If you’re lucky enough to own your own home, you’ve undoubtedly experienced the pain of shopping. homeowners insurance (If you have a mortgage, you probably had no choice in the matter, as lenders usually require it in the terms of the loan). Considering you are likely to be your biggest asset, peace of mind insurance can ease you through the process and the premium may seem like a small price to pay for peace of mind – as long as you No more calling your insurer to make your first claim, and the friendly voice on the other end of the line informing you that your homeowner’s insurance covers but a surprisingly narrow list of unfortunate events.
I’m here today to tell you (from bitter experience) that the most common word you’ll hear from your insurance agent during the claims process is “No”. If you think you’re protected from natural and financial disasters because you’re paying for home owner’s insurance every year, think again. Here’s everything your policy probably doesn’t cover.
This regularly blows new homeowners’ minds: Homeowners insurance usually only covers some natural calamity or “Acts of God.” Earthquake tore your house to pieces? very bad. Sinkhole opens into your living room? Hope you got some savings, because insurance won’t care. When a hurricane hit my house a few years ago, my insurance agent sighed and told me there was nothing—literally nothing—he could do to help.
Generally, anything that you are reasonably expected to keep in good repair and working order in your home will not cover, If you fail to get your roof repaired and it leaks and gets mold and water damage, your insurance won’t pay you a dime, because you really should have maintained your home better. The best way to think about it is what insurance covers—unexpected events. If you know something is potentially a problem, you should get it fixed or replaced immediately, as your insurance won’t help when it causes a huge mess.
sewer backup and water damage
You might think that raw sewage getting into your home would be one of those “force majeure events” that should be covered by insurance, but it rarely does, You can—and probably should—buy a separate policy (or “riding”) for such events. The same goes for a wide range of water damage claims – if the water damage is from sewer backup, flooding, or a slow leak from a poorly maintained roof, you’re pretty much SOL on the insurance end. However, “sudden and accidental” water damage—from a burst pipe, for example, as long as the incident was not due to neglect—may be covered.
bug and rodent infestation
infestation of insects, such as termites or carpenter ants, or rodents, such as rats or squirrels may not be covered by your insurance, as the problem is usually blamed on your failure to handle proper maintenance. Insects and pests can cause very costly damage to your home, but your insurance agent will probably tell you that you should have paid more attention and called the exterminator sooner so the policy won’t pay out on it.
Trampolines, Diving Boards, and Tree Houses
If you think about it, it’s no surprise that your homeowner’s policy is pretty capricious. trampolines and the like diving board are generally excluded from coverage because they are considered to be clearly dangerous. if they HuhYou can buy a rider on your main policy to cover them – but don’t assume they’re covered just because they’re physically part of your property.
Many people think that if you damage your home during Your home owner’s insurance renewal will begin, but it’s not a guarantee. your policy Some upgrades may includeBut Talk to your agent before proceeding That concept. Some policies will not cover anything as a result of renewal, while others may cover a certain amount.
Keep in mind that your insurance will almost never cover problems that arise from unauthorized renovations. if you abandoned pulling permit to reduce costs, or you’ve decided to do a DIY renovation without licensed contractors, in case you accidentally burn down half your house or Your sketchy backyard deck collapses.
If you ever rent out part or all of your home to guests through a platform like Airbnb, any resulting damages Maybe not covered. your insurer will potential Treat it as a “business use” of your home, and expect you to carry separate insurance to cover that liability. In other words, if people rent your home for the weekend through VRBO and destroy it in the process, you won’t get any relief from a standard homeowner’s policy.
The utilities that serve your home—electric, gas, and water—are a complicated issue when it comes to insurance. Most standard homeowner policies only cover pipes and wiring. within home—the part of the service line that is out Homes, even if they are on your property, are not covered. This means that if a water pipe bursts in your basement you likely have a claim, but if that same pipe bursts in your backyard and floods your basement, you probably don’t. The good news is that you can usually shop additional coverage from your insurer Or some sort of “protection plan” from your utility company that would act as additional insurance in those cases.
Homeowner’s insurance policies vary, so it’s beneficial to sit down and read your policy, and contact your agent with any questions you may have. You may be surprised — pleasant or otherwise — by what’s actually covered in your policy, and understanding that means you can take steps like purchasing additional coverage. At the very least, understanding what’s actually covered means you can plan ahead for those evil acts of god.