Your homeowners insurance policy protects you from everything… well, almost everything. You’d be surprised to know that your insurance policy covers plenty of unlikely and unexpected disasters such as meteor showers and space debris, but it doesn’t cover a lot of minor mishaps.
While you won’t have any trouble filing a claim if your home gets hit by an asteroid, you’ll likely have a few hiccups when something more common occurs.
Here are eight disasters your home insurance policy probably won’t cover:
#1 When your gadgets get fried during a power surge
The next time there’s a thunderstorm, you better unplug your gadgets. When lightning strikes near an electric pole, it can send a surge of electricity through the power lines. Anything that’s plugged into an outlet is at risk of getting fried.
If your gadgets end up getting zapped due to a power surge, your home insurance policy won’t be able to pay for repairs and replacements. However, the good news is that it will cover the damage caused by lightning that directly strikes your property and possessions.
#2 When your pet damages your stuff
Your standard homeowners insurance policy won’t cover damage that your pet does to your property and possessions. So, when your dog chews on your carpet or when your cat scratches your floor, you’re on your own. Unfortunately, there aren’t any add-on covers for pet-related damage done to your personal property.
Your liability coverage will only cover damage done to someone else’s property. For instance, if your dog destroys your neighbor’s garden, your insurance policy will protect you. Similarly, if your dog bites someone during a walk, your liability coverage will be able to cover the costs for medical bills, legal fees, and so on.
#3 When rodents enter your home
When rodents such as squirrels, chipmunks, and mice damage your home, your homeowners insurance policy won’t cover the costs for cleanup and repairs. This is because infestations are deemed a result of home maintenance issues. In other words, the rodent infestation could have been avoided if you had kept your home clean.
Fortunately, damage caused by wild animals is covered. For instance, if a bird breaks a window or if a bear wanders into your home and makes a mess, your claim should be covered.
Also, while we’re on the topic of home maintenance, you may want to hire a property manager to ensure that your home is in pristine condition year-round. That way, you won’t have to worry about rodents wreaking havoc.
#4 When the food in your fridge gets spoiled
In the event that your food gets spoiled due to a power outage, your home insurance policy won’t pay to restock your fridge and freezer. That means you’ll have to throw hundreds of dollars worth of food into the trash.
However, if you have an additional “refrigerated property” coverage, which costs around $20 a year, the contents of your fridge and freezer will be protected. Keep in mind that this type of coverage has a cap of around $200 to $500.
#5 When your heirlooms get stolen
Your standard home insurance policy protects you in the event that your jewelry gets stolen, but it isn’t enough to cover the loss of pricey heirlooms. Your insurance provider has probably set a cap to your coverage, usually at $1,500 according to the Insurance Information Institute.
To protect your pricey jewelry, you’ll need to purchase a “rider” or endorsement. It is an addition to your insurance policy that provides additional benefits and coverage. However, your jewelry will have to be appraised, so keep that extra expense in mind.
#6 When you keep stuff in someone else’s home
If you’re keeping some of your stuff in your friend’s home, you’ll likely be at a loss in the event that they’re stolen or damaged. Your friend’s homeowners insurance policy protects their property and possessions, not yours. Similarly, you will have a hard time convincing your insurer to cover your stuff if it’s stored in someone else’s house.
The smart solution would be to build a storage shed in your home. If your property does get damaged, at least you’ll be able to file a claim with your insurance company. Plus, storage sheds are an excellent investment — they can even increase the value of your investment property!
#7 When you’re home-sharing
If you’re using home-sharing platforms such as Airbnb and HomeAway, your home insurance policy won’t protect you. Home-sharing, which is similar to short-term renting, means that you’re using the home to make money. So, if a home-sharing guest throws a rager and trashes your property, don’t expect your insurer to foot the bill.
If you’re planning on renting out your home, you’ll need to purchase a home-sharing insurance policy. It will include liability coverage which will cover the costs of medical bills, property damage, and more. Consider hiring a property management company to ensure that your home is insured before renting it out.
#8 When burglars find your stash of cash
It’s a bad idea to stash your cash in your home — that’s what banks are for! In the event that burglars get their hands on your paper money, your insurance policy will only cover around $200, even if you lost more than that. This is because your insurance company lumps cash into the same category as coins, medals, and collectibles, which are all “personal property”.
Even if you’ve increased your policy limits, don’t expect your insurer to fully reimburse you for paper money.
It’s a common misconception that every catastrophic event will be covered by your insurance policy. To avoid getting caught off-guard, it would be wise to ask your insurance agent about what your insurance policy protects. That way, you can decide to increase your limits or purchase additional coverage.
If you have questions about insuring your home, don’t hesitate to ask the property managers at Luxury Property Care. We’ve helped thousands of homeowners across South Florida insure their homes by connecting them with reputable insurance agencies in the state.