If you’re a homeowner you probably already have Boston area home insurance. You likely also know that your policy covers your home and its contents from loss or damage in a fire, peril or theft. Some homeowners, however, are surprised to find out there are a number of things not covered by their insurance policy. This article will look at ten items of interest that may not be covered. Be aware of them before you file a claim. And, if you want your home covered against these events, see your Boston area home insurance agent to find out what coverage is available and what it costs.
Your homeowners insurance coverage may not include:
Flood damage is typically not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Chances are if you live in an area of the country prone to flooding and flood-related damage, you may already have purchased a separate flood insurance policy for protection against loss. As a result of recent storm activity throughout the nation, however, many people who’ve never experienced floods are discovering Mother Nature can always wreak havoc – even when we least expect it. Visit the National Flood Insurance website online to learn more about flood insurance and what it covers.
If you have a standard homeowners insurance policy, you may not be covered against earthquakes. If you are, the deductible is probably pretty high. As is the case with flood insurance, in most cases, you’ll need to purchase a separate policy for earthquake damage coverage. Discuss an earthquake policy with your Boston area home insurance agent and get his thoughts and recommendations.
• Pet Bites
If you own pets, it’s probably a good idea to check your policy to see if you’re covered in the event Fido – or any other pet or animal residing on your property – bites a visitor. Dog bites can be painful and dangerous, and the last thing you want to have happen is for one of your house guests to sue you for medical bills related to a bite or injury caused by your pet.
• Sewer Problems
A standard homeowners policy probably won’t cover you for damage caused by a sewer system backup that affects your home. For newer or newly-built homes this is probably a non-tissue, but for older homes with septic tanks it can be a common problem and an expensive one to correct.
It seems that the news reports contain more and more stories about sinkholes appearing from nowhere and creating damage to property and homes. While you’re more at risk in certain parts of the United States than others, it’s worth meeting with your insurance agent and discussing riders you can add to your existing policy to cover damages and loss from sinkholes.
In most instances, damage caused by termites is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy. What’s worse is the damage can often be extensive and expensive to repair. Some pest control companies offer insurance against termites, so check around and see what’s available.
• Simultaneous events
Picture this: An unusually windy and rainy storm occurs and causes your home to flood. You’d be covered, right? Probably not, because flooding isn’t covered as part of your standard Boston area home insurance policy. The insurance companies refer to this occurrence as “anti-concurrent causation.” Simply put, when two events occur at the same time, one of them may not be covered under your normal policy.
• Burst water pipes
Sometimes a water pipe that bursts is covered by your standard policy. However, sometimes it isn’t. If the pipe bursts as a result of negligence on the part of the homeowners – like not draining a pipe or protecting it from a freeze warning – the resulting damage may not be covered. Always take the necessary steps to protect pipes from bursting in severe winter weather – and plan to discuss your coverage with your insurance agent to make sure you understand it fully.
Chances are, mold damage and its results are not covered. It could be, but the best thing to do is check with your Boston area home insurance agent to make sure. Remember, if you ever have any type of water damage to your home, correct and repair it as soon as you can to stop mold spores from growing.
• Identity theft
While identity theft seems like an odd occurrence to be included in a homeowners insurance policy, because it’s an issue that has run rampant in recent years many insurance companies offer such coverage. Again, to make doubly sure, contact your insurance agent and find out exactly what’s covered and what’s not – and what the coverage limits are. Some insurers offer options to your homeowners insurance policy to cover items such as repairing your credit in the case of compromised accounts or false reporting.
Boston area home insurance can give you the peace of mind every homeowner wants and needs by knowing they’re protected against most perils. However, you’ve just learned of ten such occurrences which may not be covered. Make sure you invest the time to meet with your insurance company and read your policy and its many clauses. Knowing what is and isn’t covered will guard against what could be expensive and frustrating surprises – especially if you find out after the fact that a rider or additional policy could have been bought for a small additional cost.
While some of the items mentioned may never apply to you, your property or the area of the United States in which you live, that’s the whole reason insurance exists – to protect you from events or occurrences you never expect will happen. Again, for the nominal additional cost of coverage for some of them, it may indeed be better to be safe than sorry.
Explore your options with your existing insurance company and be prepared to shop around to price coverage with other companies. You may find that by bundling these and other coverages with your homeowners policy you can save even more money while gaining additional coverage and greater peace of mind.
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