Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Space Debris Crashing into Your Home?

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Milky Way (Photo: @LinaVeresk via Twenty20)
A side effect of space exploration, space debris is human-made objects that float in space without a purpose, such as aged satellites. And, while this debris tends to float away in space without interrupting human life, there are rare instances in which it may fall back to earth. When that happens, would you be covered by insurance if something from space struck your house?

Is the Crash of Space Debris Covered by Your Insurance Policy?

While you won’t find the words “space debris” written in any insurance document, you also don’t need to. Standard homeowners insurance policies cover “falling objects.” Which is vague enough to cover anything that might fall on top of your home. And while most claims filed under this peril relate to things like fallen trees or construction debris, space debris would also be covered under this line item. 

Are There Any Conditions that Apply?

Yes. Most insurance companies require the damage caused to be a consequence of a direct hit in order to be covered under the falling objects peril, which means that the damage must be caused by space debris landing right on your house. 
If, instead, the debris fell near your home and caused some secondary damages like broken windows due to vibrations or a ruined painting job due to the heat, your insurance company might refuse to cover the expenses. 

How to File a Claim for Space Debris

The process shouldn’t be any different from filing any other claim. However, in cases like this, it might help even more than usual to take as many pictures as you can of the damage caused. This will help the insurance company speed up the process, and it might also help you ensure you get the coverage you need. 

Don’t Wait to Start the Repairs 

While it might be tempting to wait for the insurance company to act, you don’t want to wait too long to start fixing the damages. If we are talking about a hole in your roof, wall, or window, this can leave your house exposed to even further damages brought about by the weather. 
If this is the case, the insurance company might refuse to cover these new damages, and you might have to end up paying for them out-of-pocket. 
If you can’t afford to start proper fixes without the insurance company’s help, you can always go for temporary fixes that are cheaper yet still protect your home from outside conditions. Sturdy, waterproof covers may be an excellent solution to cover any holes or gaps in your house’s structure. 

How Likely Is Space Debris to Crash Into Your Home?

According to the National Environmental Satellite Data and Information Service, on average, between 200 and 400 objects enter the earth’s atmosphere every year. And while this may sound like a big and scary number, remember that the earth’s surface is massive, and the human population is concentrated in specific territories, making the odds of space debris harming us very slim. 

Can You Protect Your Home Against Space Debris?

While there’s not much you can do to prevent an event like this from happening, you can always reinforce certain things in your home like roofs and windows so that they stand a better chance of resisting the impact.