7 Surprising Things You Didn’t Know Your Homeowner’s Insurance Covers

Homeowner’s insurance is mandatory for all homeowners, especially those who need to take out a mortgage to finance a home purchase. Lenders typically won’t approve a mortgage until they see proof that the home is insured.

That being said, homeowner’s insurance is still extremely handy in many cases. While there may be plenty of things that aren’t necessarily covered, there are many other things that are covered that you may not have even thought of. 

Here are some things that may be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy that may be a surprise to you.

1. Dog Bites

If you own a dog, there is always the possibility that it could bite someone. Even the sweetest dogs can still bite if they’re provoked, and if that happens to someone who is visiting, you just never know if they’ll take you to court to cover any costs associated with medical bills.

In fact, many homeowner’s insurance claims are the result of dog bites. However, it’s still a good idea to contact your insurance agent to make sure you’re covered in this particular realm.

2. College Student Belongings

If you have a child who is attending college or university and is living on campus, their personal belongings may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Just about every type of personal item belonging to students who live in dorms should be covered at no extra cost.

That said, personal property belonging to college students who live off campus might not be covered. In this case, a separate renter’s insurance policy may need to be taken out. 

3. Spoiled Food

It’s common for the power to go out in your home once in a while in the midst of a storm. Unfortunately, you need electricity to power up your freezer and refrigerator. All that food that you’ve got stored in there can go bad rather quickly as the temperature starts to warm up. You might have very expensive products stored in your fridge or freezer, especially meat and fish products.

This can be made worse if the power goes out for an extended period of time and you happen to be away when that occurs. In this case, you can be sure that all that food will start to spoil. The good news is that many insurance policies offer coverage for spoiled food in cases like these, up to a limit of somewhere around the $500 mark. Otherwise, you can purchase more coverage to make sure you’re covered if this ever happens to you.

4. Accidents Away from Home

If someone gets hurt while they’re on your property, your homeowner’s insurance policy should be able to cover any liability claims. But not only are accidents covered while on your property, even those that take place somewhere else may be covered, as long as it doesn’t involve any vehicles. So, if you accidentally cause injury to someone somewhere off property, you can file a liability claim with your homeowner’s insurance policy.

5. Lightning Strikes

It’s extremely rare to get struck by lightning. In fact, the odds of getting struck by a bolt of lightning in any given year in the US is about 1 in 700,000. Having said that, the possibilities are still real. While it’s more likely to happen in an open space with little to no shelter, lightning can still target homes and can cause serious damage.

Thankfully, the majority of homeowner’s insurance policies provide a certain amount of coverage for lightning damage. As always, it’s wise to ensure that your policy includes coverage for any damage caused by electrical surges from lightning.

6. Libel Cases

If you are ever taken to court in a civil lawsuit, you could suffer devastating financial consequences if you are not covered adequately. Some people have even gone into bankruptcy as a result of being sued. Luckily, most home insurance policies cover any expenses associated with defending yourself in a lawsuit.

7. Identity Theft

Identity theft is a huge deal these days, and hackers are becoming increasingly clever in their methods of stealing identities. People should take measures to protect themselves from identity theft and ensure that their homeowner’s insurance policies cover any expenses related to identity theft, such as lawyer fees.

The Bottom Line

Most homeowner’s insurance policies cover standard items, but there are also some lesser-known things that may also be covered. Having said that, it’s still important to check with your insurance provider to verify exactly what your policy covers and what it doesn’t so you don’t wind up unpleasantly surprised when you need to file a claim.