7 little-known benefits of your homeowner’s policy.

Homeowner’s insurance is essential to protect your property, personal possessions, and your liability. Personal property insurance pays for damage to your home and belongings (both inside and outside) in the event of a storm, hurricane, fire, or other disasters so that you can make repairs. If you experience a burglary, your insurance will pay to replace the lost items. Liability insurance protects you from lawsuits if someone is injured on your property. It includes attorney fees and any settlements or medical bills if you are found liable.*

While most homeowners are aware of what their policy covers, your insurance may include some surprising things you never thought about.

Here are 7 little-known benefits of your home insurance policy

1.   Your homeowner’s policy may cover dog bites.

Dog bites are serious business and can lead to even more serious lawsuits. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average dog bite claim is roughly $26,000.

Here are some other statistics:

  • There are almost 90 million dogs owned as pets in the U.S.
  • About 4.5 million people are bitten every year
  • The highest dog-related injuries happen to children ages 5 – 9
  • Over half of dog injuries occur at home with dogs that are familiar

Liability insurance often covers pets and dog bites. “Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability legal expenses, up to the liability limits (typically $100,000 to $300,000),” according to the III.

If you own a dog, and your liability policy does not cover pets, it is a good idea to purchase additional animal liability just in case.

2.   Your homeowner’s policy may help bring your home up to code.

If your home is damaged, and new safety mandates have been passed, your policy may help pay to bring everything up to code (on top of paying for the damages). “For example, if a law is passed requiring homes to integrate water sprinklers in your home to help combat house fires, your insurance policy may cover the cost to add the sprinklers throughout your home as well as cover the damages caused by the fire,” according to Quicken Loans.

3.   Your homeowner’s policy may help you replace spoiled food after a power outage.

Here’s something you probably never considered. If you lose power because of a natural disaster, such as a winter storm or hurricane, your policy may help pay to replace any food that spoiled.

4.   Your homeowner’s policy covers the personal property of children in college.

If you have children living in a dorm on a college campus, their personal possessions are typically covered under your policy. This only applies to students living on the university-owned property. If your child lives in a rented apartment, they would need renter’s insurance.

5.   Your homeowner’s policy protects against falling objects.

A tree limb falls on your roof during a storm or because of the weight of the snow. Someone’s drone falls out of the sky. A bird drops a big rock. A small plane crashes on your property. While the first example is the most common type of “falling object,” your policy will cover a host of other circumstances.*

6.   Your homeowner’s policy may help pay for accommodations if you can’t live in your house.

If your home is damaged, and you have to stay somewhere while repairs are being made, your policy may include something called Additional Living Expenses (ALE). It helps pay for lodging and meals. In some cases, the coverage is included automatically, and in others, you need to purchase additional coverage. However, you obtain ALE, it can be invaluable if you have to live somewhere else for any length of time.*

7.   Your homeowner’s policy covers the loss of clothes, shoes, and computers.

While most people think of insurance paying to make repairs or replace lost appliances, your policy can also pay to replace personal items. This includes clothes, shoes, computers, and other items.*

To know how much coverage to obtain, you will need to do a thorough inventory and determine how much it might cost to replace lost personal items. In the case of jewelry, your policy will only cover up to a certain amount, about $1,500, according to the Insurance Information Institute. You do have the option increase your coverage by increasing the limit of liability or to purchasing a floater policy.

NICRIS Insurance is here to offer the coverage that will help you repair and recover your life. Contact us today for a quote.

*Up to the limits of your policy