A gas leak or propane grill explosion is just about every homeowner's worst nightmare. Fortunately, these rare but all-too-common occurrences are actually covered by your homeowners insurance.
A standard policy will cover pretty much any explosion that isn’t a nuclear hazard, an intentional act, or the result of an act of war or illegal activity. That means if your boiler or water heater explodes, or a giant manufacturing plant blows up and your house is damaged in the blast, you’d likely be covered by home insurance.
What types of explosions are covered by home insurance?
Homeowners insurance covers damage to your home and belongings when caused by a covered peril, including damage from an explosion in or around your home. If the explosion makes your home uninhabitable, homeowners insurance will also cover the cost of hotel stays and restaurant meals while your home is being repaired.
Here are some examples of explosions that are covered by homeowners insurance:
1. Explosions that originate inside your home
Although the likelihood is small, home explosions can occur due to propane leaks, gas appliances that have been poorly or incorrectly installed, or natural gas leaks due to old pipes or lines that are accidentally punctured from digging. If an accidental explosion occurs inside of your home, your home insurance will likely help cover the cost of a rebuild or repairs.
2. Explosions that occur away from your home
In the event that a neighbor's home or a paper mill nearby explodes and damages your house, you’d also likely be covered by a standard home insurance policy. That includes damage to your roof, shattered windows or damage to another structure on your property, like your detached garage. If an explosion knocks out power to your house and the food in your fridge goes bad, homeowners insurance can also reimburse you for that loss.
3. Explosions caused by earthquakes and water damage
Although both earthquake damage and water damage from flooding are not covered by homeowners insurance, you are covered against any resulting explosions after an earthquake or flood. In other words, if an earthquake or flood disaster caused a gas explosion that destroyed your home and personal belongings, you’d be covered for the ensuing loss.
What types of explosions are not covered by home insurance?
While most causes of home explosions are covered by home insurance, there are some exceptions. If your home is damaged or destroyed by an explosion for any of the following reasons, your home insurance provider will likely deny your claim.
Intentional acts of the insured - If it’s discovered that you intentionally blew up your home, your claim will be denied and you’d likely be charged with insurance fraud
Illegal activities - Illegal activities are also grounds for a claim denial. That means if you run a meth lab out of your house or you have a stash of illegal weapons that cause an explosion, you won’t be covered
Nuclear hazard - Nuclear hazard is listed as a policy exclusion. A standard policy form also points out that a nuclear hazard and explosions are not the same thing, so you wouldn't be covered if a nuclear explosion causes damage to your home
Acts of war - Although riots and civil commotion are covered perils in a standard policy, loss resulting from an act of war isn’t covered. That means if a U.S. adversary drops a bomb that damages your home, you wouldn’t be covered by homeowners insurance
How to file a homeowners insurance claim after an explosion
In the aftermath of an explosion that damages your home, be sure to contact local authorities, take photos and videos of the damage, and file a claim with your home insurance company.
If belongings were damaged, make sure to provide as much information in your proof-of-loss form about property that was damaged in the explosion, including descriptions, purchasing dates, and the replacement value of each damaged item. Your insurer will likely send a claims adjuster to your home to verify the damage and ensure that everything you’re claiming is covered by your policy.