Just because you have homeowners insurance, doesn’t mean you are 100% covered. There are things that can happen in your home that homeowners insurance policies may not cover. Fire is covered in the basic coverage provided by an insurance policy, while other common perils are water damage, theft, wind and liability. Earthquake and flood usually require a separate policy. In some states you can add earthquake coverage as an endorsement. It is important to discuss the risk you face and purchase the proper coverage. It is always a good idea to educate yourself on your own policy and what all is protected should some thing terrible happen.
Damage caused by external water flooding is excluded under standard homeowners insurance policies – according to the institute’s primer on what disasters are covered by insurance. As many Houstonians learned, it is prudent to obtain flood insurance, either from a private insurer or through the U.S. government’s National Flood Insurance Program.
Many home owners may be dismayed to discover that their insurance doesn’t cover the cost of repairing the results of a harmful an earthquake. Coverage for earthquakes, which can damage foundations and collapse walls, requires a separate policy, though a standard homeowners policy generally will cover damage from fires caused by quakes, according to the institute.
3. Sewer Backups
Sewer backups can be pretty messy, and they are not covered either by homeowners insurance policies or flood coverage, according to the institute. Instead, you need to purchase additional sewer coverage.
4. Maintenance Damage
Homeowners policies don’t cover damage caused to your home by your neglect of basic maintenance. Similarly, you are not covered if your house becomes infested
by termites or other pests, nor if it develops mold. There are benefits to being tidy and diligent.
5. Backyard Trampolines and Pools
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, both trampolines and pools are dangerous enough that some companies may not insure your property if you have them. Some may just exclude liability for any injuries related to them. Failure to disclose these items may even result in a canceled policy!
6. Dog Attacks
If your family pet bites a visitor, you are typically covered for legal liability up to your policy’s liability limit — usually $100,000. The average dog bite claim is around $39,000, so you should be safe. However, it can be a bigger problem if you own a breed with a reputation for being aggressive, as they are not always covered.
7. Really Expensive Jewelry
Typically, homeowners’ policies set a limit on how much bling they will cover — usually around $1,500, according to the institute’s article on jewelry and other valuables. If you’ve got a lot of costly jewelry, you will want to consider getting a floater policy, which covers any sort of loss – even dropping your ring down a drain. You will need to get the items appraised professionally.
8. Your Stuff in Someone Else’s Basement
If you’ve got a friend or neighbor who allows you to store some of your possessions in his or her basement, you could lose out in the event of a disaster, according to the executive director of United Policyholders. That person’s insurer is not going to cover your losses, since you are not the homeowner. In this case your only option is to attempt to collect payment from your friend.