Common Hazards a Basic Homeowners Insurance Policy Won't Cover
A consumer survey found that 81% of homeowners felt comfortable with the amount of homeowners insurance they had; yet were not aware certain 'catastrophes' required additional coverage.
Carole Walker, executive director of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, a non-profit insurance communications organization in Colorado says most homeowners need to know more about their policy limits, as well as coverage options:
"We often hear from people that the only time they think about what their insurance covers is when they go to file a claim," she says. "Of course, then it's too late."
Reassess Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Coverage: What to Consider
Your homeowner's insurance coverage plan should begin with a 'guaranteed' replacement policy. Consider adjusting your coverage based on the home, as well as potential natural disasters relevant to your home's environment.
Before You Reassess Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Coverage, Know Common Hazards Basic Plans Won't Cover:
- Generally, a standard homeowner's insurance policy either limits coverage for mold damage, or fully excludes it. Coverage depends on the cause of mold growth, and the policy coverage you have. Mold needs water or moisture to grow, but not all causes of water damage are covered by homeowners' insurance policies.
- Water damage caused by "maintenance" problems, such as continuous or repeated leaks, seepage, landscaping drainage, and trapped condensation are not covered by standard policies.
- However, insurers can offer options to expand coverage limits for mold claims. The most important protection against mold damage is to prevent it. If your house floods after a rainstorm, or a pipe is leaking, eliminate the moisture promptly. If you ignore the moisture, mold can begin to grow within 24-48 hours. It is best to call in an expert.
- Sewer lines in the US are rapidly aging (some over 100 years old); as more homes connect to these outdated lines, the risk of sewage backups increases.
- Sewage back up sources include overloaded pipelines carrying groundwater and sewage, as well as root infiltration (blockages caused by tree roots create sewer-line cracks). Basic homeowners insurance does not cover sewer damage backups.
- Walker advises to "Consider extra insurance that may be available as endorsements to your policy for risks such as sewer backups."
- According to the The Insurance Information Institute, sewer-backup damage often can be covered for an additional premium of just $40 to $50 per year.
Once a year, it's a good idea to review the insurance coverage to protect your home. For more information about the basics to reassess your homeowners insurance policy, check out Bankrate's guide to Make Sure You're Completely Protected.
More Info? See our Best Practices to Prevent Water Damage in Your Home, as well as to Prevent Property Water Flood Damage on the AdvantaClean Blog for Healthy Home and Business Tips!