As Halloween approaches and hurricane season peaks, a new national consumer survey commissioned by Trusted Choice and the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (the Big “I”), reveals that many homeowners lack adequate insurance coverage and do not fully understand their homeowners policies.
To make matters worst, at least 28 percent of homeowners polled do not have enough savings to support their households for even one month after a disaster if they had to leave their home. We often write to educate our readers about what is often mistakenly believed to be covered under a standard homeowners policy, in the spirit of the season we thought we'd cover some of the stranger things probably covered by your homeowners insurance.
Asteroid or Meteor Insurance
Cosmic events are extremely unpredictable and there is no way of knowing when a fascinating meteor shower might turn into a disaster and turn your life upside down. Even for a strange situation such as this, there are actual insurance policies you can take out so that you are well protected in case of a calamity.
While not a major concern outside of Alaska or Hawaii, there are about 169 volcanoes in the United States that scientists consider active. Damage to your home or car could include ash, dust or a lava flow, fire, or airborne shockwaves.
But double check your provisions as your standard homeowners policy will not cover damage to your home from earthquakes, floods, or mudslides that result from the eruption.
Explosions and fire can be caused by anything from a gas leak in your home to a local factory or a passing truck. Consult with your agent and double check your policy.
Riots & Civil Unrest
It's unfortunate that political and social tensions have risen as we approach the November elections but your homeowners policy may cover damage to your home caused by rioting or civil unrest. Theft of or damage to your possessions may be covered under your homeowners or renters policy.
If you have comprehensive auto insurance your car may be covered for damage as well.
Spoiled Food (due to power outage)
Oftentimes, food expenses can be reimbursed if there's a loss of power due to a peril covered by your homeowners policy. Deductibles and limits do apply – so no caviar and flank steak if you only had pot roast and TV dinners in your fridge.
Lightning strikes cost $790 million in homeowners insurance losses in 2015 with the average claim costing $7,947 vs. $7,400 in 2014. Homes partially or entirely destroyed by lightning-caused fire are not the only items that may be covered by your homeowners policy.
Big-ticket electronics such as HD TVs or computers may be covered; though you may want to power down and unplug during a storm. Surge protectors are also a great idea for additional protection during lightning storms.
Supernatural Attack Insurance
Are you being troubled by a ghost? If you have a supernatural attack insurance and you can prove that your troubles are real, you can actually get compensated for it. This policy also works in case the Earth is ever invaded by an alien race.
This may not seem like a strange thing to be covered under your homeowners insurance at all. In fact, any dog can bite. In 2015 alone, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance paid liability claims nationwide costing nearly $570 million total, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).
While liability related to dog bites is covered in some homeowners policies, some breeds are excluded, so check your policy. If you're looking to get a new dog, don't get a Cujo – look for a breed that fits with your family, especially if you have young children.
Broken Tombstones and Defaced Graves
As Mischief Night, the night before Halloween, approaches in New Jersey, it's not uncommon for cemetery vandalism to increase. In fact, in this month alone dozens of headstones were damaged overnight in Wyckoff, NJ.
Grave markers, urns, and other funerary items are generally considered “valuables” under most homeowners insurance policies, but you'll want to talk to your agent about the proper amount of coverage to have since most policies fall within a limited range.
It’s always a good idea to review your coverages with an independent agency to see what forms of liability are covered by your particular policy. Often an umbrella policy is your best option to provide the additional coverage needed to ensure that your life wouldn’t be haunted by a disaster.
Contact The Ross Maghan Agency today at (732) 566-0003 or use the contact form on this page to leave us a message.