What is a ‘peril’ stated in my homeowners insurance policy?

UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013

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UPDATED: Feb 20, 2013Fact Checked

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Asked February 20, 2013

1 Answer

Where home insurance is involved, a peril is any event or circumstance which could cause damage to the home. The most common home insurance policy, the HO-2 or Broad Coverage policy, protects your home against 16 named perils. As the homeowner, your responsibility is to examine the list of covered perils and determine whether you will need insurance for additional perils as well.

The perils covered in a standard homeowner's insurance are fire, Wind, aircraft, civil unrest, explosion, vehicles, smoke, malicious mischief, theft, volcanoes, falling objects, ice/snow/sleet damage, water damage, sudden cracking or bulging, freezing, and damage from electricity. For even more protection, there is a type of policy which covers all perils except the ones specifically excluded in the policy.

Note that flood insurance coverage is never included in a standard home insurance policy. Water damage is generally included, but that is only to cover things such as broken pipes, not to protect you against catastrophic flooding. Flood insurance is sometimes available through private carriers, but some regions are such a high risk that flood coverage is only available through high risk insurance pools.

In addition to being covered as many perils as your home could conceivably encounter, you should make sure that it is covered with full replacement cost coverage rather than the less expensive actual cash value insurance. Full replacement cost will pay to repair or rebuild your home to its original condition, but actual cash value will only pay for a depreciated amount. Older homes can be insured with a special homeowner's policy that will pay to replace or rebuild the home using the original materials.

Answered February 20, 2013 by Anonymous

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