Earlier this year, a rural Michigan couple was surprised when something unrecognizable fell from space and landed in their front yard. According to ABC News, it turned out to be Samsung Europe’s SpaceSelfie balloon, a “pseudo satellite.” Luckily nobody was hurt, and no property was damaged.
However, strange and unexpected things happen all the time. How might insurance respond? Consider the following.
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out
After watching a certain holiday movie over and over, Ken’s 10-year-old son talked him into buying him a BB gun for his birthday. Although very responsible, the boy tripped in his backyard while carrying his new present. The gun went off and shattered the neighbor’s kitchen window.
The good news was that Ken’s homeowners insurance paid for it—and nobody lost an eye.
Muffy was not a fan of the veterinarian, to say the least. When the appointment was over, Muffy’s mom placed her into the van, whereupon the cat expressed her nervousness and absolute displeasure with the ordeal by urinating throughout the vehicle. The entire interior of the van had to be replaced.
The good news was that Muffy’s mom’s auto insurance paid for it. If Muffy had done the same thing on the furniture inside the house, however, it would not have been covered, because damage by pets is typically excluded in a standard homeowners policy.
An ice storm took out the power, but Hal was prepared with a generator. Going outside to add gas to keep the generator going through the night, Hal carefully placed his candle near the opening so that he could make sure the gas was going inside the tank. The candle fell in, the fumes ignited, and the generator and house caught fire. It was a total loss.
Luckily, insurance paid for it. Tip: Flashlights and batteries are for sale from many, many, many sources.
Dine and Dash
After receiving a big promotion, Carl was excited to be invited to his boss’s luxurious home for dinner one night. Upon entering the home, nervous and walking forward with his hand extended to greet his host, he tripped over an unseen decorative doorstop and fell headlong into an expensive vase, shattering the beautiful object along with any hope for another promotion anytime soon.
The good news was his insurance paid for the damage, because the action was unintentional. Had it been intentional, it wouldn’t have been covered.
Lilly lost her treasured antique wedding ring in the autumn. After weeks of searching, she gave up and called her insurance broker. The good news was that her homeowners insurance covered the loss. In spring, when the tulips Lilly had planted the previous fall popped up to greet the sun, so did her ring.
She kept her original ring. In compliance with her policy, she gave the new ring back to her insurance carrier.
Dorm Room Rip-Off
After getting accepted to the Ivy League university of her dreams—without any questionable help from her parents—Andria came home to her dorm room one night after studying in the library to find that her roommate had hosted an impromptu party. She didn’t mind the pizza boxes and beverage containers everywhere, but she wasn’t happy to discover that her that her Apple Watch, her Gucci handbag (a graduation gift from her grandmother), and two super-expensive pairs of designer shoes had walked away. Crying, she immediately called her mother.
The good news was that mom’s homeowners policy covered the losses. The bad news was that her roommate continued to invite anybody and everybody to the dorm with alarming regularity.
Dolly and Dean had saved for years to buy their vacation home at the beach. They had enjoyed most of the summer there but hadn’t been at the home for more than a month. When they received the water bill—for $1,965—they were stunned. Making a quick trip back to the seashore to see what was amiss, they discovered that the refrigerator water dispenser line had sprung a leak.
The good news was that insurance paid for the damage. The bad news was that Dolly and Dean had to replace much of the flooring and some of the furniture throughout the home. Tip: Either shut off the water source when you leave a residence empty for any time or invest in a water leak sensor that will send a message to your smartphone or shut off the water.
Talk with Your Broker
The examples above may not be true with all policies. Insurance can be complicated. That is why it is important to stay in touch with your broker. You make time to research major purchases; we strongly encourage you to make time to understand your insurance coverage.
Hylant clients are always welcome—and encouraged—to contact their Hylant team member to discuss the specifics of their policy. Others are welcome to contact their local Hylant office for a policy review.
The above information does not constitute advice. Always contact your insurance broker or trusted adviser for insurance-related questions.