What Is a Peril?
What Is a Peril in Insurance?
A peril is any event, situation, or incident that causes property damage or loss. Fire, theft, wind, and vandalism are common perils that homeowners insurance can cover. It’s important to understand which perils your policy covers so you know when you can count on your insurance to pick up the repair bill if necessary.
Are All Perils Covered?
No home insurance policy covers every single type of loss event. The type of policy you have determines how many perils are covered.
Policies offer two types of coverage for perils: named perils or open perils (also called all risk).
Policies that offer basic and broad coverage only cover perils that are named in the policy (this is also called named-perils coverage).
Usually, named-perils policies cover loss or damage from these 16 events:
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Riot or civil commotion
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling object
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidental water overflow or steam
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of certain household systems
- Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current
With a named-perils policy, you are only protected if the cause of a loss is one of these listed perils, and that leaves a lot of gaps.
Open Perils or All Risk
Open perils or all risk means all perils are covered except for those the policy lists as exclusions – the opposite of how named perils work. In an open-perils policy, more losses are covered, and you know exactly which aren’t.
Our policies offer open-perils coverage for your home and other structures so that you’re protected for more types of loss.
Which Perils Are Excluded from an Open Perils Policy?
Standard exclusions in an open-perils policy may vary from state to state, so look at your policy or ask one of our representative about your exclusions.
In some cases, an excluded peril can be covered by your policy for an additional fee.
That said, these perils are usually listed as exclusions in an open-perils policy.
This includes earthquakes, sinkholes, landslides and others scenarios where the earth moves.
Flood and Water Damage
This includes sewer backup, overflow from sump pumps, and water below the ground that affects your foundation. This does not include storm surges – only flood insurance covers that.
This is when the failure takes place off premises.
Along with reasonable upkeep, you must do all you can within your means to prevent loss from occurring.
What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!
Let’s hope this never happens.
If you cause a loss on purpose, that loss will not be covered by your policy.
Frozen Pipes in a Vacant Property
A property is considered vacant after 30 days.
Ice and Water Pressure
This is when ice or water freeze or thaw and cause damage to a fence, patio, pavement, swimming pool, foundation, or retaining wall.
Theft is not covered until a dwelling is finished and occupied.
Vandalism and Mischief in a Vacant Property
This is uncovered if the premises have been vacant for more than 30 days.
Wear and Tear
This is normal and expected, so it is not covered by insurance.
Mechanical Deficiency or Breakdown
Appliances and other mechanical equipment are not covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Smog, Rust, Corrosion, and Rot
These things happen slowly, so you should be able to take preventive action before a loss happens.
Industrial / Agricultural Smoke
This refers to any damage that may result from smoke or smog from nearby industrial or agricultural operations that affect your property.
Settling, Shrinking, Bulging, or Expansion
This includes the results of earth movement, like cracked pavement, foundations, walls, etc.
Birds, Vermin, Rodents, or Insects
Keep a critter-free property.
Animals You Own
This includes any property loss caused by an animal that you own. Animal liability is a different beast.
Learn more about what home insurance covers here.