What’s not covered by your home insurance policy
For many of us, purchasing a house brings security and a strong sense of pride. “This is my home.” Often, it’s also often the largest financial investment a family may have. It’s important to protect this investment from a potentially catastrophic loss. Homeowners may assume that any type of loss to their home is covered by their home policy — unfortunately, this is often far from the truth. In this article, we explore some, but not all, loss events that may not be covered under a standard homeowners policy. Check with your insurance agent to understand what is, and is not, covered by your home insurance policy.
Flood. A standard home insurance policy explicitly excludes flood. Let’s repeat that: a standard home insurance policy explicitly excludes flood. Generally, you can think of this as water that originates outside of the home that then enters the home including heavy rain and rising bodies of water. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a specific definition of flood, which you can find here.
A flood policy, which is separate from a homeowners policy, can be purchased to provide coverage in the event of a flood. Some homes may even be required to carry flood insurance.
Earthquakes & sinkholes. Earth movement is typically excluded from a standard homeowners policy. We do experience the occasional small earthquake in Massachusetts. Many residents may not even notice when they occur. You may elect to purchase earthquake coverage on your standard homeowners policy.
Valuable property. Limits of coverage may be placed on certain types of items under a standard homeowners policy. This can include, but is certainly not limited to, jewelry, fine art, music equipment, bicycles, computer equipment, sports equipment, stamp collection, gun collection, and silverware. Typically, a homeowner can request to purchase insurance for specific items to ensure full coverage. This is common for engagement rings, expensive jewelry, artwork, and collectibles.
Sewer backup. A backed up sewer can cause quite a bit of damage. Imagine damaged floors & walls, ruined furniture, and electrical system issues. You can purchase additional coverage on your policy to help protect against this scenario. You’ll want to discuss coverage limits with your insurance agent.
There are several other events that may not be covered by a standard homeowners policy. Always check with your agent.