Home insurance is there to protect your home from losses. It’s also there to give you some peace of mind – there’s enough stress in life without worrying about how you’d pay for damage to your house if disaster struck. However, it’s really important that you understand what your home insurance policy covers. Home insurance policies have exclusions, or losses that are not covered – meaning that if that particular loss hit your home, the insurance company wouldn’t pay for it. We’ll go over ten common home insurance exclusions and explain how you can cover gaps in your insurance.
Out of the ten exclusions that we’ll go over, this one tends to surprise people. Damage from flooding – whether it’s from a river that bursts its banks or from water collecting in your basement due to heavy rain – is not covered by your typical home insurance policy. To protect your home against flooding, you can go through an agent and get flood insurance from the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program.)
2. Earthquakes and landslides.
If you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes or landslides, you would have to buy a separate policy to protect yourself. Earth movement is usually not included in home insurance policies, but an earthquake policy will cover both your home and your personal belongings.
Pro tip: Make sure you have enough home insurance to completely cover the cost of rebuilding your home from the ground up, like you would have to do if it were destroyed by a fire, and replace all of your belongings.
Ah, mold. If you have a maintenance issue with your house (such as high humidity, leaks, or excessive condensation) that results in mold damage, it probably will not be covered by home insurance. Also, if landscaping or poor drainage causes mold damage, it’s most likely not covered. Thus, mold makes the list of home insurance exclusions.
4. Sump pump failure/sewer backup.
This is another one that surprises people. Your typical home insurance policy won’t cover you if your sump pump fails or you have water back up through a toilet or another plumbing fixture. But don’t worry – you can add sewer backup and sump pump failure to your policy. That way you don’t have to dread your sump pump failing or your sewer backing up. (Okay, you’ll still probably dread it, but you’d be covered.)
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The ground sometimes isn’t as stable as it seems. Those who live in sinkhole-prone areas may wish to purchase additional coverage for sinkholes since they are not typically covered by home insurance. Some states are just more susceptible to sinkholes, so be sure to talk to your agent if you think this is a coverage you need.
With most home insurance policies, someone has to be living in the home for it to be covered. So if you and your family have to move out for a while for whatever reason – renovations, construction, repairs – make sure to check and see what your policy says about vacant property and residency. You can always talk to your agent to get the coverage you need while you’re not living in your house.
7. Jewelry and other valuables.
Your home insurance probably includes a limited amount of coverage for jewelry, artwork, and other valuables. However, this may not be enough coverage for your prized possessions. Be sure to check your limit of coverage for valuables and check with your agent to see how to insure your jewelry.
8. Bodily harm or property damage that was done on purpose.
Insurance covers losses that are accidents or are otherwise out of our control.
9. Your car’s sound system.
Your home insurance may cover belongings that are left in your car if they get stolen or if they’re destroyed, but that doesn’t include your sound system. You would need to get separate coverage if you have an expensive sound system and you want it to be insured.
10. Your boat.
Home insurance may not cover your boat. You would need to purchase a separate boat insurance policy to cover your watercraft; the coverage offered by boat insurance is similar to what you have for your car. Check out your home insurance policy to see what it says about your boat.
While homeowners insurance will protect your home from a number of losses and catastrophes, there are certain things that it simply won’t cover. Make sure that you read your policy carefully and understand what is and isn’t covered. Surprises of the nasty variety are the worst, so be aware of any home insurance exclusions in your policy.
If you’d like to save some money on your home insurance coverage, our team of insurance professionals can help. We can help you shop around for the best rate for your home insurance. All you have to do to get home insurance quotes is fill out our quote form or give us a call today.