Sometimes knowing what is not included in your policy is just as important as knowing what is included in your policy. Experts in the insurance industry recommend evaluating your homeowner’s insurance policy at least once a year, but between the fine print and tiny typeface, it can be difficult to truly see what is covered, and more importantly, what is not. The sheer length of many insurance policies may fool you into thinking that you are covered. After all, a dozen or more pages of coverage ought to cover just about everything, right? Wrong.
1. Power Outages
The most common and expensive damage often occurs as the result of a power outage. When power is restored, a surge of electricity floods into the home. This can often cause electronics to overload. This may results in computers losing valuable information and large appliances to malfunction. To avoid this problem, always use surge protectors and unplug all sensitive electronic appliances whenever the power goes out. Leave them unplugged until power is restored.
2. Mold Damage
Most insurers exclude mold damage from policy coverage because mold damage is often a problem that grows over time. If mold is not prevented, or taken care of immediately, it is viewed as neglect and therefore, is not covered. If left unchecked, mold can cause structural damage and serious health concerns to the family. As a homeowner, take preventive measures to prevent mold spores from spreading.
Homeowners should be aware, mindful, and proactive in taking care of their property. It is not the job of the insurance company to handle minor upkeep of the home. This includes common everyday chores like fixing leaky pipes, sealing cracks, and minimizing water damage. If that leaky pipe is not fixed and causes water damage, the insurance company will likely deny coverage based on neglect.
While children love trampolines (and inflatable bounce houses), insurance companies do not. To most companies, a trampoline is nothing but a lawsuit waiting to happen in the backyard. As an extreme risk activity, trampolines are not covered by homeowners insurance. This means that if a neighbor is injured while jumping on your trampoline, you are completely liable. In addition, some companies may even cancel your policy if you purchase one.
5. Sewage Backup
It is never a pleasant experience when a toilet overflows and you have to hire a professional crew to mop up the mess. Unfortunately, homeowner’s insurance is no help in these instances. Sewage backup is one of the most infamous home insurance exclusions.
6. Floods, Earthquakes, Landslides
Many homeowners’ find out after their basement is filled with water that their policy does not cover flooding. In order to have protection against flood damage, earthquakes, or landslides, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
7. Luxury Items
While your overall homeowner’s insurance benefit may seem high, there are limits on items such as electronics, jewelry, and collectibles. If you have especially valuable items in your home, you probably need to purchase additional coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most standard home insurance policies only cover up to $1,500 for damage or theft.
8. Certain Dogs
Insurance companies don’t generally have a problem with pets, but if your particular pet has a risky history, your homeowner’s insurance may deny coverage. Particularly aggressive dog breeds may be denied coverage depending on your location, insurer, and other factors. These breeds include Pit Bulls, Staffordshire Terriers, Doberman Pinschers, Rottweilers, Chows, Akitas, and Wolf-hybrids.
9. Intentional Damage
Any intentional damage caused by any resident of the home is never covered by home insurance. If your spouse, child, or other resident causes intentional damage to the property, it automatically becomes their (or your) responsibility to fix it or pay for the repairs out of pocket.