About 85 percent of homeowners have home insurance policies. On average, homeowners insurance costs around $1,083 per year in premiums, making it a substantial expense for many. Considering the price tag, it isn’t uncommon for property owners to assume that nearly every kind of event would be covered. However, that isn’t the case. Here’s a look at what most home insurance policies won’t cover.
While the majority of homeowners insurance policies cover some forms of water damage, standard coverage won’t help you for floods. If you want flood coverage, you’ll need separate flood insurance.
Usually, homeowners go through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for flood policies. Those are overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and can cover damage to the structure as well as personal belongings inside.
However, there are coverage amount limits of $250,000 for the structure and $100,000 for the contents of a home for basic flood insurance. If you need more than that, you’ll have to get “excess” coverage either from the NFIP or a private company.
Damage from Negligence
If your home is damaged, but that damage could have been prevented by properly maintaining the property. Your damages might not be covered. For example, if a pipe burst that should have been replaced years ago. Your claim might be denied. Similarly, if a storm tore a hole in your roof, but the roof was already in disrepair. Your claim might be denied or what is covered could be incredibly limited.
Often, damage caused by pests is also considered an issue of negligence. For example, if termites harm your home’s structure. Your policy probably won’t help.
In many cases, damage caused by earth movement – like earthquakes, landslides, and sinkholes – isn’t covered by many policies. Like flooding, you’ll need a separate policy that covers that specific kind of damage if you want protection.
You’ll need to check your policy to see if earth movement is covered. If not, then you can get an earthquake policy through a private company to cover those kinds of events.
Backed Up Sewer Lines
If a sewer backup damages your home, most homeowners aren’t covered by their basic policies no matter the cause. For sewer backup coverage, you’ll either need a separate policy from a private company or a rider or endorsement on your existing policy.
Some Dog Attacks
Homeowners insurance often covers costs associated with someone being bitten by your dog. However, if you own certain breeds that are considered to be “aggressive” by your insurer. Your canine companion’s actions might not be covered.
For example, German Shepherds and Pit Bulls are frequently excluded from policies. Akitas, Chows, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Alaskan Malamutes, Siberian Huskies, Rottweilers, Great Danes, and Presa Canarios are often banned as well. Plus, nearly all wolf hybrids are eligible for coverage.
High-Value Jewelry, Antiques, Art, or Computers
While homeowners policies cover jewelry, furniture, art, and electronics in general. If yours have values beyond a certain cutoff point. Your coverage won’t handle the full value of the item. Instead, you’ll need to purchase a rider or endorsement to expand the amount.
The limit may vary from one insurer to the next. However, it is typically around the $1,000 to $2,000 mark for each item. For example, if you have a gaming computer worth $3,000, then you’ll probably need a rider. But, if you have three computers worth $1,000 each. You might not, depending on your insurer.
If you are concerned about coverage limits in those categories. You should contact your insurer. They can let you know what restrictions apply and whether you need a rider. Additionally, for antiques, art, and jewelry, your home insurance company can let you know if a formal appraisal is necessary if you want to expand your coverage.
Terrorism and War
Both acts of terrorism and war are uninsurable. If any kind of attack in those categories causes damage to your home, your insurer isn’t going to cover it.
While home insurance does cover a wide range of potential injuries. They won’t cover anything related to trampolines. These fun pieces of play equipment are incredibly dangerous and lead to a large number of injuries annually. This is why most insurers exclude them in their policies.
Have you ever tried to make a claim only to discover that your home insurance won’t cover it? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.
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