Owning a home is the American dream. If you’re able to work your way up to homeownership, you no doubt want to protect your asset and everything in it. Fortunately, homeowners insurance helps ease your mind.
Like most types of insurance, these policies can be confusing and hard to read. If you’re wondering, “What does homeowners insurance cover?” you’re not alone.
Keep reading for more information about what you can expect your policy to cover- and what it won’t.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance policies can be difficult to understand. First, let’s take a broad look at what your policy should cover and then we’ll get into the specifics.
Homeowners insurance is broken down into three separate parts. These are:
Dwelling coverage is a fancy word for the structure of your home. This type of coverage covers what are called open perils.
It’s important to note that a “peril” is defined as anything that is covered by your policy. So with coverage for open perils, your insurance company offers coverage for anything that happens as long as it’s not specifically excluded in your policy.
As it relates to the structure of your home, homeowners insurance will cover loss from any cause that is not excluded under your policy. That means most causes of loss are covered.
Other Structures Coverage
Other structures besides your dwelling (your actual home) include things like your driveway, fences, sheds, she sheds, etc.
This category also comes with open perils coverage, so all causes of loss will be covered unless specifically excluded in your policy.
Here’s where things get a little tricky.
Your personal property is basically your stuff and the contents of your home. This includes things like your television, phone, laptop, etc.
With most policies, you only have covered for named perils. In Florida, there is coverage for 16 specific perils. Here’s the list:
- Fire and lightning
- Falling objects
- Volcanic Eruption
- Windstorm and hail
- Damage by aircraft
- Damage by vehicle
- Rits and civil unrest
- Sudden, accidental tearing or cracking
- Sudden, accidental water overflow
- Damage by short-circuiting
- Weight of ice, snow, and sleet
So basically, your personal property is only covered from loses caused by one of these 16 perils.
Of course, we all know things aren’t always this simple. Stay with us as we go through some of the most common questions homeowners have about their insurance coverage.
Is Water Damage Covered?
Homeowners insurance covers some kinds of water damage but it doesn’t cover all kinds.
Water damage is covered when the cause of the damage is sudden and accidental. So if something unexpected happens like your pipes burst or the hose that supplies water to one of your appliances breaks, you’ll be covered.
Your policy will cover the structure of your home and your personal property if it’s damaged by the water. It’s important to note that your policy won’t cover the cost of the item that caused the damage.
There are a few causes of water damage that your policy won’t cover. Here’s a list:
- Maintenance issues like a constant leak
- A flood
- Mold, corrosion, or rot
- Water backup from an outside drain or sewage
If you live in a flood zone or an area that is prone to flooding, you should purchase an additional policy that offers flood insurance. The government offers this through the National Flood Insurance Program. It’s affordable and well worth the cost compared to the cost of the damage a flood can easily cause.
Is Mold Covered?
Another concern many homeowners have is whether their policy will cover mold in their homes. Mold and its health effects are a growing problem and a big concern for homeowners.
As can be expected, mold is covered in certain situations and not others. If mold is caused by a covered loss like ice, fire, lightning, or frozen pipes, there should be coverage.
It’s important to note that the mold must be hidden in the walls, ceilings, or floors for coverage to apply. You may be able to purchase extended coverage for mold through an endorsement to your policy.
Common causes of mold include bursting pipes and ice on your roof leaking water into your attic. However, if your pipes burst and you don’t take action for several weeks, you won’t have coverage for any mold that grows.
Mold is also not covered when it grows over time. Failing to clean visible mold in your shower or under your sink is on you as a homeowner. You’re expected to maintain your home to the best of your ability.
Is Theft Covered?
Theft is a cause of loss that many homeowners worry about. The cool thing about homeowners insurance is that it covers theft inside and outside your home.
It also covers both the items that were stolen and any damage to the structure of your home caused by the theft.
The catch here is that you need to pay careful attention to thefts involving cash and valuable items. Your policy probably has a limit to how much stolen cash it will cover.
Highly valuable items might not be covered under your base policy. You might need to purchase additional coverage for them.
Talk to an Agent Today
If you still have questions like, “What does homeowners insurance cover?” you should speak with an insurance agent today.
An agent will be able to go over your specific insurance needs and help you choose a policy that’s right for you.
Contact us today with your questions or to get started on a free quote.