Did you know your home insurance policy could do this?
Things You Didn't Know Home Insurance Covers
As we’ve mentioned before, going to your local homeowners insurance agent may not be your best bet if you’re looking for a deal on the cost of your coverage. But let’s take a look at some of the best deals the typical homeowner gets in their insurance policy, including little-known coverage types and special features you can ask about.
Personal Liability Coverage Away from Home
Most people know that their homeowners insurance offers liability protection for damage they cause to other people and their property at their home. But many homeowners policies also offer a limited amount of protection when you’re away from your home.
So if you’re at a charity ball in a museum and knock over one of the sculptures on display and the nonprofit or the museum sues you, your homeowners insurance may cover the legal costs. Whew!
Medical Expenses Coverage
If someone gets hurt on your property and needs medical attention, your homeowners insurance likely offers coverage for the cost of those bills (see: medical payments insurance). This is a hidden gem of homeowners insurance policies. Insurance companies offer it because it’s usually more cost effective to deal with injuries immediately than to let them go untreated and develop into more expensive conditions.
In other words, your home insurance company would rather pay to send someone to the ER in an ambulance, which might be a couple thousand dollars, than pay for a three-week hospital stay the guest needs after ignoring the injury for a few days.
Replacement Cost Property Coverage
When choosing which kind of property insurance to include in your homeowners policy, the best deal is usually replacement cost coverage. If anything happens to your stuff, your insurance company can provide you with enough money to replace damaged items with new equivalents.
So say your TV is 10 years old but was top of the line 10 years ago. If it’s destroyed in a covered property event, you’ll receive as much money as you need to buy a new top-of-the-line TV.
The alternative is actual cash value coverage, and it’s usually not a great deal. Yes, it will save you some money on your premiums, but in the event of a claim, you’ll only get enough money to cover the current cash value of whatever items you own. So you’d have the funds to find a 10-year-old TV to put in your fixed-up living room.
Slander and Libel Coverage
We’re not suggesting you go out and defame anyone here, but homeowners insurance policies may offer advertising injury protection as part of your personal liability coverage. This means that if someone sues you for slander or libel (making false claims in speech or writing), your homeowners insurance may help with the legal bill.
That coverage typically includes payment for your defense and settlements (up to your policy limit).
Making your home safer benefits everyone: your property is less likely to be damaged or burglarized, which means you’re less likely to make an insurance claim, which means your insurance company is less likely to have to pay out on that claim.
The most important thing to remember about safety discounts is that they vary from one insurance company to another. So before investing in any major upgrades, check with your insurance carrier to see whether you qualify for a discount for:
- Installing a security system. Most home insurance companies offer a premium discount for a security system, but check with your carrier to make sure your specific system qualifies.
- Maintaining other safety features. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, smart appliances – all these things can make your home and your family safer, which means an insurance company may tie them to lower premiums.
- Getting a new roof. Depending on where you live, updating your roof so that it’s resistant to tornadoes, hurricanes, or hail can qualify you for a deal on your insurance.
For More Great Deals, Just Ask
We can’t emphasize enough that the coverage and discounts available to you depend almost entirely on your insurance carrier. If you’re looking for ways to save money on your homeowners insurance or to add more coverage, call your provider and ask about what's available. You may be pleasantly surprised by what you learn.