If you own a home, you should have homeowners insurance. It can help you save thousands if an accident happens that damages your home. Sometimes, however, costly things can occur that may not be covered in your homeowners insurance policy. Here, we’ll talk about four common homeowners insurance gap mistake so you’ll be better prepared.
Missing Flood Coverage
Standard home insurance policies do not typically cover damage caused by floods. While other storm damage may be covered, flooding lies outside the scope of most homeowners policies.
Flooding can happen quickly and result in tens of thousands of dollars in damages. You may live in an area where flooding is more likely, like in a floodplain area, but torrential rain events can make this a possibility for your home even if you’ve never seen flooding there before. In both of these cases, coverage from your standard policy is unlikely.
If you find that your homeowners insurance policy does not cover flooding, you should consider adding a specific flood insurance policy to be safe. This is especially the case if you are in a floodplain area.
Most policies will cover storm damage, but storm damage from windstorms and hail may not be covered depending on the situation. For example, trees may fall on your home during a storm that might not be covered if the tree wasn’t maintained correctly before the storm, resulting in you being liable for the damages.
To make sure you are covered, check to make sure your policy doesn’t exclude wind damage or specific storm-related damages. If you find that you have a gap in your coverage, look for a policy that can help fill that gap and protect your finances.
You can’t always predict when damaging weather events will occur, so it is best to be prepared before something happens. Make sure you understand what is covered so you know what you need to make your coverage and maintenance choices.
If you have a valuable collection in your home, this is likely a gap in your homeowners insurance policy. Collectables that exceed your personal property policy limits may not be covered and may require a second rider. Usually, the limit for this is pretty low, if covered at all.
Be sure to carefully document your collectibles and have them appraised before you get insurance for the items. This will help you be sure you are getting enough coverage and will help the pay-out process if something were to happen.
Make sure you know what information you’ll need to submit your claim. Preparation can be key in getting the most out of your insurance payout. You should also evaluate the value of your collectibles every few years to ensure your coverage is still adequate.
Every dog owner’s worst fear is for their dog to bite someone. If that were to happen, it could result in problems for your dog and for you. You would have a lot to worry about, and you definitely wouldn’t want to be focused on your finances.
Dog bites could be excluded if your homeowners insurance policy has certain breed exclusions. While the list varies by insurer, common exclusions include:
- Alaskan Malamutes
- Chow Chows
- Doberman Pinschers
- Pit Bulls
- German Shepherds
- Great Danes
- Presa Canarios
- Siberian Huskies
- Staffordshire Terriers
- Wolf hybrids
If you already have a policy that does not cover one of these breeds, you can search around and get a policy elsewhere. There are few breeds that are excluded by all insurers.
An additional note: do your research to check if local laws ban or restrict any dog breeds. If you choose any of those breeds as pets, odds are your insurer will not cover damages in the case of an incident or could even cancel your policy. This is an illegal act and insurers do not usually cover things considered an illegal act.
At Independent Insurance Associates, we understand the need to protect your family and your assets. Through our partnerships with major insurance companies, we work to find the best coverage at the right price to protect your home and your loved ones. If you think you may have gaps in your homeowners insurance policy, speak with us today to determine how to close them. We’re here to help!