February 14th, 2014
You probably already know the importance of investing in home insurance, but unless you've read the fine print, do you know what is really covered? There are many unexpected things that could happen to your home or on your property, which is why most people get coverage. While not every insurance company will honor the same claims, here are some surprising things that your homeowners insurance policy might cover:
A typical homeowners insurance policy does cover possessions, including jewelry, art and other valuables. It is important to document these possessions when signing up for coverage, because you will generally be reimbursed if they are damaged or stolen.
In the case of jewelry, there is one surprising incident of coverage. While animals are not covered under homeowners insurance, if your dog eats Grandma's necklace, there have been cases in which the jewelry is considered lost and is covered. Don't go feeding Fido your good earrings, however, as this is not a typical case.
Most coverage options allow homeowners to value the price of their home and the belongings inside. If you are a victim of a house fire and your home burns down, you might be able to get your insurance company to pay for an interior decorator. This will only be considered if an interior designer was used to furnish the home before it was damaged and possessions were lost. Some designers can come with a huge price tag, so not all insurance companies will allow the coverage, but it can be worth it to put in a request after your home is damaged.
Basic insurance usually covers the cost of major appliances, including the refrigerator. Sometimes, this can extend to the food inside, as well. If your power goes out for an extended period of time and the food in your fridge or freezer go bad, you might be covered for these items up to about $500. Ordinance coverage in a policy will often apply to the fridge and its contents, but homeowners can purchase more coverage if they feel they need it.
Let's say you have a family member or friend from out of town staying with you and they don't get along with your dog. If your dog bites them, you should be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. Liability coverage usually will extend to dog owners, though it is important to check with your insurance company. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance claims in 2012. Most states offer insurance policies with dog-bite liability coverage at no extra cost.
Pairs and sets
If something is stolen and it's part of a set, you could be covered for the entire group of items. You don't have to live with mismatched candlesticks. This type of coverage is very valuable to homeowners with expensive lanterns that match throughout a home or anything antique that is a pair.