Does homeowner insurance cover meteor hits?

Anyone who follows current events saw the news in February about a meteor shower causing damage and injuring hundreds of Russians in the Ural Mountains region. Switchboards lit up—an anachronistic expression meaning people were calling each other—with the general question, if a meteor or many meteors landed in my back yard and damaged my house, would my homeowner insurance cover the meteor hit?

The short answer is, yes. If you are not interested in a longer answer, you can stop reading. The longer answer is that while there might be a few policies here or there that specifically exclude meteor showers and similar sky-borne agents of home destruction—such as rock spit into the air by a neighboring volcano only to rain down upon a neighborhood at the base of the volcano—most policies do not have that provision.

The simple reason for this general coverage, which falls under the category of things that fall from the sky, is that it rarely happens. Meteors and small airplanes and pieces of engines ripped lose from passing airliners don’t typically fall from the sky in the course of a day, or month, or even year. Consequently, the odds of such an errant object landing on the roof of a home are very, very small and actuaries at insurance companies are comfortable risking coverage.

If the universe suddenly started regularly spewing rocks out of space into the earth’s atmosphere, coverage of such natural phenomena would likely change. If a house a week somewhere in the world is hit by a meteor, insurance company executives will begin to worry. If the strikes ratchet up to one a week in the U.S., and then one a week in Florida, you can bet new policies will be worded a bit differently in respect to meteor coverage.

As it stands, both “open perils” and “named perils” policies generally are OK with paying up should a meteor strike a house—or, as in Russia, should the sonic boom of a meteor shatter a house’s windows. Homeowner insurance covers the meteor strikes and is likely to cover it till the sky falls.

by Morgan Moran

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