The standard homeowners insurance policy has several optional coverages that many people are unaware of. Below is a list of several of the more common optional coverages, called endorsements. This list is by no means all-inclusive and you should both read your home insurance policy and consult your agent for a full list of optional endorsements.
1. Special Personal Property Coverage
Contents Coverage on the standard homeowners policy is provided on a named peril basis. This means that your policy contains a list of what you are covered against. This list includes, but is not limited to: Fire, Lightning, theft, Hail and Wind, and Limited Water Damage. But there are several things that are not on the list that present significant risk of loss. One example is power surge for electronics. Lightning is covered, power surge is not. So if you come home on a bright sunny day and none of your electronic items (TV, DVD Player, Stereos, etc) are working, it could be power surge and would not be covered. Other losses we have seen include someone dropping a TV down the steps – dropping is not on that list so it wasn’t covered. Someone spilled bleach on a very expensive couch – spilling bleach is not on that list so it wasn’t covered.
For an added charge you can add special personal property coverage to your policy which would cover each of the losses listed above. Instead of listing what you’re covered against, special personal property coverage changes the policy so you are covered for anything that happens, except what is excluded. Because the list of exclusions is short (including but not limited to flood and earthquake) the coverage is much more comprehensive. Each example above would be co covered, subject to deductible
2. Sewer and Sump Pump backup
The standard homeowners policy does not cover water damage resulting from a sump pump failure or sewer backup. For an extra charge you can add this to your policy. Some companies cover only the structure itself (i.e. drywall, framing, etc), while some others offer coverage for the structure and contents.
3. Limited Coverage For Jewelry
The standard homeowners policy contains coverage for your contents and its usually a significant amount of coverage. But within the policy itself it limits the theft coverage for certain items including, but not limited to jewelry. With many companies even if you have $150,000 contents coverage you only have $1,000 coverage for jewelry theft. The way to address this is to list valuable jewelry separately. By doing this you eliminate the theft limit for that item, you eliminate the deductible for that item, and you add coverage for losing the item or any part of it (say a stone falling out) which would not normally be a covered loss.