Using Homeowner’s Insurance to Fix Damaged House

You may consider remodeling your home due to damage it incurred in a storm or a random act of God. You need to know what is covered by homeowner’s insurance and what is not.


First, homeowner’s insurance varies from state to state in the what it covers. Policies also vary by home insurance company. That means that you need to read your specific policy to determine exactly what it covers. You and your next door neighbor could have vastly different policies even though you live in the same state.


Items Not Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance


Throughout the United States, flood damage from rising water is not covered by homeowner’s insurance. To obtain flood coverage, a homeowner must purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Homeowner's Insurance Vermont


In states where earthquakes occur on a regular basis, such as California, that hazard is not covered in a homeowner’s insurance policy. You must purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.


In the states of Florida and Texas, where hurricanes damage the coastlines with regularity, homeowner’s insurance does not cover wind damage. In these two states, you must purchase a separate wind insurance policy to cover those damages.


The standard homeowner’s insurance policy may or may not cover damage from pests like termites. Termite damage can require opening the walls to replace two by fours, plus replace the joists and particle board.


Items Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance


A standard policy covers six major perils including:


  •  fire,
  •  hail,
  •  lightning,
  •  theft,
  •  vandalism,
  •  windstorm.


It also covers a few unusual situations like a plane crashing into your home or a satellite falling from the sky. While that may sound out of this world, since it previously occurred, insurance companies now cover it.


In general, a standard HO-3 policy covers both structural damage to the home and detached structures and renovations required by ordinance or law. One example of this is when repairs must be made to a home due to a fire and an ordinance passed since the home’s construction requires sprinklers. In this case, your homeowner’s insurance policy covers the necessary renovations to restore your home, plus the sprinklers the ordinance requires.


Another area that might surprise homeowners that is covered is falling objects. While you might think of UFOs, this really refers to defunct satellites, the weight of ice or snow on your roof or tree limbs or an entire tree falling. In this case, the insurance covers the roof repairs and interior damage, including water damage that occurred once the snow that fell in melted. It also covers replacement of belongings.


Policies vary on foundation damage, so check your policy twice. In general, home settling that causes foundation wear is not covered while damage from severe drought is. Another covered hazard, tornadoes, qualifies for foundation repairs. Explosions, fires and plumbing issues also qualify, as does earth movement from soil erosion or earthquake, except in states that require a separate earthquake policy. What may not get covered includes shoddy construction, overexposure to water, soil misuse which refers to improperly settled soil or inferior soil products and tree root damage.

How We Work with Insurance Companies


Request an estimate using our estimate page. We’ll provide a line item estimate so you can provide it to your homeowner’s insurance company. They will require this before cutting you a check to cover the work. When they request it, we’ll also provide copies of our insurance and our licenses.


We complete work for remodeling that is both covered by insurance and that is not. You can mix and match, so to speak. You can have us perform elective work, such as interior or exterior remodeling, at the same time we make the insurance repairs.


Your homeowner’s insurance company may need to send an inspector or a representative to the work site. We’ll be happy to take them through the work site so they can sign off on the work and release your funds. At Vermont Remodeling, we want help you turn your house into your dream home. Learn more about our Vermont home remodeling services by calling us today at 802-503-0000