10 Items Not Covered By Your Home Insurance Policy
The subject of insurance is complicated. The only things any two insurance policies have in common are that they are complex, confusing, and not necessarily written in your favor. The goal of this article is to provide you enough basic information so that you know how to identify things not covered in your insurance policy. Here are 10 items not covered in your homeowners policy.
- Damage from ocean waves, moving snow, and outdoor freezing: Acts of God are not generally insured. These events are considered acts of God or force majeur and are never covered in standard home insurance policies.
- Damage from insects, rodents, and wild animals: Unless specifically covered in a rider, an addendum to the policy, these are never covered. Because of the unpredictability of wild animals, damage from these little critters is denied.
- Damage from earth movement and landslides: Claims in this peril type are so massive and unpredictable that insurance companies shy away from them completely. Case in point: Malaysia’s Highland Towers Apartment, a 20 story building that collapsed because of a landslide on neighboring property.
- Your lawn or landscaping: To be covered, this requires a special rider, or an addition to the policy describing coverage. Damage to lawns and landscaping is normally done by other perils that have their own policy, such as a tornado. Damage from drought or freezing is discussed above in item one. Damage from a vehicle leaving the road and crashing into your yard would be covered by the vehicle owner’s car insurance.
- The property of anyone paying you to live in the home (a renter): Renters need specific renters insurance. Visitors to your home may have their property covered, depending on policy exclusions.
- Nothing in your home is covered if you do not have an “all-risks” or “common risk” policy: With other policies, you must list every item covered. If you do not take out an “all-risks” or “common risk” policy, you literally have to declare every possible loss you might have in the future, almost an impossible task.
- Items not on a complete home inventory, with pictures with dates of purchase and value at time of purchase: It’s important for policy owners to document what they own, what it cost when they purchased the items, to specify whether or not they received the items as gifts, and to provide visual images as proof.
- Indirect loss or expenses: It is also important to realize that insurance only covers direct loss and not expenses of an indirect nature. Say a digital camera is stolen from your home. The policy would cover the camera replacement. It will not cover the cost of you needing to rent equipment until the policy pays for a new camera. This is why buying insurance from a respected company with a record of quick claim processing is important.
- Flood damage: Claims for natural flood damage will not be covered unless specifically listed as covered in the policy. Some areas cannot get flood insurance except from the government with special programs. On the other hand, flooding from broken pipes in your home may be covered if the breakage was not due to negligence on your part.
- Damage due to negligence on your part: If the claims adjuster feels there was clear negligence on your part, the loss or damage will not be covered. Leaving the keys in a motorcycle on the front lawn is an example of negligence. You must be able to show an insurance claims adjuster the steps you took to protect the damaged or stolen item. For example, if the adjuster finds no locking mechanism for your backdoor upon arriving to your home, you may not get a claim approved for the items stolen.