Do You Know What Isn’t Covered by Your Home Insurance?

The idea of having home insurance coverage is an exciting one, isn’t it? For a fee every month, you know that if anything goes wrong with your home, you will be covered. Well, almost anything.

The truth is some things are not covered by your homeowners insurance, though many homeowners don’t know what those things are. If you think you know but aren’t sure, it’s best to check before making any home insurance claims.

What Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover

The following are events and issues that the typical home insurance policy doesn’t cover:

1. Home Renovations

If you’ve been thinking about making some updates to your home–adding some cabinets to the kitchen, putting up new siding or pulling up the carpet to restore your hardwood–you might think calling your insurance company is the way to get those updates financed.

Unfortunately, home insurance companies are in the business of reimbursing you for items that were lost as a result of damages out of your control. Wearing down your own cabinets or deciding that you need a cosmetic makeover doesn’t fall into these categories. Don’t bother claiming home improvement as an insurance need.

2. Maintenance Problems

If you have termites, insect damage, rust, mold or bird damage as a result of your failure to properly maintain your property then your home insurance company will most likely not take responsibility for any repairs.

Even if you have issues that were unforeseen by anyone, like the Chinese drywall issue that has plagued thousands of homeowners around the country, companies often will not pay for the claims.

3. Earthquakes, Fires and Floods

While many homeowners assume that all natural disasters are covered in home insurance policies, nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, earthquakes, fires and floods (and mudslides as a result of floods) all require separate policies in order to get reimbursed for damage.

Also, if you have water damage from overflows or backups from your sump pump, drain or sewer system, you may have to come out of pocket for the expenses.

Home Insurance Riders

While some home insurance policies won’t cover certain events, you may be able to purchase coverage via riders at an extra expense. Riders are something you might also consider if the coverage you already have does not add up to a large enough dollar amount. Riders may provide coverage for:

  • Gadgets: You may be able to pick up an insurance rider to protect your computers, TVs and other electronics.
  • Additional theft: If you don’t feel the theft coverage with your policy is enough then you may be able to purchase additional coverage.
  • Drains and sewers: If you don’t already have a flood insurance policy then you might consider a rider with your home insurance policy. It could help protect against water damage caused by drain and sewer issues.
  • Jewelry: If your jewelry is highly important to you then you may consider a scheduled personal property endorsement to ensure that your expensive jewels are covered if stolen or damaged.

The good news is that there are tons of issues that home insurance covers, so while you may have home insurance exclusions to contend with, there are still many ways to protect just about every item in your home.