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What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

house with broken window above door

We all hope never to need that policy, but do you know exactly what a homeowners’ policy covers? The answers may surprise you and even save you some money in areas you never realized!

Homeowners’ policies offer a wide range of coverages, from your home itself and structures on your property to liability coverage, even to loss of income coverages. As always, coverage will vary from policy to policy and company to company, so it is important to read your policy carefully and consult your insurance agent.

Let’s go over some of the most common coverages you’ll see with homeowners’ policies.

Dwelling and Other Structures

Standard homeowners’ policies cover the physical structure of your home in the event of needed repairs or replacement from a covered cause of loss. These coverages protect your home from damage caused by things like fire, smoke, wind, lightning, and hail. They also include falling object coverage, which means things like meteors falling on your house are also covered (the more you know, right?).

Often these coverages also extend to protect “other structures” on your policy. This refers to things such as detached garages, barns, fences, sheds and even things like permanently affixed swing sets. They can, depending on the policy, also refer to things like swimming pools and other recreational equipment. However, these are considered higher-risk items and may need additional coverage.

Personal Property

Policies are designed to protect your home during a theft or vandalism event and can also extend to your personal belongings. Things such as appliances, clothing, furniture, electronics, and other possessions are covered up to set limits outlined in the policy.

Living Expenses

Another often-overlooked area in a homeowners’ policy is covered living expenses, should you find yourself in need of alternate lodging while your home is being repaired or rebuilt from a covered cause of loss. It often includes food, parking and hotel fees up to a pre-set coverage limit and time period that is laid out in your policy.

Liability Coverages

Another important part of your homeowners’ policy is personal liability. This means your policy can offer financial protection if a person is injured on your property. For example, say a friend is bit by your dog, or a delivery person slips on ice on your driveway or sidewalk. Your homeowners’ insurance will reimburse medical expenses to the injured party as well as legal fees if you are sued over it, up to applicable coverage limits.

What’s Not Covered?

Things like floods, mold, pest infestations, and earthquakes are usually not covered under most standard homeowners’ policies. As always, things that break or are damaged due to neglect are also not usually covered. Oftentimes, coverage for natural disasters like flooding and earthquakes is offered as additional endorsements on your homeowners’ policy.

Like any insurance policy, there are common things that just aren’t covered in most homeowners’ policies. However, we always recommend you read your policy in detail and speak with your local agent for specific questions.

Homeowners’ insurance can be complicated, and it may be difficult to understand exactly what you need to fit your specific situation. We not only offer a wide range of coverage options to help tailor policies specifically to you but those policies are also handled by local insurance experts who will help guide and advise you. Make sure to contact us today to discuss what coverages you may or may not have on your homeowners’ policy.

ERIE® insurance products and services are provided by one or more of the following insurers: Erie Insurance Exchange, Erie Insurance Company, Erie Insurance Property & Casualty Company, Flagship City Insurance Company and Erie Family Life Insurance Company (home offices: Erie, Pennsylvania) or Erie Insurance Company of New York (home office: Rochester, New York).  The companies within the Erie Insurance Group are not licensed to operate in all states. Refer to the company licensure and states of operation information.

The insurance products and rates, if applicable, described in this blog are in effect as of January 2024 and may be changed at any time. 

Insurance products are subject to terms, conditions and exclusions not described in this blog. The policy contains the specific details of the coverages, terms, conditions and exclusions. 

The insurance products and services described in this blog are not offered in all states.  ERIE life insurance and annuity products are not available in New York.  ERIE Medicare supplement products are not available in the District of Columbia or New York.  ERIE long term care products are not available in the District of Columbia and New York. 

Eligibility will be determined at the time of application based upon applicable underwriting guidelines and rules in effect at that time.

Your ERIE agent can offer you practical guidance and answer questions you may have before you buy.