6 Common Homeowners Insurance Exclusions

A house and garage situated near a lake that has been flooded, which is a common exclusion of homeowners insuranceHomeowners insurance policies are designed to cover a broad spectrum of risks, from damage to the house to the liability of those within. Nevertheless, like most industries, insurance providers set a limit to what their policy covers to preserve their business. These boundaries are set by the exclusions of the policy. To save yourself from heartache the line, it’s critical to understand some of the common homeowners insurance exclusions, as there are actions you can take to offset the damages.

1.     Flooding, Earthquakes, and Sinkholes

While you’re unlikely to experience damaging earthquakes or sinkholes in New England, if such events were to occur, you can make sure you’re covered through homeowners insurance endorsements. On the other hand, flooding is a common problem in the area, and not just for those on the coast. Flooding can result from storm surges, sewer system backups, and poor landscape drainage, which is why flood insurance is a wise investment.

2.     Damage from Improper Maintenance

For damage deemed preventable, there is a chance that a standard insurance policy will deny your claim. Examples of damages that can be avoided by performing proper maintenance include:

  • Damage caused by certain types of wildlife, including insects, birds, or rodents
  • Mold, wood rot, rust, and general wear and tear
  • Mechanical breakdown of poorly constructed or defective utility systems

This is why it’s important when buying or selling a home to have it inspected, as hidden problems could result in expensive repairs down the line. It’s also critical to perform regular maintenance.

3.     Dogs and Other Pets

Homeowners insurance includes liability protection for the owners, which often includes pets injuring neighbors or destroying neighboring property. However, if a pet damages the owner’s home – such as chewing a hole through a door or breaking a fence – the repairs are generally not covered. Some insurance companies will increase your premiums or exclude liability for dogs altogether if the policy owner’s dog is of a certain breed. A list of these breeds can be found in our blog, Expensive Dog Breeds When it Comes to Your Homeowners Insurance.

4.     Luxury Items

A basic homeowners policy won’t cover or will offer lower coverage of highly expensive jewelry or extravagant art. These luxury items are deemed high risk for theft, loss, and damage and, when itemizing your coverage, can quickly exceed the covered amount. Fortunately, it’s simple to get coverage for luxury items through insurance endorsements or separate policies such as jewelry insurance.

5.     Government Action, Ordinance, or Law

If your home is no longer deemed up to legal standard building codes and regulations, your claims would not cover the costs of repairing the damage to meet new building codes. For this, you can invest in a rebuilding ordinance endorsement. Otherwise, if the government or public authorities are forced to confiscate your property, condemn your home, or seize your land, the reimbursement falls upon the federal, state, or local government.

6.     Business-Related Claims

If you are running a home-based business, homeowners insurance won’t cover any of the equipment or any liability risks related to your business. The best option to ensure you’re covered is to invest in an in-home business or business owners policy. If you’re simply working from home, homeowners insurance will not cover your business-related tools, such as a laptop owned by your employer. In this case, if your employer doesn’t cover the costs, you can protect yourself with an homeowners insurance endorsement for an added layer of protection.

Now that you’re aware of these common homeowners insurance exclusions, you can enact measures to better protect you and your family from future financial burdens. Fortunately, there are several options to make sure all your assets and varying liability risks are covered. At Wood Insurance, our agents have the experience necessary to get you the most protection for the best price. Contact us today to discover how we can enhance your coverage or to learn more about homeowners insurance.