Unknown and rarely used benefits of home insurance
There’s value in lesser-known political perks.
- A person should never pay out of pocket for a loss before finding out if their home insurance covers it.
- In many circumstances, home insurance follows the policyholder, even when they are not at home.
- Home insurance policies sometimes cover things you might not expect, such as identity theft, damage from drones, and damage from frozen sewer lines.
It’s easy to think of insurance as a relatively new expense, but the earliest historical record comes from China, around 3000 BC. It seems people have always wanted the peace of mind that the blanket brings. What’s surprising about modern home insurance is how many things it covers – things we don’t often consider.
Unidentified falling object
If you want to tell your insurance company that an ET damaged your roof, you’ll probably need photographic evidence, but many other claims will likely be covered. For example, if a piece of satellite, a meteorite, ash from a volcanic eruption, or a lit bottle rocket damages your home, you have a legitimate claim.
Almost all home insurance policies exclude coverage for acts of war. However, you are likely covered if your home or property is damaged by an incident that meets the FBI’s definition of domestic terrorism.
For reference, here is the official FBI definition of domestic terrorism: “Violent and criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups for ideological purposes arising from national influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial or environmental.”
Theft away from home
Let’s say you’re on vacation and your expensive laptop, jewelry, or luggage is stolen. Your home insurance follows you during your trip and the loss will be covered. The same is true if someone breaks into your vehicle, storage unit, or your child’s school locker and takes your belongings. In fact, if your child is in college, chances are their dorm belongings will be covered.
Your policy also protects you against food loss due to an unexpected power outage. There are a few exceptions. If the power goes out because you forgot to pay the bill or someone in the house left the freezer door open and the food spoiled, you’re on your own.
Ask anyone who’s ever had their identity stolen and they’ll tell you it’s a nightmare. It can take months to convince your bank and creditors that you are not the one making the purchases or the withdrawals. Some homeowners policies cover identity theft, payment of legal fees, lost wages, and the amount spent to restore your credit.
Legally Required Home Upgrades
Suppose your township decides that you need a particular type of roof or that all houses must have basement egress windows. Your home insurance policy may cover upgrades required by law. There’s usually a limit to how much they’ll pay, but it’s good to have help covering the costs.
Damage caused by drones
A lot can go wrong if you (or someone else in your household) fly a drone as a hobby. It is not uncommon for drones to strike someone else’s house, a neighbor or a pet. Home insurance can help cover medical bills or the cost of repairing someone else’s home. It can even help pay for legal costs if you’re sued for violating a neighbor’s right to privacy.
Some home insurance policies help fix things if sewer lines freeze and burst, causing damage to your home.
If you operate a home-based business, it pays to determine how much your policy covers if your office, materials, or products are damaged.
Even if a headstone is not on your property, it represents someone in your household. If a marker (or ballot box) is damaged or vandalized, it is likely covered.
For fun, we thought we’d add the fact that most policies protect your home against damage from wild animals. So if an elephant escapes from the zoo or a herd of horses damages your home or property, you’re covered. The same cannot be said if a flock of opossums or other rodents attack your home.
The most important thing to remember when considering home insurance is that coverage varies by policy. Part of buying a policy is determining what you want to be protected against and making sure coverage is available.
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