Homeowner’s insurance policies are useful for covering serious repairs to your home. But contrary to popular belief, most policies are not all-inclusive. Many repairs will come out of your pocket, so be prepared.
Here are a few things homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover.
- Some Natural Disasters
While hail damage to your roof could mean a brand new roof, not all natural disasters will be covered by a typical homeowner’s insurance policy. Flood damage, for example, is not.If you live in a flood zone, you’ll want to add flood insurance to your premium. This can be an expensive addition, but it will protect you financially from the inevitable flooding in the future.
Earthquakes are another natural disaster often not covered in a typical policy. Most standard policies don’t cover earthquake coverage, but if you live in an area where earthquakes are common, such as California, you may be required to purchase a separate earthquake insurance policy.
If you live in a region that’s prone to certain natural disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, etc.), you will likely be required to purchase separate insurance for repairs associated with the disaster.
- HVAC Repairs
In the event of damage to your furnace or cooling system, your homeowner’s insurance policy may not cover repairs. If it was damaged by some unforeseen accident or another accident covered by insurance, your policy may cover it.
It won’t, however, cover damage caused by natural wear and tear over time. This is an expensive repair, which you can somewhat prevent through proper maintenance. Have your HVAC system regularly cleaned and inspected to extend the life of your system.
- Termite Damage
Termites are tiny insects that can cause massive damage throughout a home. They eat through the wood of a home, rotting away the flesh of a wood structure. Because they primarily eat the inside of wood, you often won’t know they’ve been there until the wood collapses.
Most general homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover the cost of pest control and the resulting damage. You can often get insurance coverage through a local pest control company, however, if pest control is a prime concern in your area.
Homeowner’s insurance also won’t cover the cost of mold damage repair. If you have a long-term leak caused by improper maintenance, shoddy construction, or a naturally occurring event, it can cause mold growth throughout your home.
Mold, particularly black mold, is very dangerous when inhaled. It can cause respiratory problems and tonsillitis. While your insurance policy will probably cover repairs for a sudden leak, it won’t always cover mold caused by a long-term problem.
Insurance companies are not fond of trampolines. If you have one, there’s often a clause in homeowner’s insurance policies eliminating coverage for trampoline-related accidents.
Trampoline accidents cause thousands of injuries per year, and many insurance companies will refuse to cover your property if a trampoline is present. You might consider liability insurance alongside your regular homeowner’s policy if you seek complete coverage.
- Aggressive Dogs
When you sign up for a homeowner’s insurance policy, you’ll be asked if you own a dog and what kind. Most dogs won’t affect your policy, but some more aggressive breeds can cause problems.
Dog bites make up about one-third of all liability claims, and many insurance companies don’t want any part of that. They will blacklist certain breeds such as rottweilers, pit bulls, and wolf hybrids, refusing to cover any accidents related to your dog.
- War and Terrorist Acts
While you pray it will never happen, war and terrorist acts are declared “fundamentally uninsurable” by almost all insurance companies. This includes any kind of radiological, biological, or chemical attack that causes damage to your house and property.
Unfortunately, there is no supplemental insurance to cover these repairs. While these events are unlikely, if they happen to you, you may have to pay for repairs out of pocket.
- Sewer Backups
Sewer systems tend to back up, whether from a lack of proper care, drainage problems, or improper installation. When they do, cleanup is an expensive nightmare that’s not always covered by insurance.
Fortunately, there is separate insurance that can cover your sewer in the event of damage. It can be expensive depending on your area and the type of sewer system you have, but given the temperamental nature of sewers, it’s well worth the cost.
Homeowner’s insurance brings great peace of mind, but avoid developing a false sense of security. Know your policy well and shop around for the best coverage. Add additional coverage where possible to make up the difference, and rest easy at night knowing you’re prepared in any situation.
Author: Oliver Curtis
Hi there. I’m Oliver. I’m just a young boy from the outskirts of… Okay, that’s a lie, I’m not a young boy anymore, although I certainly feel that way at heart.