Friday, April 24, 2009

Things Your Homeowners Policy Doesn't Cover

copy and post by Mei Ling Lin

Although the homeowners policy is considered an all-risk policy and will cover you for most losses you incur, there are some exclusions or causes that it won’t cover.

Property Exclusions
Coverage A and B

Collapse – The collapse of your house is excluded unless the cause of loss is listed in the additional coverages section of your policy.

Freezing – Freezing of plumbing, heating, or air conditioning systems is excluded if the heat has not been maintained while the building is vacant, unoccupied, or under construction.

Flood – The most important thing to know is that your policy does NOT cover flood. You must purchase a separate policy to cover damage from a flood. Flood has been an excluded peril since 1968 when the government started the National Flood Insurance Program. Even if you don’t live in a designated flood zone, it is important to have flood insurance in the event of hurricanes or heavy rains. Also, premiums for flood insurance can be inexpensive depending upon your flood risk. You can purchase a flood policy through your homeowners insurer or find an agent through the flood program. Visit to learn how the National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood and learn how much your annual flood insurance premium can cost.

Foundations, Retaining Walls, and Nonbuilding Structures – Loss to these items (including fences, swimming pools, and docks) by freezing, thawing, pressure or weight of water or ice is not covered.

Dwelling under Construction – Theft from a dwelling under construction is excluded. Theft of material is also excluded until the dwelling is finished.

Vandalism and Malicious Mischief – This exclusion only applies if the building has been vacant for more than 30 consecutive days before the loss. (Vacant being empty and unfurnished and unoccupied being a furnished home where the residents are on vacation.)

Mold, Fungus or Wet Rot - Loss caused by Mold, Fungus or Wet Rot is not covered if caused by a sump, sump pump or related equipment or a roof drain, gutter, downspout or similar fixture or equipment. Please review your individual policy carefully in order to comprehend exactly what is covered.

Risks of Direct Physical Loss Exclusion –The homeowners form insures your property against any loss as long as it isn’t excluded. This section lists some of the other specific causes that aren’t covered. Examples are: wear and tear, smog, birds, rodents, animals owned or kept by an insured, and settling.

Concurrent Causation Exclusions – This section deals with more than one event causing a loss. The policy details how losses are handled when one cause is covered and another isn’t.

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