Seasoned insurance agents have seen people try to make some interesting claims on homeowners insurance policies—from homeowners wanting their insurance policy to pay for pouring new cement when their sidewalk cracks, to those who had hard-drives crash due to computer viruses and wanting to make a claim on homeowners insurance policies because it involved their “personal property.”
Thus, there’s an important homeowners insurance exclusion to know about — homeowners insurance does not provide coverage for normal wear and tear, nor maintenance. It works exactly the same way auto insurance does.
However, there are quite a few things homeowners insurance will cover, often things that people are surprised at. As always, this is just another reason it’s crucial to read your insurance policies, because if one of the following happens to you, you’d know you’re likely covered.
No, your homeowners insurance will not keep door to door salespeople or friendly guys in white shirts on bicycles from knocking on your door, but it will cover damage if there’s some kind of riot that causes damage to your home. Fortunately, we don’t really see a lot of protests and riots in the U.S., but in the event that our country ever did begin experiencing the not-so-peaceful gatherings that are experienced elsewhere in the world, damage to your home would be covered if it was caught in the crossfire.
2.) Biohazard Clean-Up
That’s really just a nicer way of saying that if anything that looks like it came from an episode of Criminal Minds happened in your home, your policy would pay for the cleanup. If that still doesn’t paint a picture for you, here’s another scenario. Roman Polanski was in another country when his Sharon Tate and her friends were ‘visited’ by the Manson family, and when he returned home, his homeowners insurance would have paid to clean up the crime scene and also remove anyone that was no longer with us. This obviously isn’t something you want to do yourself, but it’s also not exactly cheap to do. There are businesses that do nothing but biohazard cleaning and clean up crime scenes – an entire movie, Sunshine Cleaning, was even dedicated to it, depicting two people who arguably have one of the worst jobs ever. After watching it, you’ll be glad your homeowners insurance policy extends this coverage.
3.) Visits From UFOs and Gifts From ET
The odds of ever having to use this are very, very slim, but if a large meteorite (or pieces of one) crashed into your home or caused any resulting damage, your policy would cover it. In fact, almost any damage from a ‘falling object’ will usually be covered by your homeowners insurance policy. You’re more likely to have an airplane crash into your home, but stranger things have fallen from the sky — like the supposed scuba diver who ended up in the top of a tree in a forest fire.
4.) Fake Greenery — If Your Stash of Cash Is Fake
This is something many people have no idea is covered by their homeowners insurance, but it is a fact. If you unknowingly received counterfeit money (either U.S. money or Canadian money) your policy will pay up to $500 in losses. If you had the bright idea of setting up a counterfeit print shop in your basement, remember that $500 won’t get you very far these days, and you’d have to be able to identify the fake money in the first place to make a claim – also meaning you’ll probably never have to use this coverage.
5.) Grave Danger
Again, this isn’t the most pleasant thing to think about. But if a family member’s resting place is disturbed, a typical homeowners insurance policy usually covers up to $5K in damages or losses. This extends to both resting places on your property and away from your home. Damages could be in the form of a damaged or stolen tombstone, a vandalized mausoleum, and unfortunately, if anything — or anyone — is stolen or disturbed.
6.) Cleaning Up Messes Thieves or Vandals Leave Behind
This is obviously more pleasant than biohazard cleanup, and depending on the severity, you may just do it yourself. But if your home is broken into and the thieves completely wrecked the place, causing damage in the act, your homeowners insurance will probably cover this.
However, it’s important to note that how much money you receive for damages or cleanup is dependent upon whether you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value on your belongings.
7.) Dennis the Menace
If you have a neighbor under the age of 13 that smashes a window with a baseball—by accident — your policy will most likely cover replacing the window. This means baseballs, not paintballs though, as it has to be an honest accident, and most policies only provide such coverage under the condition that it was a child under age 13.
Follow Desiree Baughman on Twitter @DesireeBaughman.