Have You Ever Wondered What Your Home Owners Insurance Policy Doesn’t Cover?
Most of us know that home owner’s insurance policy’s cover our home, our personal belongings, additional structures, liability (to some extent) and a few other issues that might present the opportunity for a “loss” when owning a home. The question here is “what doesn’t my home owner’s insurance policy cover”? You might be surprised to find some of the risks that the normal home owner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover.
Screened Pool Enclosures- Screened pool enclosures account for roughly 10.3% of the entire home value, according to a recent study, and they fail often in high winds and become a source of wind borne debris. Some insurers decided that they were too risky after hurricane Wilma. Other insurers base their decisions on how strong the enclosure is and how it is anchored to the home.
Pools With-out Fences – Without a fence (or cage) pools are pretty much ineligible for insurance coverage and, more importantly, violate state law.
Pool Diving Boards and Slides- Insurance companies often won’t cover liability risks from diving boards and slides on pools. A diving board or slide may disqualify you r house for a policy with some insurers.
Trampolines- few insurers in Florida or in the Nation for that matter will cover trampolines. Owning a trampoline may even again disqualify you from getting property insurance from some companies.
Aggressive Dogs- Here’s another reason to check the liability section of your coverage. Florida-based insurers often exclude coverage for bites and other accidents caused by dogs considered “high risk” such as Pit Bulls, Dobermans and Rottweiler’s.
Cash- Some policies cover small “named amounts” but most don’t cover money left in the home or in a home safe.
Some Water Damage- Damage from accidents and other issues such as pipes bursting are typically covered. After this it gets quite a bit more complicated. For instance water that backs up through sewers or drains or discharges from a sump pump is not covered unless you purchase sewer back up coverage separately. Slow leaks are another issue. Many policies now deny claims for leaks that occur over more than 14 days even if the leaks are hidden from sight.
Flood insurance is another policy all by itself. Your hurricane insurance wouldn’t cover damage from rising water even if it occurs during a storm. Flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program is highly recommended in most parts of the state.
Construction Work- You can’t file a claim for faulty, inadequate or defective workmanship, materials or maintenance. Always use State Certified contractors that are insured when having any work done on your home.
Jewelry, Fine Art, Collectibles- if you want coverage for jewelry, fine art and “collectibles” such as baseball cards you will need to talk to your agent about an extra policy called a “rider”. Some policies automatically cover losses up to a specified amount usually between $ 500 and $1,000.
Mold- Most policies don’t cover it, but you can buy coverage separately. Any damage caused by mold almost always has to be “sudden and accidental” to be covered.
Make sure to always read your policy carefully. Make sure to pay special attention to the section of the policy that lists “exclusions”. If you have questions about your existing policy, please call Birchell Insurance Agency at 800-978-8813. We are always here to help you.