Homeowners insurance isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ deal, and each plan is customized to the homeowner’s needs. However, there are common coverages among most plans; and most standard homeowner’s insurance plans (HO-3s) cover the dwelling, other structures on the property, personal property, and liability.
Dwelling: This is coverage for the structure of the house you live in as well as an attached deck or attached garage.
Other structures: Other structures on the property would include things like sheds, detached garages and fences.
Personal property: This is coverage for personal belongings like electronics and furniture in your home. You can often purchase extended coverage for items like high value jewelry.
Liability: This covers you if a person who doesn’t live at your home is injured while on your property.
Homeowners insurance plans routinely cover things like fire, lightning strikes, windstorms and hail. What comes as a surprise to a lot of homeowners is that not all natural disasters are covered. For example, earthquakes and flood insurance are extra add-ons.
Earthquakes, sinkholes and floods are not included in standard policies. In addition, other types of water damage are also excluded. If you have an overflow or back up from your sewer, sump pump or drains your standard policy won’t cover the damage.
Termites and insect damage, bird or rodent damage, rust, rot, mold and general wear and tear are not covered in your standard policy. Damage caused by smog or smoke from industrial or agricultural operations is also not covered.
If something is poorly made or has a hidden defect, this falls under the inherent vice exclusion and won’t be covered. The same applies to any mechanical breakdown.
Additionally, if your home should suffer a power outage, things like food spoilage are not covered under a standard policy.
Double check your insurance policy to make sure it fits the needs of your household. Consult your insurance agent for information regarding your policy.