What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover—and NOT Cover?
Dan Levenson August 22, 2017
When many homeowners purchase an insurance policy for their new property, they expect that it’s going to provide coverage for just about anything that could go wrong with the house.
Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case.
While a homeowner’s insurance policy should give you some added peace of mind and protect you from most unforeseen disasters, these policies are not meant to cover every single repair and expense related to your home.
Whether you’re looking to buy or have recently purchased a home, being informed regarding what your policy does cover versus what it doesn’t cover will help you to avoid unexpected surprises down the road.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers (In a Nutshell)
While coverage specifics will vary from one policy to the next (and coverage requirements can even vary from state to state), it is safe to say that most home insurance policies, at the very least, will provide coverage for your home in the event of a sudden disaster or theft.
Pretty much anything that happens suddenly and that results in damage to or a complete loss of your home should fall into this category. Some examples include:
- lightning strikes, hail, or tornado/high wind
- fire, smoke, or explosion
- damage from a vehicle or aircraft
- theft and/or vandalism
Depending on your policy, you may also have coverage for things like damage from falling objects, flooding from appliance malfunctions, and even power surges.
What Homeowners Insurance Typically Doesn’t Cover
While your homeowner’s insurance policy includes plenty of coverage for abrupt damage to your home cause by outside factors, it’s important for homeowners to understand that there are also a number of things that generally will not be covered. In most cases, these are things related to long-term, gradual damage that occurs as a result of poor maintenance.
Mold is an excellent example of this. Most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover mold; this is because mold is caused by moisture problems, such as busted pipes or water leaks that, in your insurance company’s mind, you should have repaired right away to prevent mold growth. Some insurance companies allow policyholders to add this coverage to their accounts at a monthly premium, but even then, mold damage and remediation may only be partially covered.
Termites are another form of gradual, long-term damage that will likely not be covered by your home insurance policy. This is another situation where your insurance company places the responsibility on you to have your home inspected on occasion for pests (such as termites and carpenter ants) and treat for them as needed. By being proactive about wood-boring and wood-eating pests in the home, it is possible to avoid significant (and expensive) structural damage.
For business owners who work from a home office, you should also be aware that damage or destruction of business equipment (such as computers, desks, and other property) likely will not be covered. For this, you’ll need a separate business insurance policy.
What About Flood Damage?
Water damage from flooding is a common topic of contention among homeowners and insurance companies. So many homeowners are under the assumption that damage caused by flooding is covered by their insurance, but this is almost never the case.
Homeowners who want this type of protection will need to purchase it separately and at an additional cost. And for homeowners who live in known flood plains, this may actually be required by mortgage lenders in order to obtain financing for the house in the first place.
Finally, keep in mind that even things that are covered by your home insurance company may first require you to pay a deductible out-of-pocket before coverage will kick in, so make sure your deductible is something you can afford.
Want to find the best rates and most comprehensive coverage on your home insurance? Be sure to contact us today to request your free and zero-obligation quote!