Buying a home is a dream purchase for many families. Just like when buying a car off the lot, when you buy a home, you are required to buy insurance for it as well. While it is required by most mortgage lenders, standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover everything. Here are a few examples of what is not covered under standard homeowners insurance policy.
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Major Cataclysmic Events
Depending on which state you live in, this can include different types of hazards. For example, if you live in California, earthquakes and floods can be a problem. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover things like this and you have to buy a separate policy to cover these events. Other events not covered include but are not limited to are sinkholes, tornadoes, hurricanes, and landslides as well as acts of war, government seizing of property and a nuclear event. Depending on the state they may offer coverage for certain disasters like sinkholes or floods.
There are a few exceptions where homeowners insurance may cover you during one of these events. For example, if an earthquake causes a fire that damages your house, then your policy should cover the cost. Terrorist attacks are not considered acts of war, so any damage done to your property during one should also be covered. When it comes to nuclear events, federal law prohibits insurers from covering these, however, it is up to the nuclear plant to cover all costs of any damage caused.
Negligence or Normal Wear and Tear
Homeowners insurance is meant to cover any accidents and events beyond your control, meaning it is not meant to help you pay for damage that has happened or that you should take care of, through the normal day to day of your home. This includes damage and events that are caused by your negligence or lack of attention. Examples of this can be damage from unkempt trees or replacement of floors from years of foot traffic.
The deciding factor on what is covered is the root cause of the damage. If there is an outside source, then there is a better chance of it being covered by your insurance. Another factor is neglecting to file a claim. If you wait too long to file a claim on damage to your home, and it becomes worse, then the blame rests on you and it will not be covered.
Mold is a good example of whether or not it’s covered depending on the cause. While insurance will cover mold, if it is due to a burst pipe due to your lack of pipe maintenance, your claim will most likely be rejected. In the event that your claim is accepted, the insurance company will most likely cap how much is covered, meaning you still have to pay out of pocket for some of the repairs.
Any damage caused by a sewage system backing up is also not covered by homeowners insurance. However, it is possible to purchase it as additional coverage or as a separate policy. This is important to have because cleaning up and fixing a flooded basement can cost anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000.
Liability and Property
Liability insurance is not a common thing that homeowners insurance covers. This includes other things not originally part of the property including diving boards, trampolines, tree houses or certain breeds of dogs. These items cause injury frequently enough that insurance would rather not deal with it.
While it really depends on the insurance company, a lot of them won’t insure dogs of a certain size or breed. This includes pit bulls, rottweilers or german shepards because they are large or thought to be aggressive. There are some insurance providers that don’t look at the type of dog you have. Some insurance companies might offer a rider option. This means that you purchase certain types of coverage to be added to the basic, and is only available to you and your policy.
They are small but are notorious for doing a lot of damage to houses. If they go unnoticed, the cost of fixing the damage can rise quickly. It is important to keep on top of this by contacting pest control on a regular basis because most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover termites.
High-value can include gold, jewelry, fur clothing, paintings or anything that’s worth a pretty penny. While homeowners insurance generally covers these, it’s only for a limited amount with a cap of only a couple thousand dollars. Since high priced items are so expensive, it’s recommended that you purchase extra coverage or extra insurance to get the full coverage for your treasured items.
A home is important to one’s well being, and having your home damaged can cause psychological damage. Unfortunately, homeowners insurance does not cover any counseling or outside help when it comes to dealing with the trauma of a damaged home.