10 Events Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Always Cover

28 Sep
What Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover

Did you know that your homeowners insurance policy doesn’t protect you in every situation?

Homeowners insurance is a necessity and in most cases its required by the bank or mortgage company that holds your note. While your homeowners coverage protects your home from a number of perils, as well as offering liability coverage if someone is injured at your home, it doesn’t protect you in every situation.

In fact, there are specific issues (and some may surprise you) that a homeowners policy will not protect you against:

Flood Damage: A standard homeowners policy will never cover flood damage. If you were unaware of this, join the club, many homeowners believe that flood damage is covered by a homeowners policy and often don’t realize the truth until it is too late.

If you live in a flood prone area, it will be necessary to carry a separate flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) regulates flood insurance and while these policies are sold through traditional agents, the prices are set by the NFIP so there is no reason to shop on price.

While flood coverage can be pricey, especially if you live in a waterfront location, it can literally be a financial lifesaver if your home is damaged or destroyed by a flood.

Earthquakes: Another natural disaster that is not covered is earthquakes. A standard homeowners policy will not cover earthquake damage. If you live in an earthquake prone area, just like flooding, you will need a separate policy.

It should be noted that earthquake policies often have a percentage deductible versus a flat deductible. While deductibles vary by insurer, 15 percent is fairly common. This means that if you have a $50,000 claim due to earthquake damage, you deductible amount will be $7,500.

Sinkholes: Homeowner’s insurance will not cover sinkhole damage. While fairly uncommon, sinkholes do happen, especially in some states. If you live in a state where sinkholes are more common, there are often riders that can be added to a policy adding sinkhole protection.

Nuclear: Nuclear damage is never covered so if you live near a nuclear facility, damaged caused a nuclear accident would leave you on the hook.

Fortunately, nuclear power companies are required by law to provide liability coverage to homeowners if you live in the area that is affected by an accident so while you probably won’t be able to go home for quite awhile, your losses would be covered.

Mold: Homeowners insurance won’t cover damage that is caused due to poor home maintenance and in many cases mold is due to long-term water leaks that have not been repaired, a construction defect or flood damage. Mold due to any of these would not be covered.

However, if mold pops up due to a suddenly plumbing leak, it would be covered if you take immediate steps to address the situation and get it repaired.

Infestations: It doesn’t matter if you are invaded by bedbugs, rats, mice, termites or any other type of rodent or bug, the bills to repair your home and move the vermin out will be all yours. Insurers consider infestations and the resulting damage part of normal home maintenance, which is something they never cover.

Dog Bites: According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites are responsible for roughly one third of all liability claims made on homeowners insurance. Depending on what type of dog you have, you may or may not be covered.

Many insurers have blacklisted certain dog breeds and if you four-legged friend is on that list and bites a neighbor or guest in your home, you will be paying for their medical bills and any resulting lawsuits.

Banned breeds vary by insurers but Pit Bulls and Rottweilers often make the list. If you own one of these breeds notify your insurer to make sure you will be covered if Fido decides to take a chunk out of someone.

Regular Wear and Tear: Insurance is only designed to cover accidental or sudden damage that is caused by storms, fires or even a burglary but not just general wear and tear that a typical home experiences.

You need to properly maintain your home or your insurance policy may not cover major bills. As an example, if you let your roof deteriorate to the point it caves in or starts leaking badly, you will be paying the repair bills not the insurance company. On the other hand, if a tornado blows your roof off, you insurance company will step up, as that is sudden and accidental damage.

Sewer Backup: In general, a backed up sewer is not covered by your insurance policy. This is not only a messy problem, it can be expensive. A clogged sewer line can cause flooding in the home and extensive damage to your pipes. Always maintain your sewer system to avoid these types of problems. Most insurers offer a rider that will cover sewer issues and they are often well worth the price.

Trampolines: This exclusion varies by insurance company but many are starting to limit or ban coverage for this springy injury machines. According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2014, there were 104,691 trampoline related emergency room visits.

Some insurers will require pads and a net if you insist on putting a trampoline in your backyard. Check with your insurance company before buying a trampoline to make sure you are covered.

Make Sure You Are Covered

While boring, always read your insurance policy and give the exclusions section a very thorough read or you may find yourself unprotected when a big bill arises. If you are unhappy with the coverage your current policy offers, we can help you shop multiple rates and coverage options.

Simply enter your zip code on our home insurance quotes page to start our online home insurance quoting application.


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