Know Your Exclusions
Not every form of disaster that may befall you and your home will be covered under every insurance policy. Typical exclusions include damage from floods, earthquakes, and nuclear disasters. Additional flood or earthquake insurance may be available in your area for an additional premium. Read also: Homeowner Insurance Claims.
In most cases, your policy will have broad wording about what is covered, but the real heart of the matter is which types of damage are specifically excluded. Depending upon your circumstances and location, different exclusions will carry different importance to you.
If you live in a low lying coastal area of Florida, flood insurance is very important to you, but coverage for damage caused by the weight of ice and snow probably wouldn’t interest you a bit. On the other hand, if you live in Buffalo, flooding may not be an issue that worries you, but that weight of snow and ice coverage is crucial. Read also: What You Should Know About Homeowner's Insurance.
Basic coverage can vary from state to state and provider to provider. Do not assume that anything will be covered just because “it ought to be”. Some of the basic coverage types that should be included in your policy include:
- Fire (This is among the most basic coverage types that exist. A policy that doesn’t cover fire damage would not be worth the paper on which it was printed.)
- Smoke (In minor house fires, the smoke often causes more damage than the fire itself.)
- Windstorm (In hurricane-prone states, there may be a separate deductable or other restrictions associated with wind damage.)
- Electrical damage (There may be significant restrictions dependent on the age and configuration of the electrical system.)
- Vehicle Damage (Coverage for vehicles damaged while on the insured property – this does not replace your automobile insurance.)
- Burglary & Theft (Not all disasters are natural.)
- Bodily Injury (Covers you and your family members.)
- Liability for medical payments or damage to the property of others (Covers anyone other than you or your family members while on your property.)
- Civil Commotion (damage or loss caused by rioting & looting)
- Freezing of plumbing systems
- Falling trees or other objects (Depending on the policy, you may be covered for the damage caused to your structure, but not the cost of removing the fallen object.)