If you’re like many of us, you haven’t actually read your homeowners insurance policy. Do you know what your policy does and doesn’t cover? Should you ever need it, you might be surprised. Because, the truth is, many fairly common events are not covered in a standard policy.
Many things not included in a standard policy can be covered through additional policies. Unfortunately, there are some events that aren’t ever covered, or aren’t covered if damage occurred because of poor maintenance.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers
In general, home insurance policies cover the home itself and other structures on the property, personal property and liability. Damage from a fire or lightening is typically covered, though there are exceptions. Depending on the state you live in and the insurance provider, you can purchase additional coverage for items excluded in the general policy, such as damage due to earthquakes and floods.
What Your Home Insurance Probably Doesn’t Cover
Damage due to an earthquake is not covered by standard home insurance, but you can purchase a separate policy for protection—especially important in quake-prone regions. Earthquake insurance, however does not replace everything you lose and there are limits on benefits. Also of note, in California it is required by law that standard home insurance policies cover fire damage resulting from an earthquake
Flood damage is not covered by most home insurance policies. You can, however, purchase separate flood protection and should do so if you live in a flood-prone area such as property near a waterway. Many mortgage lenders require you to have flood insurance if you live in a risky area.
3. Sewer backup
A backed up sewer can do tremendous damage to a home, but it’s not typically covered. You may be able to buy additional covered as part of your policy.
Standard homeowners insurance policies usually limit coverage for mold coverage. The thinking is that mold is preventable with proper maintenance. If the mold was caused by a burst pipe, however, you may have limited coverage for mold cleanup.
Sinkholes, like earthquakes, are considered earth movement and typically not covered. In fact, this kind of coverage can be hard to find. Damage due to sinkholes is covered by law in Florida, however, and in Tennessee insurers are required to offer sinkhole coverage.
Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t typically cover damage done to your house during construction and renovation. Your provider may offer a separate policy for this and licensed contractors should have liability coverage.
Costs for repairing damage from a termite infestation can be exorbitant, but is not typically covered by home insurance. This is considered a maintenance issue and the homeowner is responsible. Regular pest control is recommended to keep your home safe from termites.
For more about what homeowners insurance covers, review our article, Compare Coverage Options for Homeowners and Renters Insurance. To find the right coverage for your circumstances and compare competitive quotes, use our quote tool to get started.