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5 Things Homeowner’s Insurance Won’t Cover

September 14, 2012

A home insurance policy covers you for a wide variety of things; it includes coverage for liability, for your personal property, and for the house itself. But there are some things which are generally excluded from a home policy, and it’s vital that you know what they are. These 5 things are not covered by your homeowner’s insurance, and some of them may require their own policy.

1. Flood Damage

Yes, some water damage is covered by your homeowner’s insurance, but flood damage is not. Water damage is a confusing area for many homeowners, and each policy will determine what areas of damage are covered and which are not. What is true across the board is that damage from a flood is excluded from home insurance policies. Homes located in high risk flooding areas are best protected by taking out a specific flood insurance policy, which will protect from such natural disasters. Without such a policy, homeowners will find themselves out of luck.

2. Business Coverage

If you run a business out of your home, you will need a small business general liability policy to protect you against business-related liability claims. The liability on your home insurance policy will cover you if a friend is injured on your property, but not if the person injured is a client on the premises for business-related reasons. You will also need an additional policy to cover business contents that exceeds the small amount of coverage available on homeowner’s insurance for such items. Most businesses will exceed this amount; be sure to find out what the limit is on your policy.

3. Wear & Tear and Maintenance

Your home insurance policy is there to get you back to where you were before a sudden, unexpected occurrence that does damage to your home. Wear and tear and regular maintenance issues do not fall under that category. It’s up to homeowners to keep up on all repairs that are needed to the home as a result of age and weather wearing on the house over time. Home insurance won’t pay to replace a roof that is getting old or to buy a new water heater if it dies. Furthermore, damage that occurs as a result of your failure to deal with maintenance issues could be denied if you try to file a claim. For example, if you know the toilet is leaking but fail to repair it, water damage as a result isn’t covered under your policy.

4. Earth Movement

If the earth moves and does damage to your home, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover you. Earthquakes and landslides are just two types of earth movement that are specifically excluded on home insurance policies. Separate earthquake insurance policies are available to cover you for shifting ground, and are a good idea for anyone living near a fault line. Even if you aren’t in an area known for earthquakes, it can and does happen in unusual locations, so it’s something for everyone to consider.

5. Mold Removal

Mold is usually a result of water damage, but when it occurs slowly over time due to a leak, whether detected or not, your home insurance won’t cover the cleanup. Mold can be very expensive to get rid of, so it’s vital to stay on top of any leaks and clean up water damage promptly. If the water damage is from a covered peril, get your insurance company in right away to do a professional cleanup before mold can set it. Mold is best avoided or dealt with promptly when it appears, as it can spread and become a very large problem very quickly.

Every insurance company is a little different and what is included or excluded on your policy depends on their rules as well as the type of policy you have. It’s important to be aware of all exclusions on the policy and to prepare yourself by purchasing additional coverage to fill the gaps where needed. Read all of the fine print on your policy so that you aren’t surprised by an exclusion once it’s too late. Remember, flood insurance won’t pay for the damage if you don’t get it until after the flood.

Take the time to know your policy and what is covered, so that you can be prepared for what is not.

  • Ken Andrews

    Home Insurance: this info applies to stand-alone residences; what about apartments/multiple dwellings?
    I live in a modern, up-to-date apartment buildings, with excellent fire/water/electric protection services. Other than a possible liability from a visitor, or negligence by myself if I don’t contain or report a water leak, why would I really need home insurance?

  • harry

    Why we are charged HIGH RISK premiums but we are not paid out at high risk clains

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com


    Thank you for your question. I am assuming when you say you live in a modern, up-to-date apartment building, you are referring to renting, rather than owning a condo.

    If you are renting an apartment, room or house, “tenant’s insurance” (which is a type of home insurance) offers two kinds of coverages: liability and contents.

    Liability coverage will protect you from your personal actions where you are held responsible for damage to the building or injury to others who live or visit your rented premises.

    Contents coverage reimburses you for loss or damage to your personal belongings arising rom insured perils including fire, smoke and theft.

    I hope this answers your question.

  • Gregory Ferro

    Sometimes insurance policies are so hard to understand. They limit their coverage to those that can easily be recovered but don’t include those that are high risk. What type of insurance then should we get for the abovementioned incidents?

  • Robin Rensby

    How frequently should we have the house checked during an extended absence?

  • Nick – InsuranceHotline.com

    Hi Robin,

    It all depends on your comfort level; some people like to have someone check their house once per week, while others may have someone check it once per day.

  • http://www.insurancehotline.com/ InsuranceHotline.com


    I am sorry but we cannot answer this since we don’t know the policy details. Check with your own insurance professional.

    thank you

  • bgbs

    Home insurance companies have pretty much shielded themselves from every kind of damage. They have provisions for every kind of damage. Therefore the major purpose of the home insurance is so to protect the mortgage company loan, not you. That’s why your mortgage company is always on your case if you don’t have the insurance.

  • InsuranceHotline

    Not all home insurance polices are the same. You should check with your broker or company to see what their responsibilities are.

  • InsuranceHotline

    Most of the time seepage is not covered under the homeowners policy.