What is not covered by homeowner’s insurance?

If you have a homeowner’s insurance policy or are interested in purchasing one, it is important to understand the type of perils, or incidents, that insurers do not provide coverage for.

For example, one common myth about homeowner’s insurance is that it pays for damages relating to floods. In reality, most insurance agencies will never provide flood insurance for a homeowner’s insurance policy.

Home insurance coverage may also depend on the type of policy that you purchase or even where you live. Therefore, it is important to know what to expect and what perils to ask your insurance agent about in order to be aware of the coverage your policy will include. To learn more about coverage options that may not be provided by your homeowner’s insurance agency, review the following information.

Homeowner’s Insurance Perils and You

It is important to be familiar with the perils that your homeowner’s insurance policy will provide coverage for before purchasing a plan. A peril is a term used by insurance companies that refers to the specific reason or risk of loss. Each policy may be different, with some policies naming excluded perils that are not covered, while others may only list the perils that are covered. If you are unsure what types of incidents are covered by your policy, it is recommended that you speak with your insurance agency.

The Business Use of Your Home

Homeowner’s insurance does not generally cover businesses uses of your home, but some policies may provide a partial coverage on items such as computers and laptops that are used for business purposes. This is on a policy-by-policy basis, and your insurance provider may have additional business coverage options should you need them. If you receive payment for having a day care or caring for another individual’s children, you will be required to purchase additional coverage options if you would like this form of liability coverage.

Optional Homeowner’s Insurance Coverage

Depending on the level of coverage your homeowner’s insurance agency provides, there are perils that you may not receive coverage for. While fire, smoke, windstorm, hail, lightning, explosion, vehicle and civil unrest perils are generally covered, there are several common perils that will only be covered if your policy provides that level of coverage. Optional coverage includes:

  • Theft and vandalism.
  • Falling objects, such as trees.
  • Damage from the weight of ice, sleet or snow.
  • The freezing, rupturing or sudden and accidental overflow of a household appliance, fire sprinkler system, air conditioning unit, heating system or plumbing.
  • Sewage backup.

Earthquakes, Floods and Nuclear Hazards

Unless you live in certain states, you most likely do not have coverage for any sort of ground movement such as landslides, earthquakes or sinkholes. Some states require homeowner’s insurance companies to cover these perils, but if you reside within any other state, you will most likely be required to purchase a separate policy for this level of coverage.

One of the most common myths about homeowner’s insurance is that it covers flooding caused by natural disasters or from burst pipes, but this is not the case. Homeowner’s insurance will hardly ever cover flooding. If you desire flood coverage, you will have to acquire a separate flood policy.

A homeowner’s insurance policy will never include damages from nuclear hazards. Fortunately, nuclear power companies are legally required to acquire liability insurance that will cover damages to homes inside the affected area of a hazard.

Government Action and Confiscation

Homeowner’s insurance policies will also never cover the cost to repair or replace property or assets for government-related perils. If the government or any other public authority confiscates your property, repossesses your hand or takes over your land, you will not receive aid from your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Hurricane-Prone States and Wind Damage

While most homeowner’s insurance policies cover wind damage, such as that caused by a tornado, your policy may not include wind damage if you live within a hurricane-prone state. Hurricane-prone states are mostly around the Atlantic or Gulf coasts where hurricane risk is at its highest. In cases such as these, you can purchase windstorm insurance separately. It is recommended that you always check with your policy provider to see if wind insurance is included in your policy.

Mold and Infestations

If your home is damaged due to mold, your home insurer will likely refuse to cover the cost of repairs if the mold was caused by poor home maintenance, construction defects, naturally occurring floods or long-term leaks. Additionally, infestations from vermin such as mice, termites and bedbugs do not generally provide coverage, even if the infestation causes damage to your home or assets. Getting rid of an infestation and repairing the damage that is left behind is usually considered home maintenance.

Normal Wear and Tear

While it may be obvious, homeowner’s insurance will not cover damage that is considered normal wear and tear, especially if the damage that is done could have been prevented by better home maintenance. Insurers expect homeowners to maintain the exterior of their home, as well as the roofs, flooring and pipes. If you would like to review services that are typically covered by insurance companies, click here.

Aggressive or Dangerous Dogs

Most insurance policies will include liability insurance for individuals who are injured by your pet on your property, with the exception of breeds that the insurer deems dangerous or aggressive. Each homeowner’s insurance agency can list its own breeds or dogs that they will not provide coverage for, and not all insurance providers will make this exception. The most commonly blacklisted dog breeds include wolf hybrids, Rottweilers and pit bulls, although the latter is not actually a breed of dog. It is also important to know that some insurance providers will look at the individual dog’s history of aggression rather than the dog’s breed.

Trampoline and Pool Accidents

Due to the amount of trampoline and pool accidents and deaths within the United States, a great deal of insurers will not include liability coverage for injuries or deaths related to trampoline or pool incidents. In some cases, this form of liability coverage may be available to you for an additional charge. If an insurance agency refuses to provide trampoline or pool as part of their liability perils, you will have to find another agency that offers this type of coverage.

You can learn more about insurance coverage and how to understand your home’s value.

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