“Peril” may seem like a five-dollar word used only in stage plays and the literature of old, but it’s actually used a lot in terms of homeowners insurance. A peril is usually defined as a serious or catastrophic threat to your home – including storms, heavy vandalism, and any other Independence Day type of catastrophe that strikes your humble abode.
We’re here to tell you which perils are covered by most policies, which perils you’ll need additional coverage for, and what type of plans you should look for in the Atlanta area.
What is Peril Insurance for Homeowners?
Perils in insurance usually include wind, hail, civil commotions, vehicular damage, smoke, aircraft damage, and explosions. (No, we’re not making this up.)
However, different perils are covered in different ways or may not be covered at all depending on location. Typically, insurance carriers will offer two types of perils insurance: Named Perils Insurance and All Risks Insurance.
What is Named Perils Insurance?
Also called “Broad Form”, Named Perils insurance is a common type of policy when it comes to comprehensive homeowners insurance. Basically, if the policy names a certain natural disaster or general threat to your home, you’ll be covered for it.
This can be useful if you want to directly focus your coverage on certain threats and disasters that you know are common to your location. So, for Atlanta, you may not be as worried about earthquakes as you are about heavy storm damage from the latest hurricane.
These policies are usually less expensive and will probably be the first ones offered when you speak with your broker about homeowners insurance.
What is All Perils Insurance?
Unlike the Named Perils insurance that will explicitly list items that you ARE covered for, All Perils (or “Special Form”) insurance will cover anything EXCEPT what is explicitly listed as excluded from the policy. For example, if you have All Perils insurance and the policy doesn’t explicitly exclude earthquakes, you’ll still be covered for earthquake damage (in the event that that stray Georgia earthquake decides to wreck your house).
However, buying an All Perils insurance policy does not mean that you’ll be completely covered for all of the unlisted threats. Your insurance carrier will still usually direct coverage funds toward the perils that are most likely to happen for the area. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to speak with your agent about the specific concerns that you have. Our Atlanta Insurance agents are here to learn all about your homeowners woes and are experts in finding the perfect perils insurance plans and endorsements for the perfect price. Call us at 404.352.0304 to get a quote on the best insurance plans for you!
What Perils Are Included in My Atlanta Homeowners Insurance?
The most common type of homeowners insurance plan is a basic HO-3 plan, which will generally cover natural disasters, accidents, and property damage. More specifically, they’ll probably cover the following perils:
Note that most insurance carriers will consider fire damage as being different than smoke damage. So, if there happened to be a fire where fires usually don’t go in a house, you’ll be covered for what was unintentionally burnt to a crisp.
Ah, Mother Nature. When she strikes, she strikes quickly and without warning. Luckily, most perils insurance will cover damage caused by natural electricity. If a lightning strike fries your flat screen, cooks your CPU, or annihilates your air conditioner in the dead humidity of the Georgia summer, talk to your insurance agent about how much coverage you have to fix it. Remember though, your insurance will only cover damage made by a strike to your electrical system, not problems coming from your electrical company’s side.
Explosions (No. We’re still not kidding.)
Whether there’s a catastrophic meltdown happening outside or a science project gone horribly awry in your kitchen, your perils insurance will usually cover the fallout. Now, that doesn’t mean you should start mixing chemicals with reckless abandon. Some carriers don’t include this part in their regular homeowners insurance, so it’s always important to consult your agent about if you’re covered and how much you’re covered for.
When that light summer breeze gets a little too aggressive in the form of hurricanes, tornadoes, or cyclones, your insurance can help you cover the cost of repairs to both the outside and inside of the house if the storm suddenly makes a new door or window. Keep in mind, though, that in the event of a hurricane or heavy rain, your normal HO-3 plan will not cover flooding from surface water that’s been on the ground.
When rain acquires the strange ability to clobber your property in the form of ice chunks, your perils insurance can help you plug up the holes. Just make sure you skip out on the hailstorm show through an open window – homeowners insurance won’t cover any internal damage caused by hail that enters through an existing opening in your home.
Riots & Civil Commotions
A riot, in insurance terms, is defined as three or more people causing damage. Similarly, a civil commotion is when a large group of people causes damage to a property. So, check with your insurance agent the next time your next-door neighbor hits a home run into your window – you may be covered.
Anything from balloons to helicopters to airplanes to spacecraft to self-propelled missiles is included in this part of your homeowners policy. So yes, if part of a UFO crash lands into your roof, don’t worry, you’re protected. (At least from the damages.)
When in doubt, your insurance policy declaration page will tell you what is covered by your insurance and/or if you have Named Peril or All Perils insurance.
What Perils Are NOT Covered by Homeowners Insurance in the Atlanta Area?
Luckily, Atlanta is located fairly inland and is not prone to natural disasters. Many of the peril exclusions on Atlanta home insurance are ones that that are standard across the board. Most homeowners insurance policies will not include these events in a normal policy or cover them on a very limited basis:
- Flood Damage
- Sewer backups
- “Earth Movement”
- Jewelry and Fine Art
Keep in mind that any piece of coverage may have dollar limits on the object and repairs that they cover. Also, if you have concerns about covering damages to your home because of the above perils, there are plenty of options for supplemental insurance that is specifically tailored to these types of disasters and emergencies.
Call Atlanta Insurance at 404.352.0304 or fill out our online quote form for a free quote on some of these supplemental plans so that you can rest assured that all of your home concerns are addressed.