Home insurance is notoriously complex. The complexity is around the types of "perils" covered by your policy.
"Perils" are the ways and means by which damage occurs. The easiest way to explain this is to look at the standard list of perils which most insurers consider:
- fire or lightening home insurance
- theft home insurance
- volcanic eruption home insurance
- falling object home insurance
- weight of ice, snow or sleet home insurance
- accidental discharge of or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or from a household appliance
- explosion home insurance
- riot or civil commotion home insurance
- damage caused by aircraft home insurance
- damage caused by vehicles home insurance
- sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system
- windstorm or hail home
- smoke home insurance
- vandalism or malicious mischief home insurance
- freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance
- sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss to a tube, translator or similar electronic component).
You can get an "all perils" policy, which will cover you for the complete list of perils. Most home insurance policies will have some limitations.
Do you notice that many natural disasters are excluded from home insurance policies? You can get a special rider or endorsement to cover you for flood, earthquake, landslide, mudslide, or sinkhole. However, be prepared for this type of home insurance coverage to cost you a lot more - especially if you want flood coverage and you are in a flood-prone area for instance.
ALWAYS check your home insurance policy to be sure you know exactly what perils you are covered for.