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10 surprising things that are excluded in most homeowner insurance policies

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 | April 29, 2015

Purchasing a home is one of, if not the biggest, investments you will make in your life. One of the first things you do before you finalize the sale is get a home insurance policy.

Having home insurance isn’t just a requirement in most states, but something any responsible home owner would do anyway to ensure they would be covered if anything goes wrong.

The key word is “anything” because home insurance policies, like everything else in life have their exclusions and exceptions. It’s important to be aware of these exclusions so you can obtain supplemental coverage or find other ways to prepare.

InsuraMatch believes in helping people make better decisions about insurance. An important part of that goal is helping people understand what is and isn’t covered.

Here are some common home insurance exclusions:

Earth movement

Some examples are earthquakes, sinkholes, and mudflows. While your basic home insurance will not cover these types of damages, you can easily obtain added coverage. Earthquake and sinkhole coverage is typically not even a separate policy; it is an add-on to your current home insurance coverage.

Water Damage

This ranges from flood damage to sewer system issues. Flood damage can be covered with a flood insurance policy. Water backup and sump discharge or overflow coverage is an add-on to your current home insurance policy. Your home insurance policy typically covers certain types of water damages, such as flooding caused by a burst pipe, as long as the incident wasn’t preventable.

Intentional or Preventable Loss 

Hopefully it comes as no surprise that your home insurance will not cover any damage that you intentionally cause. In addition, if something occurs and it is deemed by your insurance company as preventable you may not be covered. This proves to be just another reason to maintain the upkeep on your home.

Ordinance or Law

The simplest way to explain this coverage is if your home is deemed no longer up to standard building code or regulations, any claim would not cover the cost of upgrading the damage to meet new  building codes. The good news is that you can add a rebuilding ordinance or law coverage endorsement to your policy.

Mold Damage

Mold is a problem that grows over time. Because of this, insurance companies see the issue as something that can be prevented, especially before it becomes an issue that affects your home or your family’s health. Do your best to prevent against mold, learn more here.

Luxury items

High-priced jewelry and extravagant art collections may not fall under your basic home insurance possessions coverage. There is a wide range of items with a high price tag that will not be covered, but can easily be covered with a separate policy. Your home insurance personal possessions coverage has limits. If items in your home exceed those limits, call an agent about separate coverage.

Aggressive Dog Breeds, Pools, & Trampolines

These are just a couple of the issues that may cause insurance carriers to deny you coverage. However, there are some carriers that will offer coverage or coverage options for pools, trampolines or aggressive dogs. The risk is so high for all of these things when it comes to accidents and lawsuits, consider the home insurance issue before purchasing (or adopting).

Defamation of Character 

Home insurance does offer personal liability coverage when you are responsible for an injury to someone else, however, slander and defamation of character aren’t included. Assuming you didn’t intentionally intend to defame the person, an umbrella insurance policy may cover you.

Identity Theft

This is something becoming more and more common in home insurance policies, but not all carriers are making it standard. To check to see if you have coverage, call your agent. If you don’t, you often have the option to add it.

Business Related Claims

Home insurance for business related claims can be very tricky. If you are doing any business in your home or out of your home, talk to someone about business insurance. There is a wide variety of business insurance policies for everyone’s needs and chances are there’s one for you and your business, no matter how small.

Questions about your home insurance coverage? The best thing you can do is contact your agent and speak with them directly. Everyone’s policy is unique and yours should fit your coverage needs.


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