Every once and a while I get asked about homeowners insurance. "What all does that cover?" Some things may seem obvious, but there are certain things that don't fall under the policy that might surprise you. Let's take a look at what is and isn't covered.


First off, there is a basic homeowners insurance policy that covers your home and possessions if they're destroyed or damaged by these things:

  • Fire

  • Lightning

  • Windstorm (not always available in hurricane zones)

  • Hail (not available everywhere)

  • Explosion

  • Riots

  • Civil commotion

  • Aircraft (or things falling from aircraft)

  • Vehicles (or things thrown from vehicles)

  • Smoke

  • Vandalism (excluded in some policies)

  • Malicious mischief

  • Theft

  • Volcanic eruption 

Some of these are more worries some in different areas of the country. For example, I'm not worried about a volcanic eruption in Brookings county any time soon. But, this list is the very basic policy and many states require an upgraded policy to cover more possible disasters. That upgraded policy would also include these things:

  • Falling objects

  • Weight of ice, snow or sleet (now we're talking South Dakota's language!)

  • Flooding from your appliances, plumbing, HVAC or fire-protection sprinkler system

  • Damage to electrical parts caused by artificially generated currents such as a power surge caused by lightning. (But damaged electronics such as computers aren't covered.)

  • Broken glass

  • Abrupt collapse (from something like termite damage, for example)

That's the list for the form of basic coverage required in most areas. And it's what you see is what you get. If a T-Rex escapes from Jurassic Park and demolishes your home, your policy wouldn't cover that damage since a T-Rex attack isn't listed here.

Now, some people want a little more piece of mind. They will opt for the most complete homeowner's insurance option to provide full coverage for everything, including a T-Rex attack, but they would still not be covered for these specific events:

  • Floods

  • Earthquakes

  • War

  • Nuclear accidents

  • Landslides

  • Mudslides

  • Sinkholes

These are common exclusions no matter what policy you get. Other things not covered by the basic policy include:

  • Negative effects of failed maintenance (such as mold)

  • Hurricanes

  • Sewer backups

  • Sump pump failure

  • Pollution

  • Ground movement and holes caused by mining

But don't fret. You can buy additional policies to cover some of these disasters. The best course of action would be to contact your provider to discuss anything you've seen in this post that concerns you. Even better, if there's something not listed that you are curious about, give them a call! 


Thinking of selling and/or moving to Brookings, Volga, or any surrounding areas? Got questions? I’m here to help! Visit BrookingsHomeTeam.com for more details!

Posted by Shane Andersen on
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