Coverage provided by homeowners insurance often extends to much more than the obvious. Many people think coverage stops at their front door; that beyond burst pipes and damaged furniture there isn’t much else to home insurance. But, most policies include coverage for some surprising things.
People purchasing homeowners insurance want to know they’ve protected themselves against all kinds of dangers. They want reassurance for things like their house catching on fire and potentially being left homeless; or that if a burglar takes their stuff, having a financial safety net.
But the unique features of a policy can make all the difference to your home insurance leads. Whether it’s for the novelty or through genuine concern, your prospects will no doubt be delighted to learn about the following surprising things covered by their home insurance policy.
It’s not something that most homeowners spend their time worrying about, but the liability costs of their dog biting someone could cause financial devastation. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average cost of a dog-bite claim is $37,214. Furthermore, 61% of dog bites happen at the owner’s home.
If provoked, even the most passive of dogs will bite. Fortunately, homeowners insurance policies generally cover the cost of getting sued thanks to your dog. It depends on the type of dog a person has though.
Some breeds are on a “high-risk” list maintained by insurance carriers. It means they will not be covered under the standard homeowner's insurance policy – although breed profiling is prohibited in some states.
According to experts, lighting strikes the U.S. around 20-million times per year. A frighteningly large amount, however, most strikes occur in open areas. On some occasions, however, a lighting bolt will send 100,000 volts of energy crashing through someone’s house. A homeowner can do little to prevent lightning damage.
Most homeowners policies include some coverage for lightning damage. It is likely that an agent’s help will be required to determine just what type of coverage is provided, particularly for those in areas prone to electrical storms. It is important to make sure the policy includes coverage for infrastructure and the electrical devices inside the home.
For most people, having frantic wildebeests crash through their home is not listed very high on “things to worry about.” It is good to know, however, that most homeowners insurance policies will cover damages in such eventualities. As long as the damage is caused by stampeding “wild” animals and not the client’s own, it will probably be okay to claim on the insurance.
Wild animals stampeding someone’s home might seem like an unlikely event, but for the purposes of making a claim, the neighbor's herd of goats will count in this category too. If the neighbor’s animals cause damage to your client’s home, a claim should be made on the other person’s insurance. But if that person does not have insurance, it is worth knowing whether a claim can be made. Chances are, the client would be covered.
At any given moment, there are approximately 5000 airplanes in the air, according to Reference.com. But despite the numbers, the chances of one falling onto a person’s house is smaller than one in 11 million. If your client is concerned about the potential of an aircraft falling out of the sky, the first thing to note is that damages will likely be covered by the pilot’s insurance company.
If, however, the pilot does not have insurance there is a good chance that your client’s homeowners insurance policy will cover damages caused by the plane.
Another aircraft related mishap relates to things falling off planes and breaking people’s homes. For example, holding tanks on airliners can sometimes become ruptured and start to leak. The contents within (sewage from the lavatories) freeze as it falls from the sky. This dangerous and extremely nasty ball of ice can cause serious damage to person and property.
It’s not a common occurrence, but as this CBS New York article highlights, it does happen. The icy ball of wastage is known as “blue ice,” and if one happens to cause damage to your client's home, it is difficult to find out which airline to append blame. Luckily, that type of thing is usually covered by the homeowner's insurance policy – under the “open perils” section. The same section that secures against damages by meteorites.
Bad weather often causes power outages. During things like high winds, storms, flooding, and blackouts, spoiled food is probably the last thing on people’s minds. No doubt the damages caused by such events will take much higher priority, but in the grand scheme of things, making a claim for spoiled food might be worthwhile.
The limit for making an insurance claim for spoiled food is generally $500, which is the same or lower than the deductibles. That means, a claim for just spoilt food is not worthwhile. If it is part of a larger claim for damages, however, adding those ruined steaks is a good idea.
The cost of defending a libel case can cause serious financial difficulties. It’s enough to put many people into bankruptcy. It would probably come as a pleasant surprise for your client to learn that their home insurance policy probably includes provisions to cover the costs of defending a libel case against them.
In fact, there have been some famous cases in the past where defendants have relied on insurance companies. One of those was Bill Clinton when he was sued for sexual harassment. The $1.5 million bill for Mr. Clinton's defense was taken care of through a personal liability umbrella policy connected to his home insurance.
Homeowners insurance provides coverage for a lot more than most people think. Your existing clients would no doubt be thrilled to learn that their policy safeguards against the things listed here, but you can also use these hidden policy features to entice new clients too.