Summer has officially arrived and what a wonderful time it is. Before you fire up the grill and gear up for the spring and summer months, take a few moments to make sure that your home insurance policy covers all of your outdoor needs. More >>
It's important for every homeowner to know the ins and outs of his or her home insurance policy. But sometimes, knowing what isn't covered can be just as important as knowing what is.
Here are 10 perils that most standard home insurance policies won't cover.
Insurers expect homeowners to care for their homes and repair minor problems. This includes sealing cracks, minimizing water damage, fixing damaged pipes, scheduling regular inspections and more.
For example, if a storm causes your tree to fall onto your home, you're probably covered. However, if your tree collapses onto your home because of a termite infection that went unchecked, you may be responsible for the resulting damage.
Most home insurance companies exclude mold damage from their policies. Unlike a fire or tornado, insurers see mold damage as a problem that grows over time, and homeowners are expected to take preventive measures to prevent mold spores from spreading throughout the home.
If left unchecked, mold can cause structural damage to the home as well as serious health issues for residents.
Floods, Earthquakes, Earth Movement
As many homeowners found out in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, flood insurance is not covered under a standard home insurance policy. For protection against flood damage, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Same goes with earthquake and landslide damage. A basic home insurance policy excludes damage caused by earthquakes and landslides.
Intentional Damage by a Resident
Intentional damage caused by a resident of the home is not covered by home insurance. For instance, if your teenage daughter sets fire to your home after a heated argument, you're on your own to cover the losses.
The most common and expensive damage occurs when power is restored and a surge of electricity floods the home's circuits. These blasts of electricity can cause computers to lose information, electronic devices to overheat and large appliances to malfunction.
In addition to making use of surge protectors, insurance companies expect homeowners to unplug all sensitive electronic appliances and leave them unplugged until power is restored.
War, Terrorism, Nuclear Attacks
If your home is destroyed in a riot, you're probably covered for the damages. But if a foreign army, terrorist attack or nuclear meltdown damages or destroys your home; your home insurance policy won't cover you.
However, if your home is hit by a nuclear disaster (and you somehow survive), filing a home insurance claim is probably the least of your worries.
If your pet is a poodle or a Chihuahua, your home insurance company probably won't bat an eye. Owning a pit bull, Rottweiler or other dangerous breed, however, may make it difficult-in some cases, impossible-to find home insurance coverage.
Dog bites cost insurers hundreds of millions a year in claims, and a number of companies have "blacklisted" certain dog breeds. If you own a banned breed, you may be charged more for coverage or denied a policy altogether; you can ask your insurer to exclude your dog, in which case you'll be financially responsible for any damage it causes.
If you keep antiques, jewelry, collectibles or other luxury items in your home, you probably need to purchase additional theft liability coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, most standard home insurance policies cover up to $1,500 for theft.
Contact your home insurance agent if you have an item that requires additional coverage.
If your toilet overflows and you have to hire a professional crew to mop up the mess, you'll probably be left footing the bill. Sewage backup usually isn't covered by home insurance unless you've purchased a separate rider.
If you're worried about sewer backup, contact an insurance agent and purchase additional coverage.
Insurance companies consider trampolines to be an extreme risk to personal safety-and a lawsuit waiting to happen if a neighbor is injured while jumping on your trampoline. That's why many home insurance companies refuse to extend coverage to trampolines, and your current insurer may threaten to cancel your policy if you purchase one.
If you're determined to keep a trampoline in the yard, search for an insurer that will cover it by getting free home insurance quotes from InsWeb.com.
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