What does homeowners insurance cover?

Homeowners insurance covers your house and personal belongings if they’re damaged or burglarized, but certain types of property damage isn’t covered.

  • Fire or lightning
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or civil commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning or bulging
  • Freezing of plumbing
  • Sudden and accidental damage from an artificially generated electrical current
  • Volcanic eruption

    What does homeowners insurance not cover?

    The most common exclusions that not even the best homeowners insurance company will cover include the following.

    • Earth movement (earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, subsidence, sinkholes, and so on)
    • Water damage (when it’s from flooding, surface water, waves, tidal water, a sewer backup, or groundwater seeping up into the home)
    • Power failure
    • Neglect
    • Ordinance of law (meaning the government orders you to tear down, rebuild, or renovate your home to meet local ordinances)
    • War
    • Nuclear hazard
    • Intentional loss
    • Governmental action
    • Mischievous acts
    • Birds, vermin, rodents, or insects
    • Animals owned by an insured
    • Mold, fungus, or wet rot (unless it’s hidden within the walls or ceilings or beneath floors after an accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing or HVAC systems)

      How you’re covered by homeowners insurance

      Coverage type What does it cover? What’s the coverage limit? Do you have to pay a deductible?
      Dwelling coverage Covers the structure of your home and built-in appliances Should be equal to your home’s replacement cost Yes
      Other structures coverage Covers detached structures on your property 10% of dwelling coverage Yes
      Personal property coverage Covers your personal belongings both inside and outside the home 50% of dwelling coverage Yes
      Loss-of-use coverage Pays for additional living expenses while your home is being repaired 20% of dwelling coverage Yes
      Personal liability coverage Pays for legal and medical bills if you’re held liable for injury or personal property damage to someone else $100,000-$500,000 No
      Medical payments coverage If a guest is injured in your home, it pays for their medical bills, regardless of who is at fault $1,000-$5,000