Six costs you never knew were covered by home insurance

You’re probably aware that a typical home insurance policy covers your house itself – its roof, exterior and interior walls, porches, flooring, kitchen cupboards and bathroom fixtures – as well as your belongings within, and any detached structures like garages, greenhouses or sheds. But many policyholders are pleasantly surprised to learn just how much more home insurance may cover. (Of course, every policy is different, so check your fine print to be sure.)

1 Outdoor trees, shrubs, plants and lawns As any gardener can attest, a lot of value goes into our homes’ green spaces, and home insurance policies may pay out to replace those damaged or destroyed by fire, lightning or vandalism.

2 Fire department charges We all know damage caused by fire is normally covered, but your home insurance may also cover the cost of firefighting services, even if the crew successfully douses the blaze, preventing structure or property damage.

3 Identity theft recovery The best home insurance policies kick in to aid homeowners in restoring their identities post-theft. Covered costs may include credit reports, lost wages resulting from meetings with law enforcement and legal counsel fees, among others.

4 Food spoilage If your power supply fails and your fridge or freezer cuts out, you could wind up with a very expensive loss of food (a few steaks can really add up!). Fortunately, many policies cover the price of replacing lost freezer and fridge contents.

5 Lock replacement If keys to your exterior doors are stolen, home insurance policies may pay to replace or change the locks. Many may cover the replacement of car locks, too, if car keys are stolen from your home.

6 Additional living expenses If you need to stay elsewhere because your home has been rendered unlivable by an event covered in your policy, such as a fire – or the repair process for same – policies may cover the expense (over and above your normal cost of living).

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