Having home insurance in Mississippi can provide you with peace of mind. If something happens to your house, you know you can fall back on your insurance policy to fix the problem.

Or can you?

Unfortunately, there are things many homeowners assume their policy covers but it doesn’t. The opposite is also true, though. Your home may cover things you don’t expect.

Here’s what you need to know about your Mississippi home insurance policy that you might not already know.

Not All Disasters Are Covered

You expect that your home insurance will cover any damage due to an unforeseen disaster, but that just isn’t the case. A few disasters that probably aren’t covered by your policy include:

  • Flood damage
  • Earthquake damage
  • Terrorist attack losses

It’s important to know the risks where you live. For example, many Mississippians may want to consider adding a flood insurance policy to their regular homeowner’s policy. A policy that helps against terrorist attack losses probably isn’t necessary, but you might want to think about earthquake insurance. Northwest Mississippi is actually in seismic risk zone 3, which is the highest risk zone.

By knowing which disasters you’re covered for and what you’re at risk of, you can design a policy that covers you in every situation.

It Might Cover What You Don’t Expect

It’s true that insurance can sometimes let homeowners down when they think they’re covered when they’re not, but there are also some surprising things your policy might cover, like:

  • Living expenses, like an extended stay hotel, if your home is damaged
  • Some of your belongings that are in a hotel if you’re on vacation
  • Lawsuit and liability claims, should someone decide to sue you
  • Coverage from falling objects, like a satellite or a meteor

Every policy is a little different, so it’s always worth taking a closer look at yours. But it helps to know what might be possible so you know to call your provider when you otherwise might not have.

You Might Pay More if Your House Is Old

Older homes can sometimes cost less than their new-build counterparts. That might lead you to believe that homeowner’s insurance should be more affordable, too, but that’s often not the case.

Older homes often come with potential problems that newer houses just don’t have. From old electrical work to plumbing malfunctions, insurance providers often increase premiums for houses that are older.

If you do have an older house and want to look for ways to save on your premium, consider updating important systems. If you make your home safer from fire, storms, and burglary, you could reduce your premiums.

It’s also a good thing to keep in mind if you plan on buying another home in the future. It might be worth it to buy the more expensive newer home if it means your insurance goes down.

Your Pet Might Be Covered Under Your Policy

Did you know your pet might be covered? In the case that your dog hurts someone else or destroys someone else’s property, your homeowner’s insurance policy might step in and offer legal counsel in addition to paying out if the plaintiff wins.

However, your policy will not protect against the damage your dog inflicts on your property or your family. There are also some dog breeds that are usually excluded because they are considered to have violent tendencies. Just a few include:

  • Pit bulls
  • Doberman pinschers
  • Rottweilers
  • German shepherds
  • Great Danes
  • Mastiffs

It’s also important to note that you’re really only covered once. If your dog has bitten someone in the past, your insurance may choose not to cover another incident with the same dog.

You Might Have to Pay More For Everyone Else’s Claims

You might already know that your insurance premium might go up after you file a claim, but did you know that your premium might go up because other homeowners around you have filed claims?

Homeowners in different regions pay different premiums because different weather events are more likely in different locations, but it’s also true that your existing premium might go up due to an increase in natural disasters in the area, even if you aren’t the one filing a claim.

Insurance companies are always adjusting their rates depending on increased weather activity, especially in regard to climate change, which means your policy could go up just because a natural disaster hit your area.

Your Policy Might Not Cover Things That Haven’t Been Properly Maintained

Homeowner’s insurance covers many things, but if the damage is something that could have been prevented, they may deny your claim.

For example, if a leaky pipe was never fixed and, over time, it caused the floor underneath it to rot, your policy may choose not to cover the repair. Things like overgrown shrubs that cause siding damage and an old roof that is well beyond its expiration date may not be covered either. If you want to get the most out of your coverage, it’s important to make repairs as soon as they are needed.

All The Stuff in Your Home Isn’t Covered

Standard homeowner’s insurance often includes personal property coverage. It includes everything from furniture to electronics to jewelry.

However, it does not cover each specific item. Instead, an amount is covered that is based on the size and value of your dwelling. That means some high-value items, like artwork, jewelry, and collectibles that go above this amount, may not be covered.

If you have high-value items in your home, it’s important to catalog them all individually so you can create a personal property policy that covers all of your most important belongings.

Homeowner’s insurance policies in Mississippi can be long and complicated. It’s easy to gloss over the details and sign your name on the dotted line, but not knowing the ins and outs of your policy could cause some serious problems in the future. Let this list of interesting facts inspire you to uncover the details of your own policy so you know exactly when your policy provider can help—and when they can’t.