Homeowners insurance policies provide protection for your home, your possessions, your property and much more. It’s one of the most important insurance policies you can have, as it protects what is potentially the biggest asset that you own.
That being said, there are some things that homeowners insurance does not cover. Understanding what a typical policy doesn’t cover is equally as important as understanding what it does cover.
Knowing this information will help you decide whether you need to purchase supplemental insurance to cover these items — if it’s available to you — and what expenses you may need to budget for.
Below are some of the main items that aren’t covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy.
Homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for damage that your home and property may sustain through no fault of your own. However, as a homeowner, you hold certain responsibilities for protecting against some damage.
If the damage that your home sustains is due to negligence on your part, it likely will not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy. A prime example of this is if a limb from a tree falls and damages your roof. If the reason that it fell was that the tree wasn’t properly trimmed, then it likely will not be covered under your homeowners insurance property.
Damage that is sustained from termites also likely won’t be covered, unless the damage was already in your home and was previously unnoticed. Backups in your sewer system also typically won’t be covered, whether it’s caused by you deposing of waste improperly or whether a tree root damaged a pipe.
All homes need maintenance, and some items will need to be replaced over time. This includes your roof and major systems such as your HVAC and hot water heater. While these can be very expensive undertakings, they are usually not covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy if the replacement is necessary just due to normal wear and tear.
It is the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain all the systems in their home and ensure they’re OK to use. If a hot water heater bursts and causes major damage to the home after it has outlived its normal life expectancy, then your homeowners insurance policy likely won’t provide coverage. If the same event occurs less than a year after you purchased it and it burst through no fault of your own, you may be covered.
Most homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for water damage in certain circumstances. If the damage happened because of a broken pipe, a roof leak or some other type of accidental leak, then you likely will be covered.
However, if the water damage happened as a result of a flood, you likely will not have coverage under your main homeowners insurance policy. This is often the most complicated aspect of homeowners insurance policies, so it’s important to work with your agent to figure out what you need.
If you live near the coast or a body of water that could rise, then you may consider purchasing supplemental flood insurance. If you live in a hurricane-prone area, then hurricane insurance could provide you with a nice mix of additional coverage you could need.
Home Renovation Projects Don’t Wrong
If you are renovating your home, it’s always a good idea to do everything by the book. This means obtaining all the required permits and abiding by all building codes in your municipality.
If you don’t do this and something goes wrong, then your homeowners insurance plan will likely not provide you any relief. An example would be if your project is shut down by the local building inspector because you aren’t meeting code.
When this happens in some instances, the inspector may tell you to that you have to tear down the renovation and start all over again. This could be extremely costly, of course, but you won’t be able to gain coverage from your homeowners insurance policy if the teardown is required because your original project wasn’t up to code.
It’s also advisable to speak with your insurance agent any time you’re going to embark on a major home renovation project. You may need to tweak your insurance policy to ensure you’re properly covered.
Certain Personal Items
Standard homeowners insurance policies will provide coverage for personal items. If your home is burglarized or if some of your personal items are damaged by a fire, for instance, your policy will provide you a certain amount of money to repurchase those items.
Not all items are covered under this policy, though. Some items that aren’t covered are guns, jewelry and silverware. For some expensive jewelry options, you could have the option of purchasing additional and specific jewelry insurance. This will help you protect the expensive possessions that you have.
There are certain items on your property that are potentially dangerous. This includes a pool, a trampoline and a diving board, for example. Since the likelihood for injury is higher with these items than it is for other items on your property — such as a shed or deck — they may not be covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Some policies may exclude these items altogether from coverage. Others may require you to purchase additional liability insurance under your policy. Again, it’s important to talk to your agent if you have one of these items on your property.
Understand What’s Covered Under Your Homeowners Insurance Policy
There are certain things that a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover, as you can see above. Understanding what your policy does and does not cover is important so you can properly protect your biggest asset.
When you work with Signature Insurance, you can rest assured knowing we have your best interests in mind. Our experienced agents will walk you through all the coverage areas of your homeowners insurance policy and advise you on any additional coverages you may need to purchase based on your specific property and situation.
Contact us today to find out more and to get a free quote.