Imagine this. You’ve had a standard homeowners policy for a few years, have never missed a payment and things are going well. One day you decide to make a claim only to find out your claim is…not covered? Cue panic and frustration. We don’t want this to happen to you. Knowing what your home insurance covers and what it does not is important.
Your standard home insurance policy will cover a lot of perils, but there are some things excluded from coverage. Don’t be caught by surprise! Your policy will list what situations are covered, and you should always speak with your agent about any questions regarding your coverages.
Does my homeowners policy include flood damage?
Nope. Flood damage is not covered on a standard homeowners insurance policy. But you may purchase a flood policy through the government-run National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by FEMA, or through an insurance provider who is contracted to sell NFIP policies.
If you live or own a business in an area at high-risk for flooding, known as a flood zone, you’ll likely be required to purchase flood insurance. Whether or not a property is in a flood zone is something to consider before pricing a home as you’ll have an annual flood insurance premium to consider as you budget. You can check to see if a property is at risk for flooding by looking at community flood maps.
Are short term rentals covered on a homeowners policy?
If you use your home to rent out a room, or the whole property, even on a short-term basis, you probably don’t have the coverage you need. Your homeowners policy is not designed to provide financial protection on property and liability losses when you’re using your home as a rental. If you have a property listed on AirBnB, VRBO or the like, you probably need a business policy or landlord insurance. Talk with your agent about your insurance needs.
Things your home insurance likely doesn’t cover
Finding termite damage to your home is never fun. And it’s even less fun if you think you can file a homeowners claim to repair it. Termite damage is not typically covered on a standard homeowners policy because pest control is part of your responsibility as a homeowner. Purchasing a termite bond through a pest control service would likely give you peace of mind.
Bed bugs also fall under the homeowners role of pest control, and a bed bug infestation is not usually covered on a homeowners insurance policy. Like termite damage, a bed bug infestation can be expensive to treat so prevention is key.
Just as pest control is the responsibility of a homeowner, so is maintaining the home and its belongings. If you have damage due to normal wear and tear on your property or belongings, they’re probably not going to be covered on your homeowners policy.
Let’s look at an example of water damage from a roof leak…
If your roof was damaged during a storm and leaked water on your hardwood floors, then the damages would probably be covered on your homeowners insurance.
If your poorly maintained roof leaks over a period of months resulting in rotten roof decking and rotten eaves; then, the water damage from the leak may not be covered.
This is tricky. For some insurance providers, mold is only covered by a standard homeowners policy if it’s the result of a covered loss. If mold occurs from improper maintenance, it’s probably not covered.
Regardless of whether your policy covers mold, you don’t want to turn a blind eye to it. It's crucially important to stop mold from growing by treating it right away. Mold can turn into a big problem quickly.
Home insurance policies are made to alleviate the financial risk you have as a property owner for when situations happen that are out of your control. And life is full of the unexpected and uncontrolled. Peace of mind is everything, and homeowners insurance can give you that. Call one of our Alfa® agents for a free quote today!
All coverages are subject to deductibles and policy limits. This is not an insurance policy. It is intended only to provide a general description of Alfa Insurance® and/or its product lines and services. An actual policy contains the specific details of the coverages, conditions and exclusions. Your Alfa® agent can explain the policy and benefits and answer any questions you may have before you buy.