What Your Home Insurance Doesn’t Cover

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Home insurance provides a sense of security, knowing you’re financially protected if disaster strikes. But it’s important to remember that not every event is covered. Understanding the exclusions in your policy can help avoid surprises and ensure you have the right coverage for your needs. Here’s a breakdown of some common things not included in standard homeowners insurance:

  1. Gradual Wear and Tear:

This includes issues like roof leaks due to aging shingles, faulty wiring caused by natural deterioration, or appliance breakdowns due to normal use. These are considered maintenance responsibilities, not sudden and accidental events.

Here are some key points about wear and tear:

  • It’s inevitable: Even with proper care and maintenance, most objects will experience some level of wear and tear simply due to everyday use.
  • It’s distinguished from damage: Wear and tear is different from damage caused by accidents, misuse, or neglect.
  • It has legal implications: The concept of wear and tear is often used in legal contexts, such as rental agreements and warranties. Typically, warranties don’t cover wear and tear, only damage beyond what’s considered normal deterioration.

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  1. Floods and Earthquakes:

While these events can cause significant damage, they often require separate insurance policies. Flood insurance is especially crucial in flood-prone areas. Additionally, earthquake insurance is recommended in regions with high seismic activity.

  1. Valuables and Collectibles:

Standard policies typically have low coverage limits for high-value items like jewellery, antiques, or art. You might need additional coverage through riders or separate insurance policies to ensure proper protection.

Options for high-value items:

  1. Increase your single item limit: This might raise your premium, however ensures better coverage.
  2. Add “high-value items” or “listed items” cover: This extends coverage for specific valuable items beyond the standard limit.
  3. Get specialized insurance: For very valuable items like art or jewellery, consider dedicated insurance policies with tailored coverage.

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  1. Intentional Damage:

If you or someone living in your home intentionally damages the property, vandalism coverage won’t apply. Additionally, damage caused by negligence, like leaving a window open during a storm, might be excluded or limited.

  1. Business Activities:

Finally, if you run a business from your home, your standard homeowners policy likely won’t cover any business-related losses or liabilities. You’ll need specific business insurance for such circumstances.

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Remember:

However, this is not an exhaustive list, and specific exclusions can vary depending on your policy and location. It’s crucial to carefully review your policy documents and discuss any concerns with your insurance agent. They can help you understand your coverage, identify potential gaps, and recommend additional policies if needed. By being informed and proactive, you can ensure your home and its contents are adequately protected against unforeseen events.

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