Pensive woman sitting on floor with umbrella

What Perils Are Covered by a Homeowners Insurance Policy?

Home is not only where the heart is, but is also where many of us spend a good deal of time and where we keep the things that are most important to us. Owning a home is likely the largest investment many people will make in their lifetime, so it’s especially important to ensure your property and cherished belongings are protected in the event of unexpected perils – your insurance company may refer to perils as damage caused by fire, water, theft, vandalism and wind. 

“Our homes have become our sanctuaries, and insurance companies want to help keep them that way,” said Christopher O’Rourke, vice president of property claims at Mercury Insurance. “Unfortunately, weather patterns or a thief’s agenda are outside of your control, but your insurance company can help you plan ahead and be prepared for the unexpected. Your ability to plan ahead now can help save you from stress further down the road.”

Commonly covered perils include:

  • Fire and smoke damage
  • Weather-related damage, such as wind or hail damage
  • Water damage from internal sources, not from weather-related flooding
  • Theft of personal property
  • Vandalism
  • Damage caused by snow or ice on the roof
  • Damage from civil disturbances, such as riots
  • Explosions
  • Damage caused by motor vehicles or aircraft

Keep in mind that specific damage caused by flooding or earthquakes isn’t typically covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. However, you can visit the National Flood Insurance Program, the California Earthquake Authority, or speak to an insurance agent to learn more about how to get flood and earthquake insurance. Your homeowners insurance also often won’t cover damage caused by pests, lack of maintenance or government-sanctioned ordinances or laws.

Protecting your home starts with having a homeowners insurance policy. It’s important to discuss the coverage of your policy with your insurance agent to better understand how your belongings and property will be covered in the event of an unexpected peril.