Buying Homeowner's Insurance? What You Should Know About Coverage For Unusual Situations

Unless you take the time to read all of the fine print on your homeowner's policy declaration pages and talk to your agent about every possible eventuality, you're bound to come across a situation that could leave you wondering about your current coverage. Here's a look at some unusual situations and the coverage options available to you for them.

Power Failures

Household problems caused by power failures can fall under two distinct categories. The determination of insurance coverage will depend on which category your situation belongs to. If the power failure was due to a lightning strike on your home, you should receive coverage for your damages. You will have to pay the policy deductible, but the repairs should be covered.

If, on the other hand, the lightning strike was on a transformer, or the power outage was caused by something indirectly affecting your home's power supply, your standard policy won't cover any food or other items lost due to the outage. You can purchase additional coverage in the form of an insurance rider for some of these things, though.

Aircraft and Airborne Threats

There are a number of considerations in terms of homeowner's coverage and aircraft damage. If your home is struck by a crashing airplane, the damages should be covered under a standard homeowner's insurance policy. On the other hand, if you have a plane parked on your property that is damaged by vandalism, fire or other issue, your insurance company won't cover it under a home insurance policy.

Ground-Level Issues

If you live in an area that is prone to earthquakes, you'll find that your homeowner's insurance policy excludes earthquake coverage. You'll have to purchase a separate policy for earthquake coverage - otherwise you'll have to foot the bill for any damage yourself.

If you live in an area that's in close proximity to a volcano, you're in better luck. Most homeowner's policies will extend coverage for volcanic ash damage. It's in your best interest to check with your insurance agent if you have a specific concern about an environmental threat, though.

The Human Element

Perhaps the most unpredictable is the human-created problems. In the case of rioting, homes are vulnerable to damage from fire, vandalism and other risks. Most home insurance policies extend coverage for damage due to riots, so you should be able to file claims for these types of hazards.

Explosions are a whole different consideration. The determination of coverage for these will greatly depend on the root cause. If the explosion is caused due to gas line damage, homeowner's policies will usually cover it. If the explosion is caused by an act of war, most policies won't cover it.

Injuries and Illnesses

When it comes to causing direct bodily injury to another person on your property, your homeowner's insurance will typically extend medical coverage and liability protection. But, if the issue at hand centers around germ threats, you're not typically protected by homeowner's coverage. So, if your friend next door tries to sue for catching chicken pox, you're not likely to get coverage from your home policy.

When it comes to buying home insurance, it's important that you know exactly what is covered and what isn't. The formal policy declaration can be difficult to comprehend, particularly when everything is complex and presented in legal terminology. There shouldn't be any room for questions when it comes to what's actually covered under the policy that you're paying for, so talk to your insurance agent about the choices available to you. In many cases, you can add a policy rider that will give you additional protection for specific concerns.