Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverages
Alice Yao | Updated August 20th, 2020
In addition to standard homeowners insurance policy, your insurance company may offer additional coverages to supplement your policy.
Optional coverages are designed for mainly two purposes: offer extra financial protection for the specific things that you own and minimize risk exposure in specific scenarios that you might experience. Some optional coverages may be added on and taken off to cover a temporary need while others may be required to stay on the entire policy term.
Keep in mind that your standard homeowners insurance policy may already have basic coverages for many of these items. Check your policy declarations page and with your insurance agent for more information.
List of optional coverages that are offered by most insurance companies:
Property that is mainly used for the purpose of conducting business. Coverage could include computer equipment such as a work laptop or any business inventory you store at home.
Identity Theft Restoration
This coverage provides reimbursement to expenses incurred as a direct result of identity theft.
Examples of services and coverage limits under this policy:
- Expenses to retain professional services to assist and address the effects of identity theft: $2,000 limit.
- Lost wages as result of taking time off from work to handle the identity theft issues: $250 max per day, up to $5,000 combined.
- Attorney fees in case of any lawsuits against you from collection agencies.
- Other miscellaneous expenses relating to correspondences needed to resolve the issue relating to identity theft restoration.
High-value golf set, ski, treadmill, scuba diving gear, climbing gear, etc.
Most standard homeowners insurance will include coverage of these equipment, but may have limitations when it comes to theft. There may also be coverage limits to high-value equipment and may require additional scheduled personal property coverage to properly insure them.
Green improvement coverage will provide replacement cost of covered property that performs a similar function and is more energy efficient as identified by the Energy Star* label.
Qualified items are Energy Star labeled products from one of these home categories:
- Appliances Computers and electronics
- Heating and cooling equipments
- Lighting and fans
*Energy Star is the government-backed symbol for energy efficiency.
Yard and Garden
Yard and garden coverage provides financial protection up to a predetermined amount for any single tree, shrub, or plant, and it includes cost to remove debris after a covered loss.
Typically the coverage amount is $1,000 per item.
This coverage only applies to sudden and accidental direct physical loss caused by covered perils such as fire, vandalism, or theft.
Electronic Data Recovery
Electronic data recovery coverage will cover expenses incurred for hiring of a recovery firm for lost electronic data.
This coverage will only apply if the loss is resulted from:
- Sudden and accidental direct physical loss to the equipment.
- Vandalism or malicious mischief that corrupts, harms the system including a computer virus.
Guitar, violin, clarinet, saxophone, cello, etc.
Note: piano may be considered a furniture piece due to its lack of mobility, check with your insurance agent for more information.
Most standard homeowners insurance will include coverage of these instruments, but may have limitations when it comes to theft. There may also be coverage limits to high-value instruments and may require additional scheduled personal property coverage to adequately cover them.
Just like its name, water backup coverage protects your home in the event that water backs up from your sewer line, such as water backing up from the toilet due to a clogged sewer line. In addition to sewer line backup, it provides coverage for water damage as result of sump pump overflow or failure.
What benefits are included in the coverage?
First and foremost, this coverage will pay for emergency and temporary repair to mitigate further damage to your home. After mitigating the damage, the coverage will reimburse you for:
- Debris removal
- Repair or replacement of damaged property within your dwelling
- Additional living expense
Keep in mind that the amount of benefits must fall within the coverage limit and that there is typically a deductible for this coverage.
In-depth article: Water Backup Coverage.
After a covered loss, the Building Codes coverage will cover any increased cost incurred due to compliance with local building codes during a repair or rebuild of your home.
Additional demolition cost to meet local guidelines and regulations is also included in this coverage.
Scheduled Personal Property
Standard homeowners insurance includes coverage for your personal property, but there are specific coverage limits for high-value items such as jewelries and antiques.
In order to adequately cover these valuables, you can add a scheduled personal property endorsement onto your homeowners policy. A scheduled personal property endorsement allows itemization of your valuables at their recent appraised value, so you are not limited to the standard limits of homeowners insurance.
In-depth article: Scheduled Personal Property Coverage.
Many of these coverages may have individual guidelines unique to your insurance company. We always recommend reaching out to your insurance agent for a comprehensive review of your coverages to ensure you are properly and adequately covered.
By Alice Yao |