Homeowners insurance provides a lot of protection for your home. If your house or personal property is damaged due to a covered peril, your policy will help pay for the cost of repair or replacement.
But you may be wondering whether your homeowners insurance policy can help in the case of certain emergencies. The answer isn't always clear-cut, and it's important to avoid waiting until it's too late to know your insurance won't cover certain events. Read on to learn how you can make sure you're covered for the right situations.
Then, head to Credible to get a better understanding of what events different types of home insurances cover – from water damage to natural disaster damage.
What homeowners insurance does cover
Home insurance policies cover the cost of damage to your home or personal property, as long as it's due to a covered peril. Each type of insurance policy can vary. But if you choose an HO-3 insurance policy or special form coverage — one of the most common types of home insurance, here's what's covered:
- Fire or smoke
- Windstorms or hail
- Damage caused by a vehicle or aircraft
- Theft or vandalism
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, sleet or snow
- Volcanic eruptions
- Water overflow, discharge or freezing from plumbing, air conditioning and appliances
- Power surges
- Tearing, cracking or bulging of air conditioning or a hot water system, fire protection system or steam system
Many of these things can constitute emergencies for a homeowner, so it's important to check your insurance information and policy documents to find out which ones are covered, so you can get the help you need when you need it.
Homeowners insurance policies also typically include liability coverage, which can include medical payments for others who get injured while on your property. Just be sure you have enough coverage. If you don't and the costs exceed what your policy offers, you may be sued for the difference.
With different coverage amounts, it’s important to shop around to find the right home insurance plan that fits your needs. Visit Credible to start the process and maximize the value you gain from your homeowner’s policy.
What homeowners insurance doesn't cover?
In most cases, homeowners insurance policies don't cover damage caused by a variety of perils, including but not limited to:
- Wear and tear
- Power failure
- Acts of war
It is possible to purchase additional insurance for some of these incidents – and it may even be necessary. For example, flood insurance is a must in some southern U.S. states.
That said, some of these events may also constitute emergencies for the homeowner, but your insurance company will likely reject any claim you submit.
What type of insurance coverage should all homeowners have?
There are several types of coverage you'll want to have, and many of them are included as part of your standard homeowner's insurance policy. That includes:
- Dwelling coverage, including attached structures
- Other structures on the property
- Your personal property
- Additional living expenses during repair or replacement
- Medical payments if someone is injured on your property
- Liability for personal injuries or property damage
It's crucial that you read through the policy benefits to make sure your insurance provides coverage for each of these items. Take your time to compare coverages and insurance quotes from multiple insurance companies before you buy a policy.
This process is incredibly important, but it can take time.
Being prepared for emergencies
As a homeowner, it's important to make sure you're prepared for any emergencies that can impact your home and quality of life.
While homeowners insurance may help in certain emergency situations, it's a good idea to have robust savings set aside to cover the costs you incur before the insurer can help. You can then submit a request for reimbursement after your insurance claim is approved.
You'll also want to make sure you document everything that's happened or is still happening in the situation. This way, you'll have more evidence to boost your chances of getting the insurance claim approved.
Finally, it's best to contact the insurance company as soon as possible. The longer you wait in certain situations, the worse the situation can become. And if you wait too long, it may be difficult to get the claim approved.
The bottom line
Homeowners insurance policies are very specific in what they will and won't cover. In many cases, emergencies are included in your coverage, but not always. Picking the right policy and understanding what's in it is crucial for every homeowner.
If an emergency occurs, take steps to stop the problem from getting worse, and even consider paying out of pocket for repairs and request a reimbursement from the insurer.
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