Everyone knows that your homeowners insurance covers things like hail damage (mostly that here in Dallas) and fire, and theft. However, your homeowners insurance often covers much more than you think.
1. Identity theft coverage. Most people don’t know that their homeowners insurance can cover for identity thieving scumbags. Some companies’ packages come with up to $25,000 in coverage against false charges on your credit cards. Generally you don’t pay anything extra for this, as it is part the base coverage package that they put together for you.
2. Coverage for a grave marker. Tombstones are not only a little depressing to buy, but they are also very pricey. Most people invest that money when they are alive, and then they spend the rest of their lives hoping that their stone doesn’t get hit by lightning or backed over by a drunken hearse driver. Certain home insurance policies come with up to $5000 in tombstone coverage at no additional cost.
3. Land Stabilization. Sometimes, like when the residents gain too much weight, the land under a house can become unstable. Some homeowners policies will cover for land stabilization when the instability is caused by a loss covered on the homeowners policy. Once again, this is a coverage that doesn’t cost you a dime, but is available to you should you need it.
4. Appliance breakage. This is a fairly new offering from insurance companies, but it can be a valuable one. This is a fairly inexpensive option on most policies, and is be a very worthwhile investment, especially if you have “vintage” appliances. For a fairly small deductible your dishwasher, fridge, washing machine, and other appliances can be covered against breakage. Against just plain wearing out, if you will.
5. Kidnap and ransom coverage. I have this coverage on my policy because I spend a lot of time flashing my bankroll at pool halls and telling folks that my parents are even richer than I am. That’s not true, but I like to live on the edge – and I have good homeowners insurance with ransom coverage. If they decide to just rob and murder me, my homeowner’s insurance won’t do me any good. If they kidnap me, I’m covered up to $50,000. Not too bad for the price – $0!
The big home insurance package that you get in the mail goes over all of the coverage you purchased, but it’s always better to know what you are getting before you purchase; most of these coverages are freebies on “deluxe” homeowners policies – but you may not even want (or need) the deluxe coverage in the first place. Talk to your agent and really get to understand the policy that you are buying. Then make sure you have kidnap coverage and meet me at the pool hall – I hear there is a dice game starting at midnight.