Home Insurance - What's Not Covered
Home Insurance – What Isn’t Covered? (And How to Protect Yourself)
It’s good to know what your home insurance policy covers; but it’s also important to know what it doesn’t cover. You may need additional insurance coverage for certain things that may not be included in a typical home policy depending on where you live or your situation.
Here are several things that aren’t typically covered in a standard home policy, and what you can do to ensure you’re protected:
- Sewer Backup Coverage & Extended Water Damage Coverage
- Sewer Backup & Extended water damage coverage has changed significantly over the last several years. Many new coverages such as overland or surface water, underground water and sewer line coverage are now available from many insurance companies. While most basic home insurance policies don’t have sewer backup coverage on them, your broker should always recommend adding this coverage. There are many components that go into sewer coverage and water damage coverage depending on where you live, the particulars of your house, etc. It is important to speak to your broker about adding these important coverages to your policy and what coverage limit is right for you, as it can provide protection for something as simple as a toilet suddenly overflowing, to a basement completely flooded with sewer water.
- Special Items such as jewelry, watches and gems, furs, silverware, and collectibles such as sports cards, comic books, coins, stamps, etc.
- Most home policies will have basic coverage for some personal items, but they may have a limit. For example, your policy may provide standard coverage up to $3000 for an engagement ring, but if you’ve invested in an antique ring from Tiffany that’s worth $10,000 and upwards, you will want to ask your broker about additional coverage. It’s important to know that every policy is different and the amount of coverage may vary. Talk to your broker about exactly what is covered and how you can get additional coverage for items precious and valuable to you. You may want to make a detailed list that documents cost, receipts, appraisals and photos.
- This is not covered unless it happens within an area of your home that is heated, and you haven’t been away for more than 14 consecutive days.
- General Wear, Tear and Maintenance
- Your policy won’t pay to replace a roof that is getting old or a new water heater if it dies. It is important to keep up on regular maintenance on your home. Damage that occurs because of your failure to deal with maintenance issues could be denied if you try to file a claim. For example, if you have a toilet that has been leaking over time and you fail to repair it, the water damage incurred will not be covered under your policy.
- Mold Removal
- Mold is usually a result of water damage, however when it occurs over time, whether you’ve detected it or not, home insurance will not cover the removal and cleanup. It is imperative to stay on top of leaks and clean up any water damage promptly and properly, as mold can spread quickly and can be very expensive to get rid of.
- Pest Damage
- Damage cause directly by pests such as racoons, skunks, vermin, rodents, and the like are often not covered by your home insurance policy. Unfortunately, sometimes, they like to take up residence in a warm attic or under your deck. By keeping up with your home maintenance, making sure your property is clean and sealing any cracks or holes around the outside of your home will help prevent some of these adorable furry creatures and not so adorable creatures from wanting to move in.
- Business Coverage
- Lots of people run small businesses out of their home, but your home insurance policy will not cover you if a client is injured on your premises or you have damage to work equipment for example. You will need a small business liability policy to protect you against business-related liability claims.
- Every insurance company is a little different, and what may be included or excluded on your policy will depend on their rules as well as the type of policy you have. Take the time to know what is covered under your policy so you can be prepared for what is not. Our brokers at Billyard Insurance Group can help you understand your policy and make adjustments to your coverage if you realize you are missing something.