Homeowners insurance, also commonly called home insurance provides the financial protection as regards your home structure (belongings inclusive) in case an accident or a destructive event occurs.
To protect yourself from dooming loss that might render you financially handicapped, it is expedient that you insure your building, including the structures attached or unattached to it.
Purchasing a Homeowners Insurance coverage is a very good measure for protecting yourself against future loss.
The Homeowners Insurance policy covers you as a policyholder should in case your home is damaged (including features attached to your building, whether internal or external, and also the valuables in the building).
There have been quite a lot of questions on whether or not a driveway is covered by home insurance.
This question can only be answered correctly through an in depth understanding of home insurance coverage and its policy.
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The Big Question: Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Driveways?
Homeowners Insurance Policies compensates for damages and it has to do with a wide range of coverage; this is why it is divided into two broad scopes which are – Personal Liability Insurance and Property Insurance.
Your building, valuables and other attached structures like driveways, fences, and garages are typically covered by Property Insurance.
Property Insurance is a policy that provides compensation to the owner or renter of a structure and its contents in the events of damage or theft.
Property insurance is categorized into four different coverage which are:
1. Dwelling and Attached Structure Coverage
2. Detached Structures Coverage
3. Personal Property Coverage
4. Additional Living Expenses Coverage
Of all these, a driveway would be only be covered by the Dwelling and Attached Structure Coverage.
This coverage insures more than just the building you live in; it goes further to cover things such as your attached garages, car ports, patios, swing set, tree houses, outdoor plants, outdoor swimming pool and attached equipment, hot tubs, materials and supplies used in constructions and repairs, including fixtures that were temporarily removed while repair is going on.
Policies vary across different insurers, however, in most Homeowners Insurance Policies, the driveway is a structure on its own, considered to be under the Dwelling and Attached Structures Coverage.
The question of whether or not Homeowners Insurance covers driveway somehow depends on your Insurance Policy.
However, if your driveway leads to your home, then Homeowners Insurance Policy should cover it but if it does not lead to your home, it may not be covered.
This means you would have to get a special coverage to repair or replace your driveway when it is damaged.
In the process of insuring your property, one if the most important things you can do is to review the policy carefully to have full knowledge of exceptions peculiar to your situation.
All in all, Homeowners Insurance Policies do cover driveways that lead to your home.
Driveways that do not lead to your home but to other outbuildings or structures are typically insured under the Detached Structures coverage.
When Is a Driveway Covered by Insurance?
In any case where the driveway is a component of your main property structure, there should be some coverage for it.
Not all damages to the driveway will be covered by insurance; damages that are caused by unforeseen, accidental, and avoidable circumstances are usually covered.
For example, if a tree falls on to your driveway unexpectedly and causes some damage, you always expect your insurance to cover any repair work that may be required.
Also if any damage occurs as a result of vandalism, your Homeowners Insurance will cater for the repair; as long as the vandal is not a part of your household.
When it comes to natural occurrences, there are certain exceptions; damage from ice buildup may be covered to some extent, damages from storms may also be covered to some extent.
However, when natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis occur, Homeowners insurance typically do not cater for the damages.
Driveway Incidents Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners Insurance Policies have certain conditions and exclusions.
One of the exclusions is that not all natural disasters are covered; natural disasters such as tsunamis, earthquake and flood are usually not covered, together with damages caused by mudslide, sewer backups, seeping groundwater, standing water, wear and tear.
If any damage is caused to your driveway by animals owned by you, your insurance policy may not cater for it.
Purchasing a separate insurance policy that will help protect your home and properties against such perils is the best way to go.
Damages caused to your driveway by any of the above-mentioned factors will not be covered by the Homeowners Insurance policy.
For Homeowners Insurance to cover your damaged driveway, the damage must be a sudden event and must be reported in a reasonable time (as stated in the policy).
For instance, if a tree falls on your driveway and got it cracked, the damage will be covered by Homeowners Insurance because it is a sudden and unexpected event.
On the other hand, if the crack is caused by earth-shifting as a result of earthquake, this will not be covered because it is believed that cracks caused by earth movement show up overtime and not sudden.
Asides purchasing a standard Homeowners Insurance coverage, there is the place of purchasing an additional insurance coverage for these events.
For instance, if you foresee that your Homeowners Insurance would not be enough to cover certain damages and losses, you can purchase an additional fire insurance to cater for that.
In summary, driveways are seen as structures and are covered by Homeowners Insurance only on the condition that the driveways lead to your home.
A driveway that does not lead to your home cannot be covered by the Homeowners Insurance.
Also, the covered events are limited; meaning, there are some exclusions when it comes to Homeowners Insurance coverage (these exclusions are discussed above).
A Homeowners Insurance will typically cover damages caused by things and incidents like fire, smoke, lightning strikes, hailstorm, windstorms, vandalism, and malicious mischief.
It is very important that you understand the terms and conditions of any policy before you purchase.