What Perils Are Covered by Homeowners Insurance?

At Morse, we always want to make sure that you, your home and your belongings are properly protected from potential mishaps such as severe weather, vandalism, and falling objects, like a massively snow-laden pine tree. One way that we can help to shield your property and personal possessions from perils like these is to ensure that you have comprehensive homeowners insurance coverage.

But, of course, the team at Morse wants to do much more than just find you the right home insurance policy. Our team would also like to share important information on how this critical coverage will go to work for you in the event an unexpected catastrophe was to happen.

While no two insurance policies or carriers are exactly the same, and the specific losses covered by your policy may vary greatly from that of your neighbors, there are a handful of events that almost every homeowners policy provides protection for. As your local insurance agent, the team at Morse is happy to provide some general information about the most commonly covered disasters.

We also decided to include examples of potential events – some of which may sound all-too-familiar – to better illustrate how your home insurance policy will go to work for you. To navigate through the eight most common perils covered by homeowners insurance, click on the corresponding links below.

The Eight Common Perils Covered by Home Insurance

Fire & Smoke

If something like this were to happen…
You’ve logged 1,000 steps on your Fitbit, and it’s only 6am. The kids’ bacon is frying on the stovetop, a load of laundry is going, and you’re taking a moment in your home office to check work emails. Suddenly, your smoke alarm blares and you nearly jump out of your skin. You forgot about the bacon! Now the frying pan is in flames, the room is all smoky and there’s soot and ash on the walls and cabinets.

…home insurance has you covered.
Whether it’s a relatively minor kitchen mishap or a larger fire event in which you lose most of your belongings and home, most home insurance policies cover the costs associated with repairing and/or replacing your home as well as your damaged personal belongings. In addition, if your home were to become uninhabitable during repairs or while being rebuilt, some policies will even help pay for additional living costs, such as hotel or temporary rental fees, restaurant bills and boarding costs for a family pet.
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Lightning Strike

If something like this were to happen…
July 4th is your absolute favorite holiday. But this year, your party was canceled because of a severe thunderstorm with intense lightning, now you’re stuck inside watching the Boston Pops, instead of enjoying locally-brewed IPAs, pulled pork, and yard games. When BAM!, the dark sky turns bright and there’s a loud boom that feels like it shook your house off its foundation. Now, you’re sitting in complete darkness – no TV, no lamps, no nothing, except for the distinct sound of sizzling appliances.

…home insurance has you covered.
There is no denying that lightning is an amazing natural phenomenon, and while striking to look at from a safe distance, up close and personal, it has the ability to do some major damage, especially if it were to hit your home. In fact, it is not uncommon for lightning to be the root cause of a house fire, the main culprit for destroying a home’s appliances, electronics and/or wiring, and the reason many homeowners are victims of electric shock. Fortunately, damage to your property and your personal belongings, especially those with an electric plug, caused by a lightning strike or destroyed due to a house fire that was initiated by lightning, are traditionally covered by most home insurance policies.
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Windstorms & Hail

If something like this were to happen…
After a much-needed night out in Boston with your partner, you get in the car and head home down I-93 South. Out of nowhere, the sky opens up. Heavy rain turns into sleet, and then into hail. When you finally pull into your driveway, you heave a sigh of relief that you are home safe and sound. But your heart sinks when you see several golf-ball-sized holes in your roof.

…home insurance has you covered.
Most standard homeowners policies cover the damages that a wicked windstorm or an intense hailstorm can do to your home and property. When you review this listed peril in your home insurance policy, you will find two separate coverages, one for your Dwelling, which protects your home, as well as covers the cost of repairs to your roof, siding and windows, and the other for your Personal Property, which helps you replace any contents of your home that were damaged directly by wind and hail. This coverage also applies to rain, snow, sleet, and/or sand.
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Vandalism & Malicious Mischief

If something like this were to happen…
You return home from your friend’s annual Halloween party with your tired and cranky kids in tow only to find your yard strewn with toilet paper, your front door covered in smashed eggs, and bits of glass everywhere from your new, and now broken, landscape lighting. As you start to clean up the mess, you’re shocked to find that the vandals have also spray-painted the side of your garage. It’s going to take a lot more than a broom and paper towels to clean up this mess.

…home insurance has you covered.
Believe it or not, defacement of property is among the top reasons for homeowners insurance claims today, so do not hesitate to call your insurance carrier should this type of vandalism happen to you. Most home insurance policies will cover any damages resulting from this event, or similar malicious mischief, including repairs you might need to make to the structure of your house, to personal belongings, and to your landscaping. That’s right – everything from a broken window or busted door lock, to a cracked outdoor light fixture or trampled festive decor, to pipes or plumbing that have been tampered with, are protected under this coverage.
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If something like this were to happen…
Returning home from the Cape, you and your family couldn’t feel more relaxed driving up Route 24. But, all of those feelings of bliss immediately disappear when you arrive home to a smashed-in window. You head inside to assess what’s happened. The TV, laptops, and jewelry boxes are all missing, along with other items that have deep sentimental value to you, like your childhood baseball card collection. Distraught over the loss and damages, you kick yourself for not setting-up that smart security system before you left.

…home insurance has you covered.
Fortunately, a standard homeowners insurance policy typically provides financial assistance after a break-in such as this. In fact, home insurance generally helps pay to repair and/or replace damaged property, like the broken window, with same quality materials, as well as cover the replacement of your stolen belongings.

When it comes to your things, most policies are written to either include replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage will likely reimburse you for the cost of repurchasing any stolen or damaged items at today’s costs. Whereas, actual cash value coverage deducts for depreciation and regular wear-and-tear, meaning your insurer will only pay out what the stolen item would sell for today.

Regardless of what coverage type you have, most home insurance policies will only cover your claim up to a specific dollar amount. Therefore, if you have high-value items in your home, such as a family heirloom, a diamond tennis bracelet, or even expensive gifts that you’re hiding away until the holidays, you may want to consider adding a scheduled jewelry and fine arts rider to your policy to make sure that your most valuable items, both in price and emotion, are covered for 100% of their value.
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Fallen Objects

If something like this were to happen…
Last night, while fast asleep, a severe microburst tore through your coastal hometown of Marion, Massachusetts bringing down several of your well-maintained trees, as well as the neighborhood’s power lines. Waking up without electricity, an overturned boat in the driveway, and a tree on top of your home is definitely not the way you were hoping to start your day off with the kids.

…home insurance has you covered.
Most homeowners policies cover a variety of falling objects, some of which are a little less obvious than others. If a powerful storm causes a tree on your property to fall and hit your house, garage or fence, then your insurance will likely cover the cost of repairs for any damages as well as for the removal of the fallen tree. However, if your personal boat was to suffer damages while being stored on your property, your home insurance policy will likely only provide very limited coverage. Therefore, you may want to consider adding a comprehensive marine insurance policy to your repertoire. Interestingly enough, more obscure falling objects, such as satellites, asteroids, meteors, and other space debris (even those from galaxies far, far away) are covered by most standard home insurance plans too. Long story short, this critical coverage will most likely provide all the assistance you need with the damage and destruction that the covered object, regardless of what planet it’s from, caused to the structure of your home, property, and personal belongings.
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Weight of Ice, Snow or Sleet

If something like this were to happen…
“Dad, I think someone’s knocking at the front door.” While your daughter’s observation seems unlikely to you, considering the blizzard-like conditions outside, you decide to investigate. Just as you suspected – no one’s at the front or side doors. But she’s still convinced that someone is in your home. With four-year-old Lily on your back, you climb the attic stairs with her favorite pink flash light. Then, you look up to find water seeping into the attic from the roof. Make pretend or not, you are beyond grateful that Lily’s imagination provided you with the opportunity to check on the attic. It’s very obvious to you now that you have an ice dam.

…home insurance has you covered.
Most homeowners policies offer protection for damages caused by ice dams, which is a relief since they are a seasonal nuisance for many New England homeowners. Plus, if your roof were to cave in or even leak due to the weight of ice, snow or sleet, your standard home insurance policy will most likely cover the damages done to the structure of your home, as well as cover the costs to repair any damages done inside your home.
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Water Damage

If something like this were to happen…
You’ve officially moved into your first home, and one of the larger purchases you’ve made since signing on the dotted line was a brand-new, high efficiency washer and dryer set. Two weeks have passed since the tech installed your new appliances, and you couldn’t be happier with how they are performing. In fact, on several occasions, you’ve even caught yourself thinking that laundry was fun. You head into your laundry room to throw in a load. When, halfway to the washer, you realize your socks are soaked. Looking down, you notice that you have stepped in a puddle of water and it appears to be coming from the washing machine supply hose! Your first thought is if there is water here, what about your husband’s man cave beneath you? You immediately run down stairs to see that the water has in fact seeped through the ceiling and drenched the leather recliner, ottoman, rug and Smart TV. All this, minutes before the big Patriots game.

…home insurance has you covered.
Most homeowners insurance policies will help cover water damage to your home if the cause is sudden and accidental. In fact, it is not uncommon for some policies to cover damages due to a water heater malfunction, frozen pipe bursting, or a faulty water supply hose that is connected to a washing machine, dishwasher and/or fridge. Most policies include two types of coverages – dwelling coverage and personal property coverage. Dwelling coverage will help pay for damage to the structure of your home, so if the faulty hose causes damage to your drywall and laminate flooring, this coverage type would help pay for those repairs. Personal property coverage helps cover the water damage to your belongings, including any rugs, furniture, artwork and/or books that may be stored next to or near your washing machine.

While we are glad to share this general information about what perils are covered by your standard home insurance policy, please remember that coverage details can vary greatly between insurance carriers and individual policies. This is why we strongly recommend you schedule some time to do a full policy review with a local agent, like Morse Insurance. We are happy to go over the specifics of your home insurance coverage with you, make sure your policy addresses all your current and future needs, and answer all of your most frequently asked questions.
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Perils That Are Not Covered by Home Insurance

What’s as important as knowing the types of losses that are covered by your home insurance? It’s understanding what’s not going to be covered, of course.

Below is a list of perils that are typically excluded in a standard homeowners policy. Depending on the characteristics of your unique property and the value of your belongings, you may want to consider purchasing a separate endorsement to ensure that your home and your things are properly safeguarded from one or more of these events:

  • Earthquakes
  • Water and Sewer Back-up
  • Mold (unless it results from damage due to a named peril)
  • Infestation from termites or other pests
  • Fallen Tree Removal (unless the tree has damaged your home or other structures or if it’s blocking a driveway or ramp for the disabled)
  • Sinkholes
  • Damage caused by war or nuclear hazard
  • Damage done to a vacant home (especially in the case of fire and vandalism)
  • Gradual water damage (such as leaky pipes, mold and rot, and poor maintenance)
  • Home Systems Breakdowns
  • Flood Damage

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Hear What Our Clients Have To Say
"Working with Morse Insurance is like working with your family, we feel like we're a part of their family and they're a part of ours. The entire team is very human and funny with great personalities. It's clear that they love what they do and that they love their customers. They're great people, wonderful neighbors, and an awesome company and I just love doing business with them."

Patti, Morse Insurance Client

"Morse handles all of our Commercial Insurance: Liability, Workers comp, Property and Casualty, and Auto. I completely trust that they have our best interest in mind when they make recommendations about what we need and don't need. Plus, they have top notch customer service, are local and accessible, so when I need something they can turn a requests around quickly. We couldn't be happier with them."

Patti, Morse Insurance Client

"I've been with Morse for 12 years with my Business Fleet Auto and Workers’ Comp, along with my personal Auto, Homeowner's and Multi-Family Property Insurance. Unlike national insurance companies, the Morse team works and lives in the area so they understand what coverage is suitable for this region and my needs. I love that they are locally owned and managed."

Sonja, Morse Insurance Client

"Morse Insurance truly maximizes my insurance dollar while giving me appropriate, well thought out insurance strategies. Their continued dedication and commitment to providing the balanced combination of value and peace of mind is why I keep working with them."

Sonja, Morse Insurance Client

"The team at Morse Insurance handles all my personal and business insurance needs. I expect and receive professional insurance recommendations tailored to my particular needs and circumstances. I could not ask for a more attentive, conscientious and friendly group of people."

Steve, Morse Insurance Client

"Morse Insurance has been our agency for nearly 20 years. At first they provided our Homeowner's Insurance, then we added Auto Insurance. Later, when we started our business, it was General Liability and Errors and Omissions Insurance. The team at Morse is always there to guide us through these complex products. We feel they get us the best products at a fair price and know us on a personal basis."

Larry and Donna, Morse Insurance Clients

"Morse has handled the Professional Liability, Business General Liability, Auto, and Workers’ Comp for our company for over 10 years. Their attention to detail is what sets them apart. I've been with some agencies and you call in only to get an agent who you don't know and who doesn't know you. It's not really a personal relationship. With Morse, I call up Donna and say, 'This is Bill' and she answers my questions. They're small, but they're large at the same time. You can really trust that they'll get things done."

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