5 Surprising Things Your Home Insurance Covers


A the house is the biggest purchase most people earn in their lifetime, and home insurance is essential to protecting your greatest asset.

home insurance covers the cost of repairing or replacing your home when it is damaged by a covered event, such as fire or certain types of severe weather. It even covers your personal property and other structures on your property, and provides liability protection for injury or property damage that you or your family may cause.

While coverage may vary depending on your specific policy and the state you live in, some unexpected things may be covered by homeowners insurance.

Keep in mind that even if property damage is covered by your insurance, you will still have to pay your deductible before the insurance takes effect. For example, if you have a $500 deductible, the first $500 of each claim is your responsibility. Also, before making any assumptions about your coverage, it’s important to review your policy and speak with your insurance provider.

Subscribe to the Select newsletter!

Our top picks delivered to your inbox. Shopping recommendations that help you improve your life, delivered weekly. register here.

Home invasion… by unruly bears

If a hungry bear or other wild animal invades your refrigerator, any damage to the home should be covered by your home insurance policy. This does not cover damage caused by pets or other animals you own, and animals generally must be considered “wild” for your insurance to take effect. Read the fine print as there are likely to be exceptions for destruction by common household pests, such as rats, squirrels and insects.

Identity theft

Meteorites and other falling objects

Most home insurance policies cover damage from falling trees or branches under certain circumstances, but falling object protection goes far beyond your shrubs. Damage to your home or personal property caused by meteors, asteroids and other space debris is usually covered by a home insurance policy.

In the extremely unlikely event that a space rock crashes into your living room, not only will you not be responsible for repairs, but you will also be the proud owner of a (potentially valuable) meteorite.

A hotel or Airbnb

In the worst-case scenario, the damage to your home can be so extensive that you won’t be able to live there while repairs are being made. As part of your policy’s loss of use coverage, your insurance may help cover additional living expenses you incur due to a covered event. This includes the cost of a hotel or Airbnb, and other expenses, such as pet boarding costs, moving costs, and rental of storage space. If your food bill goes up beyond what you normally spend because you have to go to the restaurant plus, this could also be covered.

Your kid’s college laptop

Home insurance covers your personal property and that of your family, and this protection often applies to the property of your dependents when they are in college. There are a few important caveats to consider in this situation. Coverage may only apply if the student lives on campus, and there may be an age limit. Read your policy carefully, as the limit of coverage for personal items taken outside your property may be lower than if something is stolen from your home.

What is not covered by home insurance?

It is important to do a detailed review of your home insurance policy to understand exactly what is covered and what is not. There are also nuances as to when certain incidents are covered by your insurance. If your dog bites a neighbour, the liability coverage of a home insurance policy will protect you. However, some policies may exclude certain aggressive dog breeds from liability coverage.

What is covered by a home insurance policy varies based on many different factors, but typically your policy does not cover:

  • Earthquake
  • floods
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Damage due to lack of maintenance
  • Items that exceed your policy’s limit of insurance (artwork, jewelry, collectibles)

For most incidents that are not covered by a standard policy, you may be able to pay extra to add endorsements for specific coverage, such as for floods or earthquakes. If you have an expensive wedding band or a Beanie Baby that you want to cover, it’s a good idea to talk to your insurer. You might need a special endorsement for certain items, which might even require an appraisal to determine their value.

How to find the best home insurer

The best home insurance provider for you is the one who can provide all the coverage you need and the lowest possible price. But finding the right home insurance for you isn’t as simple as locking in the lowest monthly premium.

Start your search for home insurance by determining the type of coverage you need and identifying other factors that may affect your policy. The location of your property will affect the coverage you need and how much it will cost. If you’re closer to a fire station or hydrant, you’ll pay less than a similar house further away. Installing a home security system could also get you a discount on your insurance.

Getting the best coverage can seem more of an art than a science because there are so many trade-offs to consider. You may get a lower premium if you increase your deductible, but in this situation you want to make sure you have an emergency fund that covers the potentially higher charges. Whatever decision you make, you can always shop around and make changes to your plan later.

Select ranked At national scale, Lemonade and Hippopotamus like some of best home insurance companies because of their coverage, accessibility and savings opportunities.

National home insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • Maximum coverage

  • App available

  • Policy Highlights

    The policy covers damage to home and property caused by theft, fire and weather damage. It also covers personal liability, loss of use and unauthorized transactions on your credit card

  • does not cover

    Water damage, earthquakes, flood insurance, identity theft, high value items, disaster home reconstruction (all of these can be purchased as add-ons for additional coverage)


  • Ability to manage policy online
  • Combine with other types of insurance for a discount
  • Get a discount if your home is equipped with qualifying smoke detectors, fire alarms, burglar alarms or other protective devices
  • Rebates for renovations to home plumbing, heating, air conditioning and electrical systems (home improvement credit)
  • Receive a discount if you purchased your home within the last 12 months
  • Discount for gated community

The inconvenients

  • Discount on smart home technology not available in all 50 states

Lemonade Home Insurance

  • Cost

    From $25/month; may vary depending on condition, age of home and other factors

  • Maximum coverage

  • App available

  • Policy Highlights

    The policy covers your home and property for damage caused by Forest fires, extreme weather conditions, crime and vandalism. It also covers liability claims for damage you accidentally cause to others.

  • does not cover

    Electricity, water or heating cut-off or insect infestation; certain events may not be covered, depending on the circumstances — see here for more information


  • Ability to cancel coverage at any time
  • Affordable monthly cost
  • Make complaints via the app
  • Ability to easily change insurer
  • Can add extra coverage for expensive personal items like jewelry and cameras
  • Ability to make payments by escrow or by using a credit card
  • Also covers condos
  • Simple claims can be paid almost instantly

The inconvenients

  • Only available in 24 states
  • Unable to register by phone

Hippo Home Insurance

  • Cost

    The best way to estimate your costs is to request a quote

  • Maximum coverage

  • App available

  • Policy Highlights

    The policy covers dwellings and related structures, personal property, personal liability, loss of use, ordinance or statute coverage, damage to home office equipment, emergency water, high-value items, smart home appliance coverage, etc.

  • does not cover

    Properties outside the United States


  • Can receive a quote in as little as 60 seconds
  • A wider range of coverage offered in their standard policy
  • Lots of tech-focused perks/add-ons
  • Discount for activating smart home devices
  • Receive a discount if you purchased your home within the past 12 months and receive a policy renewal discount if there has been no expiration of coverage
  • Discounts on theft protection devices
  • Discount for the installation of a hail-resistant roof
  • Combine with other types of insurance for a discount

The inconvenients

  • Only available in 40 states

How do I file a housing claim?

To file a home insurance claim, you must notify your insurance company as soon as possible after the event. You will then usually need to provide photos of the damage, receipts, and any other documents or evidence related to the claim you are filing. This will help the company assess the damage and possibly approve your claim and reimburse you.

At the end of the line

Home insurance is an essential tool to protect your most valuable asset, and if you have a mortgage, your lender will require it. Understanding what’s covered by your home insurance helps you get the most out of your policy while paying as little as possible. What is included in basic coverage and what is available as an option varies depending on the insurance policy and the state where you obtain coverage.

Check out Select’s in-depth coverage at personal finance, technology and tools, welfare and more, and follow us on Facebook, instagramand Twitter to stay up to date.

Editorial note: Any opinions, analyses, criticisms or recommendations expressed in this article are those of Select’s editorial staff alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise endorsed by any third party.




Leave a Comment