Are you familiar with what your homeowner’s insurance specifically will and will not cover should catastrophe or accident strike? Unexpected things can happen at any time, so if you’re not aware in advance, you certainly need to find out what’s what.
There are a number of things that many homeowners assume their insurance covers, but they’re not. That means that when it comes time to pay the bills following a major incident, you might just find out that it’s not getting covered at all by your insurance company. This can feel like a real gut punch at any time, but it’s an especially hard blow if you’ve already been through the ringer in a dramatic situation and thought you were about to wrap things up.
These are 11 things which may not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy
1) Mold: Bankrate states that a typical homeowner’s insurance policy usually has limits on mold damage or might even exclude it totally. A handful of insurers are willing to offer endorsements expanding the coverage limits surrounding mold claims, but you’ll have to pay more for your insurance. According to the Insurance Information Institute, your best bet in dealing with mold is to just keep it from growing at all. Rid your home of moisture as fast as you can if you suffer a leak or flooding.
2) A Backup Of Sewage: Should a sewer wind up backing up into your home, the damage to your furniture, floors, walls, and electrical systems can be drastic, and that’s not often covered by conventional or basic policies. If you are concerned about this being an issue in your home, think about getting additional insurance that could be added to your existing policy to give you such coverage.
3) Sinkholes:The overwhelming majority of home insurance policies simply do not cover any damage related to earth movement, be it sinkholes, mudslides, or earthquakes. The one notable exception at the time of writing is the state of Florida, which mandates insurers provide this coverage.
4) Flooding: Far too many homeowners assume that their basic insurance policy covers them if a flood happens. They’re rightly shocked when they discover that it does no such thing. You can get flood insurance separately, and you should.
5) Damage From Construction Work: When you’re doing renovations to your home, damage could result in your home. Your standard policy is not likely to provide coverage for that. Consult your provider about getting a different policy which covers any possible damage. Also, if you hire contractors, be sure they are licensed for liability.
6) Fine Art And Jewelry: You’ll likely actually have coverage for expensive collectibles, but there are going to be stringent limits, sometimes only a thousand bucks. If you have a lot of items to protect, or just one or several high-value pieces, consider getting a separate insurance rider specifying just which items are protected and for how much.
7) An Infestation Of Termites: Ever wonder how much damage termites do in America every year? The National Pest Management Association has crunched the numbers, and it estimates in excess of $5 billion every year. If that’s not bad enough, most homeowner’s insurance policies simply don’t cover it. Prevention is the best policy in terms of this problem, so have a licensed pest control company come out and do an inspection of your home.
8) Cash That Gets Stolen Or Destroyed: It’s hard, if not impossible, to convince an insurance provider that your home had thousands of dollars hidden away if the home was destroyed. While keeping emergency money in cold hard cash makes many feel safer, it’s also a common way for insurance customers to try and pad their claims. As such, it’s not really covered. So, keep your money in a really safe place to start with, like a fireproof and water-resistant safe that will still be there when the home isn’t.
9) Trampoline Incidents: They can be a lot of fun, even a chance to get exercise right in your own backyard. However, insurance providers consider them too great a risk and either don’t cover them or make you get a separate policy to get coverage.
10) Canine Attacks: Some insurance companies are going to have exclusions for breeds deemed aggressive. Your current dog might be excluded even if they aren’t considered an aggressive breed simply because they’ve bitten anyone before the policy goes into effect. Consult your Cincinnati Home Insurance Companiesfor specific details.
11) Swimming Pool Accidents: The Insurance Information Institute says that since so many fatal drownings happen in the waters of residential pools, the liability risk of those pool owners is increased dramatically. Insurance companies consider swimming pools what they call an ‘attractive nuisance’ so they often advise clients to buy added liability coverage. Your basic homeowner’s policy might provide some coverage here, but you need to confirm the details and be sure your coverage is for the right amounts.
In some cases, these exclusions might just not matter to you. If you don’t own a dog or precious jewelry, then those won’t come into play. The same would go for a property without a trampoline or a swimming pool. For that matter, a few lucky homes are north enough in Alaska to not have to worry about termites.
Still, should the day come that you decide to get a dog, build a pool, put in a trampoline, or collect and store fine jewelry, are you going to remember you need to talk to your insurance agent first? It’s better to know in advance all the ins and outs of your policy and get the addendums or extra coverage that will suit you now and into the future, or at least so you’ll know when to modify your policy and coverage correctly when you make a substantial change to your home.