If a meteor dropped out of the sky and hit your house, would your homeowner’s insurance pay for the damage? The experts say probably, yes. The recent incident in Russia may be a once-in-a-century occurrence - but the question’s not that far-fetched. In fact, NASA scientists say that a basketball-size object hits the earth’s atmosphere every day, and if you’re unlucky enough, one could hit your house. So, let’s look at the facts:
Say a meteorite crashed through your roof. The damage to your house and belongings would be covered by most homeowner’s policies, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That’s because meteorites are classified as “falling objects,” like trees. Insurance companies have even reimbursed homeowners for damage from falling airplane engines, and “blue ice,” a lump of frozen waste from an airplane bathroom.
But there’s a catch. You’re only covered if the falling object blasts directly through your roof or walls. If the meteorite hit the ground a mile away – or exploded in the atmosphere – and you lost windows and walls from the shockwave, your insurance probably won’t cover it.
So, what if a meteorite flattens everything for miles around – including your house? Well, that would be considered a cataclysm. Every insurance company interprets that differently, so, you may or may not be covered.
Since we’re on the subject, would you car be covered if it was hit by a meteorite? Yes, it’s in the same category as damage from hail or falling rocks, but only if you have comprehensive auto insurance, which covers damage to your car.
And, in case you’ve ever wondered, most homeowners’ insurance policies also cover things like volcanic eruptions, riots, and fires caused by tear gas - if the police happen to chase a fugitive into your house. But if you’re the fugitive – you’re probably not covered.