10 Surprising Things That Home Insurance Covers

Man watering flowers in his yard
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Most people understand that their homeowners insurance will pay if a tree lands on the roof or the garage goes up in flames. However, many policies cover a number of other losses that you may not expect.

Of course, it goes without saying that every insurer is different, and you should check your policy to determine what coverage you have specifically.

When you do, you may find you have coverage for the following things.

1. Terrorist attack

As long as the U.S. isn’t at war, your insurance company should pay for any damages caused by a terrorist attack.

Most insurers specifically exclude acts of war, but an isolated event that results in fire, smoke or other damage to your property should be covered under your policy’s standard provisions.

2. Dorm room contents

When your son or daughter moves to college, your home insurance may protect their possessions as well. But that’s only if they live in a dorm, as we detail in “3 Types of Insurance Every College Student Needs.”

3. Your lawn and landscaping

If someone drives over your yard and tears up the grass, your insurer may pay to fix the damage.

That’s because trees, plants and shrubs are generally covered by standard homeowner insurance policies. The Insurance Information Institute says plants are generally covered up to $500 per item as long as they are not diseased and have been properly maintained.

4. Marijuana plants

Surprise. Marijuana plants may also be covered by your insurance policy.

Depending on the insurance company and your state laws, marijuana plants may be treated the same as shrubs and other plants.

5. Stolen goods

Speaking of personal possessions, if you have belongings stolen far from home — anywhere — a standard homeowners policy should cover the loss.

That is true even if something is stolen from your car. It’s a home insurance policy that will pay, not car insurance.

6. Falling objects

If a falling object — such as part of a satellite — damages your house, your insurer likely would pick up the tab for any repairs.

The Insurance Information Institute says falling objects — from satellites to asteroids — are covered under most standard homeowners policies.

7. Drones

Speaking of falling objects, your homeowners policy could come to the rescue if your drone drops from the sky and hits someone.

The liability portion of your plan may provide coverage if you injure someone or are sued for inadvertently invading another’s privacy, the Insurance Information Institute says.

However, don’t plan on your home insurance paying if you are purposely trying to peep on people.

8. Items in storage

You might assume your home insurance only covers the items in your house. However, standard policies typically cover your personal belongings, including things that are kept offsite, such as in a storage locker or unit.

Some companies limit coverage for items in storage to 10% of your personal belongings coverage, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

9. Spoiled food

If your power goes out and all the food in your freezer goes bad, you may be in luck.

Insurance companies may replace food that spoils as the result of a covered peril, Allstate notes. That means that if a tree takes out a power line, you may be able to file a claim for rotten food. But if the electricity gets turned off for nonpayment, you won’t see a dime.

10. Unauthorized credit card purchases

Given that many credit cards offer cardholders zero liability for fraud, your homeowners insurance coverage for unauthorized purchases may not be necessary. Still, it’s nice to know your insurer will pay up to $500 to cover unauthorized credit card charges, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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