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.