your child drives around a toy vehicle powered by electricity.
If you or anyone in your family gets into an accident off your property while driving one of these vehicles, you won’t be protected by insurance. However, non-motorized modes of transportation, such as bicycles and skateboards are usually covered by your insurance.
A tree falls on your property
Let’s say there’s a huge thunderstorm or hurricane that impacts your town. One of your trees is uprooted, and it falls on your house. Your insurance would cover any damage caused by that. If that same tree falls and it doesn’t result in any damage to your property, however, you’re 100 percent responsible for cleaning it up and hauling it off.
Since hurricanes are growing in intensity and resulting in more damage, it may be a good idea to look into coverage that will haul away a fallen tree no matter what. You’ll save yourself the headache of dealing with this scenario if you do.
You have thousands of dollars worth of belongings stolen
Every 18 seconds, another burglary happens in the United States. That amounts to almost 200 per hour and about 4,800 every single day. Burglars usually go to the master bedroom first, where they steal cash, weapons, and jewelry.
A homeowner’s insurance provider will only cover up to $1,500 worth of stolen jewelry, which also includes furs. There’s also a $2,500 limit on the theft of guns and gun equipment. If thieves get into your kitchen and steal your fine silverware, you’ll be protected only up to $2,500. If you own a lot of woodworking tools, $2,500 is the most you’d get if they were stolen. Business personal property would not be covered, but hobby-only equipment would be. Maybe you’re an avid collector of gold and silver coins as well as precious metals. When thieves take those items, you’re covered only up to $200.
If you own many precious family jewels and silverware, business property, guns or collect coins, research how much your insurance will provide in reimbursement should you get robbed. You’ll also want to invest in a solid security system and safe to further protect yourself.
Animals cause damage in your home
Your attic, basement, and crawlspace have some openings, and critters like rats and raccoons may have gotten into your house on a previous occasion. You’ve also heard of people finding beehives in their walls and experiencing damage from a termite infestation.
Depending on the type of harm that animals and insects bring upon your home, you may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Along with sealing up any openings and finding a reliable exterminator, you should see what kind of coverage is provided by your insurance for these events. This is especially important if you’ve gone through this before and/or you live in an area with a lot of rats, mice and insects.
Electrical injury happens to your property
Some things are just out of your control, like your power grid experiencing an electrical surge. Let’s say it happens while your television, computers, tablet and phone are all plugged into the wall. If your electronics are damaged because of this, they’re not going to be covered by your insurance. The only scenario that might result in reimbursement would be if lightning strikes your power grid.
Before buying a homeowner’s insurance policy, carefully read it and assess your personalized needs. General coverage may not be enough for you, and you want to ensure that under any circumstances, your home will be protected.
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