Home insurance can be tricky. Things that you think are covered, are sometimes not, while things that you think aren’t covered, surprisingly are. Really understanding your policy is very important, but sometimes it’s great to just know the gist. So, here it is: these are the things typically not covered in a standard home insurance policy.
1) Wear & Tear
Homeowners are expected to maintain their homes. Any damage caused by neglect, for example water coming through a crack in the foundation, are considered the responsibility of the homeowner and are not covered by your insurance provider.
2) Animal or insect damage
Similarly, infestations are also considered the responsibility of the home owner. If your home is damaged by termites or mice, you have an infestation of cockroaches, or a skunk has burrowed under your deck, it’s up to you to pay the cost of pest control and removal.
3) Mould removal
Mould is often caused by neglect, and, as such, often falls under the Wear & Tear category. Even if it is not caused by something you can see, for example a leak in the basement behind the walls, it is still considered the home owner’s responsibility and is not covered in standard policies. This is important to know as mould removal can be costly.
Damage caused to the home by pollution or contaminants is not covered by standard insurance policies unless the damage is sudden like the accidental bursting of your oil tank.
In Canada, the cold temperatures have the potential to wreak havoc on our homes. Any damage due to freezing, such as heaving caused by frost or burst pipes (unless you take the precautions outlined in your policy), will not be covered under your home insurance policy.
Many are surprised to learn that flooding is not covered under standard policies. Any damage caused by the sudden rise of waters or a sewage backup are generally not covered by your home insurance policy. You can add a separate flooding option to most policies, but eligibility is based on location and prior claims.
7) Ground movement
Ground movement includes things like earthquakes or landslides. If your home sustained structural damage because of an earthquake, it would not be the responsibility of your insurance provider to cover the costs of repairs.
8) Losses from war or terrorism
While we are luckier than most places in the world to not suffer war on our soil, if your home was damaged due to war or terrorist activities, your insurance provider would not cover the costs.
9) Home Business
While standard home insurance policies will offer minimal coverage for home businesses, it is usually not enough to fully cover the loss of equipment or inventory in the event of a robbery or accident; Nor does it protect you, your clients, or your staff in the event of a liability suit. See our blog for more information on home-based business insurance.
What else do I need to know?
Essentially, standard home insurance policies put the onus on the homeowner to maintain and care for their home. Insurance providers will not cover any damage that would have been caused over time. They are also unlikely to cover any sort of natural disaster, though there are usually additional options you can add to your home insurance to ensure that you have full coverage in the event of a disaster. It is important to know what is and what isn’t covered in your policy BEFORE you need to contact your provider to make a claim. You don’t want to be left footing the bill because you weren’t aware that you didn’t have coverage. Contact your insurance broker today to go over your home insurance policy.