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The Little-Known Coverage Secrets of Your Home Insurance

July 9, 2012

Most people know what home insurance is for; it covers your home and its contents against a range of perils such as fire and theft. It also protects you from liability claims against you. But the average home insurance policy offers a lot more than the main coverage; there are a number of lesser-known perks to your home insurance that can make a big difference if you need them. How does your home insurance work for you every day? Here are a few of the hidden coverage secrets many people don’t know about.

Coverage for Property While You Travel

Your home’s contents are covered for fire, theft, and a list of other possible ways in which they could be damaged in your home. The good, and sometimes surprising news for homeowners, is that a percentage of your personal property is actually covered anywhere you take it. It doesn’t have to be in your home.

If you are headed away on vacation, and you bring along your fancy new camera to get some fantastic shots of an exotic destination, what happens if that camera is stolen? Your home insurance will cover it. In fact, your home insurance covers all your personal property, within the limits of the policy, anywhere you take it in the world.

It’s important to note that certain high-value items may require additional coverage to be covered in full. Home insurance places certain limits on items like jewelry, and high-value items need to be appraised and scheduled to be covered in full. Scheduled items are often covered for perils not normally covered, such as mysterious disappearance.

Your personal property is also covered in your car; car insurance provides very little in the way of contents coverage. Should your car be stolen or your property stolen from the car, you can turn to your home insurance policy to help recoup that loss.

Liability for Special Events

When you are planning a wedding or other special event at a venue off your property, you may be asked to provide liability coverage in case something goes wrong at the event and you are sued. This protects the venue owners by ensuring you are responsible and they are not.

Fortunately for home insurance policy holders, your insurance company may extend your liability coverage for a special event, meaning you don’t need to seek out another policy. They will provide the venue with a proof of liability insurance; simply call your insurance professional to see if your insurance company can extend the coverage and provide the proof.

Coverage for Your Toys

Grown-ups have toys too; whether it’s a new bicycle or a jet ski, you may keep your toys at your home. Some of these may require their own insurance policy, but even without that policy, you have some coverage for these items on your home insurance policy.

If your bicycle is stolen, you can look to your home insurance policy to cover it. You will also have some coverage for boats and other watercraft (under a certain horsepower), although a separate policy is usually a good idea for these types of toys, especially motorized watercraft.

What is covered under your home policy may differ, so it’s best to verify with your insurance company and obtain separate coverage if you need it.

Your Landscaping

Many people don’t know it, but the trees, shrubs, and decorative elements of your yard are also protected by your home insurance policy. Damage to these due to any covered peril is a part of the package.

You’re also covered if a tree on your property falls and does damage to someone else’s home, car, or personal property. That can be very helpful, especially if the damage is serious. Remember that you are expected to be aware of any potential for a tree falling and have any dead or dangerous trees removed; this cost is not covered.

Renter’s Insurance Covers You Too

Many of these same special features are a part of a renter’s insurance policy as well. Although many people who rent don’t think carrying a policy is necessary, it’s surprising how many areas of your life are covered under such a policy, which is generally very affordable.

Renters can get full coverage for their personal property, and take advantage of most of these little-known perks of home insurance as well; making that policy a protection you really shouldn’t be without.

Home insurance covers you for the big items and for the smaller items; it’s designed to be a comprehensive package policy that offers a wide range of protective elements. Knowing all the details of what is available to you, can make sure you take advantage of them should the day come when you need them. Since there are different types of policies available with different levels of coverage, check with your insurance professional to see what your policy covers.

  • Gerard Convey

    You had an article in the Toronto Star about deductible on car insurance, “When do you pay”.
    I was wondering when do you pay the deductible on home insurance? My case is around City Sewer backup do to heavy rain fall. Do I pay deductible?


  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hello Gerard,

    Depending on the home insurance provider you deal with, the standard policy deductible or a separate sewer backup deductible may apply. If you live in an area where sewer backup has been a problem, or if you’ve had a previous loss, your deductible will likely be higher.

    Thank you.

  • Brandy

    Apparently your house contents are not covered when moving from one house to the next because they are only covered if they RETURN to the house of origin. Which begs the question; How does one insure contents when moving?

  • Brandy

    Apparently your house contents are not covered when moving from one house to the next because they are only covered if they RETURN to the house of origin. Which begs the question; How does one insure contents when moving?

  • Judy

    I have been declined insurance for my condo because I am living abroad and spend only a few months out of the year in Canada. Are there specialized companies that offer insurance for people in my situation? I would appreciate your professional advice! Thanks.