Home insurance: what it doesn't cover

Ginger Dean

December 30, 2014

By: Ginger Dean, Home Finance Specialist

In: Finance and Legal

So you have home insurance. And you think you're covered for everything under the sun. Right?

Wrong. Having a home insurance policy doesn't mean you're covered for everything that could possibly happen to your home. This is because your typical homeowner's policy covers the basics. Not the random events such as floods, earthquakes, mold, termites, or damages caused by aggressive dogs.

Let's take a look at why below:

Floods

This is a tricky limitation because no one ever expects to be denied coverage in the event of a flood. But it happens often enough to people that don't live in an area generally considered a flood zone. When we think of a flood, we all have a friend or family member with the basement that flooded due to a leaky faucet or even sewer issues. The basic policy covers such events. However, in the event of a flash flood causing damage to your home, you're out of luck. For this you'll need a special policy underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program.

Mold

Mold is disgusting and can be a serious health issue for anyone in close proximity. These issues include respiratory troubles and allergies. However, your basic policy generally doesn't cover mold infestation. If you want this coverage, then you'll have to pay extra, and even that has it's own limitations. Since every insurance company is different, check with your insurance agent for limitations on coverage.

Termite infestation

This type of infestation can damage the structure of your home and prove difficult to eliminate. Facing a termite infestation, you'll need big pockets to cover the damage. But don't expect your insurance company to pony up for the repairs. If you're in the market for a home, it is imperative that you have a licensed home inspector check for termites. Once you have the green light then you can proceed with your purchase. However, if you find termites, then you may need to reconsider the home altogether given the costs for extermination and repair.

Aggressive dog breeds

According to Forbes, if you own one of the following breeds then you'll have a difficult time securing coverage. Also, don't even think about not disclosing that you have an aggressive dog on the list in your home. Then you run the risk of being denied coverage or even being dropped altogether from your insurance company. Is your dog on this list?

  1. Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
  2. Doberman Pinschers
  3. Rottweilers
  4. German Shepherds
  5. Chows
  6. Great Danes
  7. Presa Canarios
  8. Akitas
  9. Alaskan Malamutes
  10. Siberian Huskies
  11. Wolf-hybrids

Keep in mind that this isn't an exhaustive list, so it is best to check with your insurance company upfront to make sure you're in the clear with your dog. We all love our furry friends but if they bite a visiting guest or chew through your baseboards then your insurance company may not want to cover the damage if they are on this list.

The lesson? Read your insurance policy coverages and limitations, and ask questions. The time to find out that you aren't covered for a flash flood isn't after the damage has been done, but before it happens.

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