Your homeowners policy typically covers costs associated with damage from things like fire, windstorms, hail, lightning, theft and vandalism. It also covers temporary housing expenses if your home is uninhabitable while it is being repaired or rebuilt, and it offers liability coverage for medical and legal expenses if someone is injured on your property or as a result of your activities.
Typically, a homeowners policy doesn’t cover floods, sewer backup or sump pump overflow, mold, earthquakes, or termite infestation. However, there are additional coverages for purchase to help protect you from these instances.
For example, flood damage isn’t covered under your basic homeowners insurance policy, but it’s a good idea to protect your home with flood insurance no matter where you live. Flooding can happen even if you aren’t located near a river, lake or ocean. Some people with federally backed mortgages are required to get flood insurance if their home is in a high-risk zone. Talk to your agent about adding flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Earthquake coverage is another optional add-on not included in a basic policy. It protects your home in the case of an earthquake.
Sewer back-up and sump pump overflow coverage is also a great optional coverage to have, especially if you have a finished basement. If your system ever fails or the power goes out, water overflow may occur and your basic homeowners policy won’t cover you for the damages to the structure of your home or the personal property in your basement.
Your insurance agent can help you better understand these extra coverages and why they’re so important to have.