Imagine you’ve gone through a traumatic event that has damaged your home. Afterward, it’s time to file a claim with your homeowners’ insurance to recoup your losses.
You probably feel relieved that even if you can’t undo the harm, you’ll at least be reimbursed for it.
Imagine, next, that your claim is rejected, and you find out that this event is not covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy. There’s nothing you can do now but accept your fate and pay out of pocket.
Such a situation would be devastating on top of already having gone through an event that damages your home or property in the first place.
So if you’re not already asking yourself, “what is not covered by homeowners insurance?” you should be. Keep reading for our guide to homeowners’ insurance and what is and isn’t covered so you can ensure you are properly protected if the need arises.
What’s Covered By Homeowners Insurance?
First, insurance will cover damage to the interior or exterior of your home due to an event that is covered under the policy.
This is quite broad and typically includes theft, burglary, or vandalism as well as natural disasters such as hurricanes. Almost all policies will also cover damage caused by house fires.
Most policies list a universal set of basic events. But it’s always important to read the fine print in case you’re worried about any particular kind of disaster coverage.
Besides the physical structures of your home, insurance will also cover your personal property in the event of theft or damage. This is called contents insurance.
Insurance policies will vary on which items they will replace with replacement cost or fair value. Replacement cost will give you the amount you need to purchase a new item.
Fair value, which is more typical, will assess the item based on it being used and having a depreciated value from a new item. This type of replacement will compensate you according to the item’s fair market value at the time it was harmed.
Consider the possessions in your home that would need to be replaced most urgently if damaged, such as a computer that you need for work or school. Talk to your insurance agent about purchasing replacement coverage as opposed to fair value for those items.
Finally, homeowners’ insurance protects you from a liability standpoint. If someone suffers an injury or incurs other damages on your property, a standard policy will cover you.
If an accident happens and a guest decides to sue you, this coverage will protect you and your family from having to pay to defend yourself out of pocket. The insurance agency will handle the legal legwork.
Liability is a standard that means the homeowner was negligent in some way. But accidents happen too. Almost all insurance policies cover injuries and medical bills under the liability section.
If a guest is hurt on your property, even if it wasn’t preventable, your insurance will pay their bills so that neither you nor your guest goes bankrupt.
What Is Not Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Some natural disasters are not covered under most insurance policies. These include earthquakes, landslides, and floods, among others.
If you want coverage for one of these events specifically, you’ll need to buy it on top of your regular policy.
You should also ensure that you cover any structures on your property that aren’t your home. For example, if you have a guest house or a tool shed, you’ll want to make sure to protect them under your policy as well.
As mentioned above, you should also ask about your policy’s stance on replacement vs. fair value for your personal property.
Policies often have limits when it comes to extremely high-value items, such as jewelry and antiques. If you own anything worth above a thousand dollars, consider purchasing a floater and scheduling the item in your policy.
Additionally, homeowners’ insurance does not cover routine maintenance issues. Nor does it cover smaller issues that are part of normal wear and tear. If an appliance breaks, for example, that’s on you.
Routine maintenance includes pest control, plumbing, and roof upkeep, among others. If you get mice or termites, your insurance policy won’t cover the cost of an exterminator.
Your policy presumes that as a homeowner, you take preventative measures to ensure your home is not damaged beyond regular wear and tear. This means having regular inspections when they are needed in order to suss out problems that could cause property damage in the future.
For example, if you don’t have a plumber to your home for a decade, and then you have a sewer backup, it’s likely that your insurance won’t cover the costs. Calling a plumber at the very first sign of trouble could have prevented a smaller issue from escalating into a bigger (and more expensive) one.
Homeowners Insurance Coverage: Get a Quote
Although there is a standard for homeowners insurance policies, they are quite customizable. If you want something protected, it’s likely there’s an add-on for it.
That’s why Amistad Insurance Services is such a good choice for any homeowner, whether new or seasoned. We’re a local firm with the goal of educating our clients on their insurance options as much as possible.
If you want to explore your policy options and learn what is and what is not covered by homeowners insurance, reach out to us today for a free quote. After all, it never hurts to ask.