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Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Do You Know the ABCs of Homeowner's Insurance?

 By Catherine Powell

Image courtesy Pixabay

If you own a home, be it a house, a condo, or a mobile home, odds are you purchased home insurance to protect your investment.  Being that your home is undoubtedly one of your biggest investments, wouldn't it be nice to know what is and isn't covered by homeowner's insurance?  Wouldn't it also be helpful if you could discover ways to bolster your protection so you don't wind up having any of your claims denied in the future?  Below you'll find my alphabetized list of the 20 most common causes of damage to a home, as well as whether it's a covered under a standard policy.

Attic Troubles caused by broken pipes or fried wires are a covered peril.  Damage caused by squirrels, rodents, or raccoons are usually not covered by homeowner's insurance.

Building Codes are not an issue unless a home inspector tells you your home needs to have your home's wiring brought up to code and an electrical fire breaks out before you take care of the issue.

Ceiling Damage is covered even if the damage was caused by a workman repairing your home.

Dog Bites may or may not be covered depending on your policy, as well as any exclusions.  These include certain breeds of dogs, not to mention whether you informed your insurer that you have a dog.  If your policy excludes your pooch, you can opt for third-party coverage.

Erosion isn't covered unless you have an endorsement for this specific issue.

Furniture Damage is a covered peril if the damage was caused by fire or water.  If your dog chewed up your couch or a painter you hired spilled paint all over your favorite armchair it probably isn't covered.

Gas Leaks and any damage caused by them are a covered peril provided the damage to the gas line wasn't caused by negligence, improper maintenance, wear and tear, or age.

Home Property Theft includes the loss of such items as clothing, furniture, appliances and electronics. Exclusions include cash, securities, silverware, firearms, and trailers.  

Internet Issues like ransomware are not usually covered under a homeowner's policy.  This usually requires the addition of a cyber security policy.  However, identity theft is covered under some policies. Ask your agent if you are covered or if you require additional coverage for this peril.

Kitchen Fires are covered, as are house fires, roofs set ablaze by lightning, and other causes of combustion, provided the homeowner didn't set fire to the home intentionally.  Smoke damage is also a covered clam.

Lightning Strikes are a covered claim, as is hail damage caused by a passing thunderstorm.

Mice and other vermin are not covered by homeowner's insurance, nor is the damage they cause.

Need a Place to Stay if your home is declared uninhabitable?  Most homeowner's policies will cover the cost to stay in a hotel if you are forced out of your home due to fire or storm damage.

Outages that Spoils Food in your fridge after a major storm are covered up to the limits specified in your policy.

Paintings Stolen may or may not be covered depending on the value of the artwork.  If your home contains valuable works of art, high-priced-jewelry, or other expensive collectibles, you will probably require additional coverage to protect them.

Roof Leaks are covered if the damage was caused suddenly during a storm and the roof wasn't in need of repair prior to the storm.  If your roof is old and looks like a patchwork quilt, odds are the claim will be denied.

Sewage Backups are not covered unless you have an endorsement for this specific issue.

Trees Falling Down are covered if they hit your home unless it is later discovered that the tree was rotten.  If the fallen tree takes out your fence or garden shed, you need to speak to your agent to find out if it's a covered claim.  If the tree takes out your car, this should be covered under your auto insurance comprehensive coverage.  The cost to remove a fallen tree is generally covered if the tree is lying atop a covered structure, is blocking your driveway, or preventing access to your home.  

Vehicle Hitting Your Home is a covered claim.    

Water Damage is covered provided it was caused by a burst pipe or rain falling down.  If the damage was caused by rising water you would need flood insurance for the damage to be covered. 

Catherine Powell is the owner of A Plus All Florida Insurance in Orange Park, Florida. To find out more about saving money on all your insurance needs, check out her website at


  1. Knowing what your policy doesn't cover is just as important as knowing what it covers.

  2. Wow, I found some things I didn't know! Thanks for the great article.


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