Home Insurance Coverages You May Not Know You Have

More than half the country owns a home, but how many of us really understand what our home insurance covers?

From helping protect your favorite jewelry to helping keep your groceries cool and more, home insurance can come to your aid in some surprising ways – so long as you have the right coverage.

Let’s take a look at five scenarios you may not realize can benefit from having the right policy in place.

  1. Updating the Electrical
    One of the worst nightmares for a homeowner is the house burning down. Now imagine, while it’s being rebuilt, the city requiring you to install a modern electrical system. Construction codes change through the years, after all. Your insurance company may offer optional Ordinance or Law coverage to help with the additional expense of bringing the home up to code during such an incident. Why might this be necessary? Remember, your home policy covers the cost to repair what you have or replace what you had, not upgrade it.
     
  2. A Hotel in the Meantime
    When most people think of home insurance, they think of coverage for their actual home. But, what happens when you can’t live in it during construction? Most policies will help you pay for a place to stay if the home is uninhabitable due to a covered incident. Known as Loss of Use, this coverage helps compensate you for the additional expenses of living elsewhere and may cover food as well as lodging.
     
  3. Refrigerator Meltdown
    Something unexpected go wrong with your chill box? Many insurance carriers offer Equipment Breakdown coverage as an option with your home insurance policy. This kicks in when an appliance, such as a refrigerator, has an unexpected mechanical or electrical breakdown and covers the cost to repair or replace it. But, that’s not all. Related costs, such as spoiled food and energy efficiency upgrades, may be covered, too. For only a few dollars a month, it’s a nice alternative to extended warranties for a range of products, including washers and dryers, ovens, electrical service panels, water heaters, computer equipment, heating and A/C systems and much more.
     
  4. Stolen Identity
    Without going entirely off the grid, the potential for identity theft is nearly unavoidable. Identity Recovery is offered as an option with most homeowners policies and provides valuable tools to help pick up the pieces after your identity has been stolen. This can include use of a case manager to assist in recovery and reimbursement of some expenses related to your efforts. While anti-virus software and personal firewalls should still be maintained, this coverage can help with peace-of-mind in case security measures fail.
     
  5. Lost Engagement Ring
    The engagement ring was sitting right on the dresser before you left for the gym, but now it’s nowhere to be found. Many people are shocked to realize that their homeowners policy may limit the payout for certain items, such as jewelry. So, while your engagement ring may be worth $3,500, your personal property coverage may limit payouts for jewelry to $2,500 per loss. However, if you added Scheduled Personal Property specifically to cover the engagement ring, the day will be saved. For high-value items like artwork, jewelry and more, scheduling them separately is your best bet. Then you know you have coverage for each item, rather than lumping them all together under your standard personal property coverage. Even better, unless otherwise stated, there is no deductible for scheduled items.

As you can see, a homeowners policy can cover a lot more than just the home! To make sure you have the coverage you want, read your policy carefully and contact your independent agent for help understanding all your options.