Think Your Homeowners Policy Covers Everything? Think Again

Posted by Matt Simon on Feb 11, 2016

It's safe to say, the insurance market of today is vastly different compared to just a few short years ago.

Take homeowners insurance for example.  Not that long ago, there was a standard policy that nearly all insurance companies used.  Each insurance company may have its own twist, but for the most part, all homeowners insurance policies looked the same.

Then, in an effort to differentiate and provide a competitive advantage, many insurance companies began developing their own unique homeowners insurance policy.  It provided coverage for types of claims historically excluded by the 'standard' homeowners policy.

While consumers might have ultimately benefited, this shift by insurance companies also made it more difficult for consumers to compare one product to another.

Admittedly, reviewing a homeowners insurance policy is usually not high on anyone's to-do list.

Homeowners insurance is one of those items that doesn't really matter... until it does.

As consumers, we think that just because we have homeowners insurance, any claim we have is covered.

Unfortunately, it's not that simple.

Time and again, we hear of flood and earthquake victims who learn that their insurance didn’t cover the damage.

Flooding and earthquakes aren’t the only scenarios not covered by many homeowners policies.

Because all policies differ, your best bet is to discuss with your insurance advisor, and find out exactly what your policy does cover, and possibly more importantly, what damages are excluded.

Typical exclusions that could affect you right here in Ohio, in addition to flood and earthquake, include backup of sewers and drains, mold and termites.

Sewer backup in your home

Sewer backup is a nasty problem that's become more prevalent as our sewer lines can sometimes be over a century old.

Sewer backup doesn’t just damage your flooring, walls and possessions. It also damages wiring and electricity.

A homeowners policy without an endorsement that specifically provides this coverage typically doesn’t cover sewer backup

Which is why it’s wise to purchase an endorsement to cover water and sewer backup.  The cost can range from $100 to more than $300 a year, depending on the limit of coverage you need.

Dreaded mold

Mold is another hazard often not covered by insurance, or that has limited coverage. Mold has been linked to health problems including allergies and respiratory issues.

Moisture puts you at risk of growing mold, so the best practice is to deal with the issue the moment moisture occurs.

If a room gets flooded, attack the problem immediately by calling in a professional.  A few insurance companies may offer a mold endorsement to protect you from such damage, but the amount of coverage is minimal.

Insurance companies view mold as a maintenance issue and therefore, offer little, if any, coverage for damage.

Termites, masters of silent destruction

Termites are a threat that can cause serious damage when not treated. Termites tend to colonize moist areas where wood, paper or dead plants touch the soil near your home’s foundation. They thrive in damp crawl spaces and feast on wood beams in your home.

The structural damage caused by these insects can be significant, but most homeowners policies don't cover termite damage.

Ask a licensed pest control company to do an inspection if you're concerned about termites.

The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to get to know what is, and isn’t, covered by your homeowners policy.

If you're concerned about your homeowners insurance, or you're asking yourself 'am I covered'? let us know.  We'd be happy to review your existing coverage with you, help you identify any gaps in your coverage, and then offer solutions to fit your needs.

Give us a call, or Request a Proposal, and we can get to work for you immediately.

 

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Category: Homeowners Insurance (3), Flood Insurance (3), Earthquake Insurance (3)