What does a home insurance policy cover?

Homeowner's insurance, or household insurance, is a way to insure items within the home. Accordingly, such property insurance covers damage that may occur to the inventory of a residential property due to a wide variety of hazards.

The following is a brief overview of which damages and benefits are normally covered by the insurer and which are excluded from the outset.

Short answer

Household insurance usually covers damage and loss of items in the apartment or house. In addition, with the household insurance you also get a liability insurance, which pays for damage that you cause yourself. The exact insurance points vary depending on the insurance and the chosen tariff.

Long answer

As you've already learned, household insurance offers a variety of coverage points, depending on the provider and plan you choose. To give you a more detailed overview of what is covered by a household insurance and what can be supplemented by additional tariffs, you will learn in the following section.

What is protected by household insurance?

Insurance items covered by this type of insurance are items that are commonly used in a household or serve the furnishings. A household insurance policy can cover various perils to effectively protect the policyholder's property. Often, the scope of benefits includes protection against damage that may be caused by fire, water or storms.

However, standard household insurance policies also include coverage for damage caused by theft or vandalism. However, some insurance companies provide additional coverage if the policyholder wants additional protection for his or her property.

Fire damage

Fire damage is one of the most expensive and far-reaching types of damage, quickly destroying all belongings. To be well covered in the event of a claim, you should pay close attention to the insurance rates and also book optional points to it. Singeing damage in particular must be insured separately with most insurance companies, but occurs particularly frequently.

Included in the insurance coverage:

Damage caused by a lightning strike

Consequential fire damage due to extinguishing work and soot

Do not fall under the insurance coverage:

  • Singeing damage (only covered by a few insurances)
  • Damage caused by a short circuit of an electrical device

Water damage

Water damage can have considerable consequences for the substance of your four walls. Household insurance covers the typical perils in the case of water damage, but can be extended as needed. If you live in a flood zone, for example, you should choose the tariff carefully, as flood is not a standard tariff for many insurance companies.

The insurance coverage includes:

Water leaks from defective appliances, such as dishwashers or washing machine

Not covered under the insurance coverage:

  • Damage caused by rising groundwater and floods (contents of a natural hazard insurance)
  • Damage due to increased rainfall

Glass breakage

Glass breaks quickly and especially with children it can quickly become apparent what glass insurance is for. It is important to note, however, that not all types of glass breakage are insured. Many insurance companies limit damage coverage by window size.

Covered by insurance:

Shattered windows under 5 sq. m

Not covered by the insurance:

  • Damage to hollow glass, such as vases and jars
  • Broken windows over 5 m² (varies depending on insurance)


The consequences of a burglary, in addition to the valuables, are the psychological stress for the victims. To make sure you're not left without help in the event of a claim, a good household insurance policy will also cover consequential damage such as lock replacement.

The following are covered by the insurance

Consequential damage from burglaries (damage to locks)

Do not fall under the insurance coverage:

Further services of the insurance

In most cases, such insurance also covers the costs arising from the actual destruction or damage. However, the individual circumstances of household insurance may differ, depending on the arrangements made between the insurer and the policyholder. Examples of this are costs incurred due to clean-up and restoration work or costs for the accommodation of the policyholder if the residential property has become uninhabitable due to the incident.

But also transport or storage costs can be covered by the insurance, if they are part of the insurance scope. This case occurs when the damage has put the residential property in a condition that no longer allows objects to be stored in it without risking damage to them. Moving and protection costs are normally also covered by the insuring company, if objects have to be moved from one place to another for replacement or restoration purposes.

The additional clauses

Policyholders who feel that the above-mentioned protection of their household contents is not sufficient can usually agree on so-called additional clauses with their insurer and include them in the insurance contract.
For example, items that are not strictly speaking inside the house, such as bicycles, can also be included in the insurance and thus protected against theft and property damage.

But protection against overvoltage can also apply through such an additional clause. This can cover damage caused by an overvoltage of electrical equipment or a short circuit. Typically, such damage occurs as a result of a lightning strike.

What the insurance does not cover

In order to be able to guarantee the turnover of the insurance company and thus the guaranteed action in a real insured event, some exclusions are already determined before the conclusion of the homeowner's insurance policy. This is also the only way the insurer can effectively protect against insurance fraud. These excluded facts include, among others, trick theft, in which the thief takes advantage of the victim's surprise and thus inability to act in order to obtain the stolen goods.

Likewise, moisture damage that occurs due to snowfall is often not covered by homeowner's insurance policies. Furthermore, components of the building, simple theft and scorching damage usually, are not protected by the insurer. Here it is important as a policyholder to inform himself in advance in detail, so that exactly the objects, which in his opinion need special protection, receive this also in sufficient measure.

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