What Are the Types of Perils Covered by Home Insurance?

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If you own a home, you are responsible for your own repairs and appliance break-downs. Home insurance was not created to help you cover these costs. You buy insurance to rebuild your home after devastating loss and only under certain covered perils.

Typically covered perils include:

  • burst pipes
  • damage caused by snow
  • ice or sleet
  • fire
  • smoke
  • theft
  • vandalism
  • motor vehicle collision
  • aircraft collision
  • volcano eruption
  • explosions
  • lightning
  • hail
  • windstorm
  • falling objects

Swimming pool accidents are often partially covered if you have a home insurance policy. However, if you're found to be negligent, your insurer may not pay for damages. There are certain guidelines for marking shallow versus the deep end and having a diving board with no defects. Pool lighting, supervision and pool ladders matter too.

Small repairs are not worth the trouble of filing a claim. For one thing, you'll have to pay a deductible in order to be covered for the claim. If you have $500 worth of roof damage after a tornado, you may have to pay a $500 (or even a $1,000) deductible in order for the insurer to cover the claim. Not only does it make little financial sense to file a claim, you'll be relegated to a higher risk category for having filed a claim in the first place. If you file too many claims your insurer can drop you. Once you are dropped, you'll have a hard time getting insured again.

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Burst pipes can cause flooding and a small clog in the bathroom can cause thousands of dollars in damages if you're not covered. In order to be reimbursed for these types of damages from home insurance, however, you have to prove that the flooding was sudden or accidental. Otherwise you'll have to pay for repairs out of pocket.

In addition to the aforementioned perils, you have liability protection with a home insurance policy. What this means is that if someone who does not live with you is hurt in your home your homeowners insurance policy will pay for their medical bills while taking care of your legal expenses too. You may think this is an unlikely occurrence, but it is not, especially if you have a swimming pool or even cracks in the sidewalk or entryway.

If your house is flooded as a result of a natural disaster you will not be covered unless you have flood insurance. The only time you're covered for a flood is if it happens as a result of a hurricane that damages a roof before heavy rains set in. However, often times people are not fully covered by home insurance in these instances. It's important to remember how much damage even one inch of rain can do.

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