Claims Q&A with Avery Director of Personal Insurance, Lauren Gordon.
We buy home insurance to protect what is likely our most valuable asset.
Nobody wants to file a claim, but there are scenarios when it is unavoidable. In my role, I’ve guided many clients through the claims process.
Here are some typical questions I get on coverage but each claim is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Ultimately, the insurance companies make the final determination.
Q: My house was struck by lightning and started a fire; am I covered?
Yes. Lightning is covered by almost all homeowners’ insurance policies. Lightning strikes can cause fires inside or outside your home, ruin expensive appliances and electronics, damage wiring in the walls, and potentially shock and injure you or someone in your household. Your policy should include coverage for things like:
- Damage to personal property, like appliances or electronics.
- Damage to detached structures, like a garage or shed.
- Additional living expenses. If your home is damaged and becomes uninhabitable after a covered loss, your home insurance could provide coverage for alternate housing, increased food costs, and even moving and storage costs.
Q: I lost my engagement ring; am I covered?
No. Unless you schedule your jewelry by itemizing it and assigning a value. Scheduling jewelry or other collectibles adds coverage for lost or misplaced items, which is normally excluded by a standard homeowners insurance policy. A scheduled jewelry loss is also not subject to your policy deductible.
The insurance specialists at Avery Insurance can help customize a valuable articles policy that fits your unique needs.
Q: My home flooded from a tropical storm; am I covered?
No. Flood damage is almost always excluded by a standard homeowners’ insurance policy. You’ll generally need a separate flood insurance policy for this type of coverage.
Q: The hose to my washing machine burst, causing extensive water damage; am I covered?
Most likely. Most home insurance policies cover water damage if it occurs suddenly and accidentally from a source inside your home, like a malfunctioning washing machine or leaking roof.
Q: The sewer line coming into the house backed up into my basement and flooded the area; am I covered?
No. Standard home insurance policies normally don’t cover damage from water backing up in sewer drains or pipes. Most insurance companies offer water backup coverage as an optional endorsement to protect against these types of losses. Water backup coverage modifies your policy to cover water damage in these types of scenarios and typically also includes damage caused by sump pumps or drains failing.
If you experience a loss, contact an Avery agent right away so we can assist you with processing your claim. Call us at 800-759-7579.