Who Knew? 10 Unusual Things that Your Insurance Might Cover

September 23, 2013 11:03 am · 10 comments

Brace yourself. A spacecraft crashing into your home or a volcano burning it to the ground, might just be covered by your insurance policies, according to AAA.

This information was sent out earlier today by AAA, and we thought it would make for a fun & informative discussion on Claycord.

AAA suggests that homeowners and drivers check their insurance policies to see what is covered, including some unusual damages:

“Whether your dog bites a visitor, or you have damage from lightning striking your car, it’s important to understand what is in your insurance policies, in case the need arises,” said Cynthia Harris, AAA Nevada spokesperson. “You may be surprised at what you find.

Spacecraft or Airplane Crashes into House. Although it seldom happens, airplanes, especially small private planes, occasionally crash into homes. The damage done may be covered. And in the very rare chance that a spacecraft should ever hit your home, that may be covered too.

Lightning Strikes. Lightning strikes racked up nearly $1 billion nationally in insured losses in 2012, according to III. Homes partially or entirely destroyed by lightning-caused fire are not the only items that may be covered by your homeowners policy. Damaged electronic equipment like computers, high definition and plasma TVs, and refrigerators could be covered. Lightning also strikes autos, causing fires or destruction to their electrical systems, both of which may be covered by your comprehensive policy.

Identity Theft. Every year millions of people are victims of identity theft. With an endorsement, your AAA Insurance will cover identity theft expenses up to a predetermined limit. These expenses include reasonable attorney fees, earnings lost because of the time you had to take off to resolve the issue, and reapplication fees for loans denied because of incorrect credit information.

Spoiled Food. In a power outage, the contents of your freezer and refrigerator could spoil. This may be covered by your homeowners policy, but the amount will likely vary from state to state.

Student Possessions. With an endorsement, the possessions of your children, who are students and live in a college dorm, can be covered. However, if they live in an off-campus apartment they must buy their own renters insurance.

Volcano Damage. Your homeowners and auto policies may cover damage caused by a volcanic eruption. Damage to your home or car could include ash, dust or a lava flow, fire, or airborne shockwaves. Your homeowners policy will not cover damage to your home from earthquakes, floods, or mudslides that result from the eruption. However, damage to your car caused by those three things may be covered by your auto policy.

Dog Bites. In 2012, dog bites accounted for more than one-third of all homeowners insurance paid liability claims nationwide, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). While liability related to dog bites is covered in some AAA homeowners policies, some breeds are excluded, so check your policy.

Exploding Factories. Check your policy. Explosions may be covered under a fire loss on your policy. Explosions and fire can be caused by anything from a gas leak in your home to a local factory or a passing truck.

Riots. Riots, although uncommon, do happen. A homeowners policy may cover damage to your home caused by rioting. A homeowners or renters policy could cover theft of or damage to your possessions. If you have comprehensive auto insurance your car may be covered for damage as well.

Legal Representation for Car Accidents. If you are involved in an automobile accident and determined to be at fault, you risk being sued by anyone who claims to be injured. Although many people may think they will have to hire their own lawyers, legal help may be covered with your auto policy.

No matter who your insurance carrier is, you should always check the policy to see what they will and will not cover.

1 Julie September 23, 2013 at 11:19 AM

Insurance covers the oddest things. My older bother had his golf clubs stolen out of his trunk at the Oakland Coliseum when I was in high school, and my parents homeowners covered it 100%.

As a kid, I couldn’t figure out why homeowners ins. would cover something stolen out of your trunk.

2 Crack September 23, 2013 at 11:25 AM

I’d rather win the lottery than have my house hit by lightning. :)

3 Sunnymoon September 23, 2013 at 12:07 PM

If people would just take time to read the HO policy (good reading!), they would know that covered perils are:
Fire
Lightning
Windstorm or hail (interior damage from windstorm or hail is only covered if the wind or hail first makes an opening in the building. Watercraft, outboard motors and related equipment are covered for these perils only while inside fully enclosed buildings).
Explosion (both inside or outside the covered property)
Riot and civil commotion
Aircraft damage
Vehicle damage (except damage to fences, driveways and walks when caused by a vehicle owned or operated by a member of the household).
Smoke (except smoke from agricultural smudging or industrial operations). Also covers puffback – the release of soot, smoke vapor, or fumes from a furnace, boiler or similar equipment.
Vandalism or malicious mischief (unless the premises has been vacant for 60 or more consecutive days)
Theft: The theft peril under the HO-2, HO-3, HO-4 and HO-6 includes attempted theft and property that is no longer located at a given place when its disappearance is likely caused by its theft.
Volcanic eruption – Excludes earthquake damage, land shock waves or tremors
Falling objects that damages the covered property. (a tree falls on the house) (damage to contents is also covered if the falling object makes an opening in the roof or outside wall)
Weight of ice and snow or sleet that damages the covered property. (does not cover damage to an awning, fence, patio, pavement, swimming pool, foundations, retaining walls, piers or docks)
Accidental discharge of water or steam from a heating, air conditioning or plumbing system. (A water pipe bursts or a water pump on a dishwasher suddenly leaks)
Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, air conditioning system,sprinkler system or an appliance for heating water.
Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning systems, household appliances or sprinkler systems provided the insured maintains heat in the building or shuts off the water and drains all systems of water.
Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current. Does not cover damage to tubes, transistors, electronic components or circuitry. Note:
Lightning would cover these items.
Collapse – An abrupt falling down or caving in of the structure or a part of the structure

4 Antler September 23, 2013 at 12:41 PM

USAA gives extraordinarily fine coverage and claims service………except the time our OWN dog (“Twig”,a Basenji puppy with “separation anxiety” issues) chewed through the corner of the wall plasterboard between the living room and the hall….and then peeled the metal reinforcement strip up about a foot, and started in on the wooden lathing. Homeowner’s insurance would have covered the damage had a NEIGHBOR’S dog, child, etc. done the damage……but not our own.

Actually, it makes sense. So we docked his allowance BIG TIME! ;-)

5 concord resident September 23, 2013 at 1:45 PM

Does it cover pain and suffering caused by liberals taking all my rights away?

6 Cassandra September 23, 2013 at 1:59 PM

I’m glad to read that “rioting” is covered. This is a great concern where we live. Didn’t know dog biting was such a problem…..

7 Sheryl Wands September 23, 2013 at 2:26 PM

I have just a general question. Does anyone actually read their home owner’s insurance policy before actually buying it? I know there are clauses in the policies that cost extra such as the flood and earthquak, but just asking?

8 Dave September 23, 2013 at 6:13 PM

To Sheryl Wands –

In answer to your question, a majority of people have no clue what the coverage is on either homeowners or auto, and then are astounded when the policies don’t cover something when they suffer a loss of some sort. I didn’t know either until I became a claims adjuster, and I would not recommend that everyone take a look at their various policies to see what is/is not/ covered.

9 Jenjen September 24, 2013 at 12:35 AM

Julie, the reason the golf clubs were covered is because it’s “personal property” covered by homeowners insurance. It follows ( to a limit) your personal property. If your parents had only had car insurance the gold clubs wouldn’t have been covered because auto policies do not cover personal property theft from a vehicle.
Also, the reasons some odd ball things are covered it because the risk ratio on those things are very low, thus not likely to happen.

10 Anonymous September 24, 2013 at 6:53 AM

Just as with anything you buy, you get what you pay for with Homeowners Insurance. To Sunnymoon: Your post brought back all sorts of bad memories of when I was studying for my P&C Insurance license. I thought my head would explode from all of the “what is covered, and what isn’t covered” lists.

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