When homeowners buy an insurance policy, they most often opt for a standard policy. They very often do not take the time to read their policy when their receive it, and this can be a big mistake. If you don’t read it, you will not know what coverage you have and which of your home’s contents are covered. This review is essential.

The majority of policies offer coverage for the structure and contents of the home, as well as living expenses if the home is unlivable due to a fire or other covered issue, and damage or injury to family members or that your pets may cause others. While you may think you have a good understanding of what is covered and not covered on your homeowners’ policy, you may be surprised to find that your policy covers much more than you think.

Following you will find some examples of coverage that you may have on your homeowners’ policy. Each policy is different, however, so it is important that you read your insurance policy in its entirety or talk to your agent to ensure you understand exactly what insurance coverage you have.

1. Burglary in the Dorm

If you have college-age children and they live away from home in the dorms, you may have coverage for theft or other loss of their personal belongings under your homeowners’ policy. While you may have thought you would have to buy an additional policy to cover your children’s belongings when they live on campus, many homeowners’ policies have this coverage included at a certain percentage of your property coverage.

2. Spoiled Food

If the power goes out your refrigerator and freezer can’t function, and this could lead to the loss of all the food in these two appliances. This could add up to a significant expense, and your homeowners’ policy may offer coverage for the spoiled groceries. This coverage is normally subject to a limit of approximately $500 or less, but it can come in quite handy.

3. Falling Objects

Very rarely, you hear about things falling from the sky and crashing into someone’s home. Your homeowners’ policy may cover this. This could include such things as plane tires or even large chunks of ice, which are a peril no matter where they come from.

4. Clean-Up

If a crime, such as a murder or suicide, happens in your home, there could be some clean-up needed. This could be at a huge cost, but some homeowners’ policies cover this cost. If you think this could be a coverage you need, check with your agent to be sure you have this type of coverage.

5. Credit Card Unauthorized Use

Your belongings are covered by your homeowners’ policy no matter where you are in the world. This includes $500 of coverage if your credit cards are used without your authorization.

6. Your Policy May Not Cover

You now understand that there are some surprising things that may be covered by your homeowners’ policy, but there are other things that you may not be aware that your policy may not cover. While some of the more common ones are listed below, there are other items discussed in this presentation by Bankrate that are not so common and are not covered by your insurance. The common ones include:

7. Wear and Tear

Time causes personal property and your home to wear out or become more susceptible to being damaged. This damage is not going to be covered under your policy.

8. Flood

Flood is excluded from nearly every homeowners’ policy. This type of coverage is normally purchased separately through the National Flood Insurance Program or through a private flood insurance company. When you are choosing a policy, make sure you have enough coverage to pay for the total cost of rebuilding.

9. Earthquake

Damage from earthquakes is also not covered under homeowner policies. Earthquake coverage must be purchased separately as an endorsement or earthquake policy.

The thing to remember is that a homeowners’ insurance policy can be personalized to fit your particular needs. Talk to your agent to create the right coverage package for you.

Most homeowners' insurance policies can be customized to cover a wide variety of perils. Talk to Skyline Risk Management, Inc. (718) 267-6600 about your needs and to find out what types of special coverage may be available.