If your house, personal belongings, and other structures on your property (such as a gazebo or detached garage) are damaged or destroyed by an insured cause covered by your policy, home insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing them. If you’re temporarily displaced from your house while it’s being restored, your insurance may also cover additional living expenses such as hotel stays and restaurant meals.
You should double-check that your property insurance coverage limit (the coverage that protects the structure of your home) is equivalent to its replacement cost, which is the amount it would cost to fully restore your house after a calamity. You should also ensure that your personal belongings are protected for their entire value depending on how vulnerable you are to a catastrophe.
Depending on where you reside, your house insurance may demand extra out-of-pocket costs if your property is damaged by hurricane winds. The following are the various disasters covered by home insurance and factors to consider while selecting coverage.
Tornadoes are covered by homeowners insurance, as well as the damages caused by them, such as hail, wind-driven rain, and fallen trees. That being said, insurers in tornado-prone states, such as those in Tornado Alley, frequently demand a separate wind and hail deductible that you must pay ahead of time before the insurance covers the cost of tornado damage. Wind and hail deductibles typically range from 1% to 10% of your home coverage limit. If you want to keep costs down, certain insurers may allow you to eliminate wind and hail damage from your policy entirely. But bear in mind that if you do this, you will not be covered for any type of wind or hail damage.
If your property is damaged by fire and smoke, such as if you set your kitchen on fire while cooking and burn a part of your hometown, it is covered by homeowners insurance.
Home insurance also covers you against fires, but if you reside in a high-risk fire zone like some regions of California, finding coverage might be more difficult. If you live in a state that does not offer adequate insurance, you may be able to get FAIR (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements) Plan coverage, which is a last resort coverage option provided through your state.
Lightning damage is typically covered by homeowners insurance, so if lightning strikes your roof and causes a house fire, homeowner insurance can assist with the expense of repairs. If a bolt of lightning strikes a tree on your property and causes it to fall on your roof, you should be reimbursed for that as well. Homeowners insurance may pay for the cost of replacing your TV if a lightning strike triggers a power surge that fries it.
Homeowners’ insurance covers the cost of certain types of storms and hurricane damage, but, as with tornadoes, insurers in hurricane-prone regions may charge a separate wind deductible or storm limit. Most states on the Atlantic seaboard need a hurricane deductible; it’s usually set at 1% to 5% of your home limit. A formal hurricane designation is generally required before a hurricane deductible is triggered. Keep in mind that homeowner’s insurance does not cover flooding, so any flood damage you suffer as a result of a hurricane will not be covered by your policy. For that damage, you’ll need separate flood insurance.
Volcanic eruptions, ash, dust, and lava flows are all covered by standard homeowners insurance. Damage caused by volcanic blasts, ash, dust, and lava flow is also covered. However, if the eruption causes an earthquake, homeowners insurance would most likely not cover quake damage.
Gas or propane leaks are covered by house insurance, as well as explosions caused by other causes, such as gas or propane leaks. It also covers explosions that occur outside of your property, such as if your neighbour’s gas tank exploded and damaged your house.
There are some cases when home insurance won’t cover explosions. Your policy won’t cover nuclear risks, intentional and illegal behaviour, or acts of war.
Sudden water damage
Although a burst pipe may appear ancient in comparison to the aforementioned calamities, it can still result in thousands of dollars worth of damage. Home insurance covers sudden and unexpected water damage, such as if your plumbing fails in your master bathroom and damages everything below.
Extreme Cold and Weight of Snow and Ice
Homeowners’ insurance covers damage caused by snow or ice buildup, such as if an ice dam causes your roof to collapse. If your heating system or plumbing are damaged owing to the severe cold, you may be able to get reimbursed for repairs as long as the systems were in use, such as if you had the heat on during a blizzard. However, if you went away for a few weeks and left the water tank running while it was frozen, you probably wouldn’t be covered.