Do you know what your homeowner’s insurance policy covers? Don’t wait until the unexpected happens to find out. When it comes time to pay for the damage after a major incident you need to understand what’s covered and what’s not covered. That’s why you need a knowledgeable Healy Group insurance advisor, who can advise you about the best ways to protect your home and belongings.
Here are 7 questions about homeowner’s insurance our clients frequently ask us:
1. I lost my engagement ring. Is it covered under my homeowner’s policy?
If your ring slips off your finger and goes down a drain or it’s misplaced, it’s not covered. However, if your jewelry is damaged by fire or stolen, there is coverage under most homeowner’s policies, but with a maximum special limit. While your homeowner’s policy might provide you with $200,000 of coverage, your jewelry isn’t covered by the same amount. Most home insurance policies provide personal property coverage of 50-70% of the total insurance coverage. Jewelry, though is considered a high-value property that can easily be lost or stolen, so coverage for it is to a certain amount–usually $1,000-$2,000. Therefore, if your jewelry is worth more than is covered in your policy or you want to make sure it’s covered under all circumstances, we recommend that you purchase a jewelry endorsement or floater based on the appraised value of the ring.
2. Rainwater came in through my basement windows. Is the water damage in my basement covered under my homeowner’s policy?
Your homeowner’s insurance will not cover water seeping in through basement windows. Flooding caused by an act of nature is only covered by a flood insurance policy. If your basement flooded because a water heater broke, a pipe burst, or a sump pump failure during a rainstorm, or leak from an appliance, damages are usually covered.
3. A tree on my property fell on my neighbor’s garage during a storm, whose homeowners’ insurance is responsible for the clean-up and the damages?
If your healthy tree falls and damages your neighbor’s property, it’s almost always the insurance policy of the property that was damaged that pays for the loss. However, if the tree was unhealthy or someone was cutting the tree down that was not a licensed tree removal technician, you may be on the hook for the damages.
4. Mice got into my attic and caused a lot of damage. Is the damage covered under my insurance policy?
Mice and rats can do thousands of dollars of damage to your home. Nearly every homeowner’s policy excludes gradual damage done by rats and mice. However, most policies will cover sudden or unexpected damage from mice and rats after sudden or unexpected damage to your home, such as a fire or windstorm.
5. I found mold in my basement. Will my homeowner’s insurance coverage pay for mold remediation?
Mold damage is covered by homeowner’s insurance if it was caused by a covered peril. Here is a list of some covered perils:
- vandalism or malicious mischief
- falling objects
- weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from plumbing, heating, air conditioning, sprinkler systems, or household appliances
- frozen pipes
Otherwise, the homeowner is responsible for damage caused by mold. Also, most standard homeowner’s policies do not cover damage caused by floods. Thus if a flood causes water damage that leads to mold, the resulting mold issue would not be covered by your home’s insurance policy. If you want mold insurance and its excluded in your homeowner’s policy, you can add a mold endorsement on your policy.
6. I know my homeowner’s insurance will not cover damage from mice and rats, but what about termite damage?
Termites may be tiny, but they can cause huge damage to your house should you experience an infestation. Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t usually cover termite damage or removal. That’s because termite infestations can typically be prevented through routine home inspections, for which homeowners are responsible.
7. A pipe leaked in my crawl space. Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the damage?
A standard homeowner’s policy does not actually provide coverage to repair the broken pipe, but it will cover the water damage caused by the leaking pipe. So, homeowners are responsible for the repair of a leaking or broken pipe, but the damage caused by the leaking or a broken pipe is covered under their homeowner’s policy. Water damage is one of the most common causes of home insurance claims. If the water damage is gradual, such as seeping coming into cracks in the foundation, or a deteriorating roof, it will not likely be covered under a standard homeowner’s policy. Insurance is meant to cover sudden or accidental damage. In addition, water damage caused by a flood is another situation that is not covered under a standard insurance policy. However, separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program can be purchased through your insurance agent.
Know Your Policy
Not all homeowner’s policies are created the same. Each carrier’s policy has its own unique coverage, limitations, and exclusions. There are all sorts of perils to consider—from fire, theft, and storms to leaking pipes and expensive jewelry—some of which require additional coverage. Securing homeowner’s insurance requires the expertise and knowledge of a reputable insurance advisor who you can trust to answer your questions and protect your home and belongings with a homeowner’s policy that best suits your needs.
Interested in learning more about how Healy Group’s Insurance Team can help you find the right Homeowner’s Insurance coverage? Connect with us today.
About the Authors
Connie Greenwood has 35 years of experience as an Insurance Advisor. She enjoys helping her clients and prospects understand their insurance options, and crafting insurance solutions tailored to their unique needs. Connie finds great joy in being a trusted advisor for her clients. She loves helping protect their financial welfare against unforeseen accidents and circumstances and bringing them peace of mind.
Tim Pingel has almost 20 years of experience as a personal insurance adviser. He provides individuals, couples, and families with home, auto, and umbrella insurance. His ultimate goal is to be his clients’ trusted adviser and expert, so they have the peace of mind and protection they deserve.