If you watch a local news station you may have seen a home warranty company commercial differentiating their coverage from home insurance.
In the commercial they state that home insurance does not cover an air conditioner, but does cover damage from earthquake, volcano and a zombie apocalypse. While a home insurance policy does not cover damage from normal wear and tear, it does cover the air conditioner if damaged by a covered peril, such as fire or lightning.
Home insurance, however, does not cover damage from an earthquake unless you have added that coverage by endorsement. The basic home policy excludes earth movement as a covered peril. Damage from volcanic eruption is covered.
Now what about that zombie apocalypse? Most home policies do cover damage due to civil commotion or riot. They do not cover damage as a result of war, however. So if the country does not declare war on the zombies, the commercial is correct. Please take the time to read your policy to check on coverages.
I received a call from a customer this week that had two questions on coverage due to what happened to his son. In the first instance, a tree from his yard fell on his car. He questioned if his homeowner policy would cover the car. The answer is no.
The tree would have to hit a covered structure under the home policy, either the home itself or a detached structure, subject to the deductible. Coverage for the car would be under the comprehensive coverage of the auto policy, again, subject to the deductible.
He also questioned coverage when his son hit the garage door of his own home and the door fell on the car. He must have had a bad month. Damage to the car would be covered under the auto policy’s collision coverage, subject to the deductible, and the home under the home policy in most policies.
If you had your car and auto covered by the same company, most companies would only assess one deductible for the car and the garage door or cover the garage door under the auto property damage coverage.
Next month I expect to start to explain in layman’s terms why auto insurance rates are taking a steep rise and how insurance companies determine the rate they charge for the product. I will also cover ways for you for you to reduce your bill without sacrificing needed coverage.
Dave Pushman is the former regional vice president of Geico in Macon and is now an independent insurance agent with Tidwell and Hilburn Insurance. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.