Home is where you feel protected. And your homeowner’s insurance protects it should an accident or natural disaster strike.
Or does it?
It may surprise you to find out not everything falls under insurance coverage. If you don’t know what your policy includes — and excludes — you could be the one left paying out of pocket.
So what does homeowners insurance not cover? Let’s look at 8 surprising things not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
1. Flood Damage
If Mother Nature decides to dump several inches of rainwater in your area and it seeps into your home, you may be out of luck. Without a separate insurance policy for flood damage, you’ll be the one left paying for repairs.
Be sure to read the fine print in your policy because there’s a difference between flood damage and water damage. Most insurance companies don’t cover surface water that enters your home from the outside.
If flooding is a problem in your area, talk to your insurance agent about getting the coverage you need.
Mold not only causes damage to your home, but it’s also a health hazard to your family. Because of that, it can be expensive to both remove and repair the damage it leaves behind.
If you have a standard homeowner’s policy, your coverage for mold may be limited to non-existent. Most of the time you have to pay more in premium fees to be fully covered.
The best way to protect yourself from mold damage is prevention. Make sure to get a full home inspection when you buy the house and watch for any water damage that develops.
3. Damage Due to the Earth’s Movement
When the earth moves, you could be the one left paying the bill. Earthquakes and sinkholes are scary, but even more so when you find out the damage they cause isn’t covered by your policy.
Most standard homeowner’s insurance requires a separate policy to cover needed repairs caused by the earth’s movement. If you live in an earthquake-prone zone such as San Francisco, that policy is quite costly.
People who live in Florida are in luck. It’s the only place that includes this type of homeowner’s insurance coverage. To find out what claims are common in the Sunshine State, you can visit this page.
4. Sewer Backups
A sewer backup is the stuff of homeowner’s nightmares. The mess, damage, and smell it leaves behind takes a lot of work and money to clean up.
Usually, you have to request the sewer backup coverage and need to pay more to have it as part of your policy.
To prevent the backup from happening to you, replace your pipes to new plastic ones to keep tree roots from blocking the line. Never pour grease down your drains or flush too many paper products. You can also install a valve in the line to prevent backups.
5. Normal Wear and Tear
Part of home-ownership is taking care of your home’s maintenance. And while wear and tear is normal, any damage caused by owner neglect is not covered by a homeowner’s policy.
For example, if your roof is 50 years old and receives hail damage, your insurance company likely won’t cover it because the roof should have been replaced a long time ago. You can’t overlook regular maintenance then expect the insurance company to pay when something happens.
Your best form of protection is keeping up with the home’s maintenance. Follow a seasonal checklist to keep everything up to date. And keep records of your work to show your insurance company in the event you need to make a claim.
6. Construction Work Damage
You’re finally getting that home remodel you’ve always wanted! The house is full of construction and utility workers, but what happens if they cause damage to your home?
Accidents do happen, but chances are your policy won’t cover the cost. Any repairs needed will come out of your pocket, which could blow your remodeling budget.
You can get extra coverage to your insurance. But if you hired a contractor, make sure they carry liability insurance. That means if their crew damages your home, their insurance is the one that will pay for repairs.
7. Pest Infestations
Tiny little creatures can cause major damage to your home. When termites, mice, carpenter ants, or other pests invade, your homeowner’s policy won’t help.
Pest infestations are part of your home maintenance. Therefore, it’s not something an insurance policy will protect you from.
In order to protect yourself, apply DIY treatments around the home to keep the critters out. If you find they’ve made their way in, call in a professional exterminator to take care of the issue before they cause too much damage.
And if you’re in the process of buying a new home, have a home inspector thoroughly examine the house for any pest damage.
8. Expensive Items
When you have valuables in the house, most homeowners assume their homeowner’s insurance will cover it should their things get stolen or damaged. Unfortunately, they find this isn’t always the case when it’s a little too late.
A typical insurance policy has limits on coverage for items such as jewelry, antiques, and cash. Base coverage can range between $2,500 to $5,000.
If your items are more expensive and want them as part of your policy, you’ll need to purchase extra insurance or get a separate policy. Getting a fireproof safe to store them in is another layer of protection you can add.
Protect Yourself by Knowing What Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover
You don’t want to be caught by surprise when your homeowner’s insurance denies a claim. By knowing what does homeowners insurance not cover, you can have peace of mind knowing your home is fully protected if something should happen.
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