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Monday, July 2, 2012

15 Things Homeowner's Insurance Might Not Save You From!

Lots of things can happen to your home. You never can prepare for everything, and your homeowner's insurance may not cover all that can happen to your humble abode. Is mold secretly destroying your home? If a squirrel is in your attic and tears up your grandmother's antique oak coffee table, will you be covered? Most people think that your homeowner's insurance covers anything that can happen to your home, but you would be thinking wrong...

In the event that any of these things happen(or may be happening now) your insurance policy may not cover your damages. When you finish reading this, if anything sounds like even a remote possibility of coming true, please have a talk with your insurance provider about getting additional coverage. You can prevent, but it's much harder to take care of when the damage is already done.

  1. Your Groceries From The Frizty Fridge!
There goes the groceries!
You just got back from the grocery store of your choice(hopefully not Wal-Mart, that place is insanity), and you just bought plenty of meat, veggies, fruits, drinks and snacks and crammed your fridge full. Next thing you know your house loses power for whatever reason and your fridge becomes warm for an undisclosed amount of time. You may think that you are covered, but actually you have to purchase an additional "refrigerated or perishable property" coverage or the $300+ you spent on your groceries will be gone forever just like your rotten eggs and spoiled milk...Don't cry though, most homeowner's insurance policies will accommodate you if you want this extra coverage.
  1. Pet Damages
I swear the cat did it...
Getting a new puppy or kitty can be a great and rewarding experience. Even saving an animal from a shelter is a great service to those pets as they would be euthanized if you didn't come by and save them. Pat yourself on the back, I'll give you some time...BUT, those animals don't always come with the best manners, and may not know the difference between the chew toy you bought, and your expensive recliner. There is nothing you can do about this, and there is no coverage you can get that will cover pet damages.
It's always best when you have a new pet to separate them from the rest of the house with doorway gates until you can assess if they will tear up the rest of your house or if they're well-adjusted enough to explore your casa completely uninhibited. They are only material things when all is said and done, and teething is tough on anyone, even animals. You teethed once when you were a baby, and God only knows what you gnawed on to relieve the pain!
  1. Dog Attacks
Does she look dangerous?
I wish this weren't a factor, but with all the bad owners that mistreat their animals, sometimes a pet is dangerous. Most of these types of owners choose certain breeds, and those breeds(Rottweilers, Dobermans, and Pitt Bulls to name a few) have been misrepresented as "high-risk" or "aggressive" dogs because of the terrible treatment they are put through. Of all those breeds I have seen some of the sweetest animals to children and strangers alike. Unfortunately, it is the canines themselves that suffer the worst, as the punishment for biting a human is usually to euthanize them. Nearly all insurers will not protect you from the charges of damages to property or persons with your homeowner's insurance for these "high-risk" breeds,even if you have coverage that supports dog-related injuries.
  1. Rodent Damages
Why isn't there insurance for these guys?
As I mentioned above, you may think of rodents as mice and rats, but squirrels are also thrown into that lot. This means if Mr. Nutty decides to break into your attic and destroy your property, you won't be covered. Most insurance companies do not allow you to claim damage by rodents, but you're safe if a bird, opossum or bats invade your sanctum, even though I would classify them all as pests...

  1. Keeping Up With Building Codes
Making sure your house is taken care of and up to date on municipal codes is 90 percent your responsibility with great insurance coverages. That means that only 10 percent of that cost is in place to help you after a natural disaster to get it back up to snuff. In other words, if it costs $5,000 to get code-compliant, your insurance will only cover $500 of the bill. I don't know about you guys, but I don't just have 4,500 dollars to throw around because the city decided to tell me I need a bigger attic.
  1. Electronic Destruction From a Power Surge
Many people work from home now, and your computer is your gateway to your income. If you have a faulty or outdated surge protector, and you get a power surge, your computer may be ca putz. There is a silver lining though, because if the surge was caused by a lightning storm, then your insurance will cover the damage providing lightning damage is on your policy.
  1. Damage From a Sewage or Water Supply Backup
Simply put if your house is flooded because of the water supply backing up or the sewage spewing back up and you don't have backup insurance, you're not covered. Make sure you check with your insurer what they will cover in the event of such a catastrophe. If they don't provide it inherently then you may be able to modify your policy for a n increased rate. The rate will depend on your insurer.
  1. Erosion Damage
A good rule of thumb is anything gradual that happens over a long period of time isn't covered. It's only "sudden" and "completely out of your control" events that are covered, as most insurance agents will tell you. Bummer, huh?
  1. Damage From Mold
Mold is a nasty thing, but it does take time to multiply and spread throughout your home. Starting to see a pattern here? Yep, you guessed it, the gradual damage of mold is not included in your insurance policy(just like so many batteries required by your child's toys are not included in the package, even though they always want to play with it right out of the box...) Please make sure you keep mold under control, not only for your home's sake, but black mold is fatal if the spores are ingested over a period of time.

  1. General Neglect of Property
Just because you have homeowner's insurance doesn't mean you can let your house just fall apart and expect them to foot the bill. So that means it's your job to perform scheduled maintenance on your home to prevent water damage, keep pests out from invading your residence and wreaking havoc, and keep your foundation in check. Make sure that if your foundation is cracked and your house starts to sink, it isn't because some gophers or moles were allowed to burrow around your yard for years. They are classified as "rodents" you know?
  1. Malicious or Intentional Damages by a Resident
Whenever your adolescent son decides to cherry bomb the toilet and flood your house, or your youngest daughter tries cooking her own macaroni and cheese and sets the kitchen on fire, home insurance will not foot the bill. They will cite negligence on your part for your destructive children.
  1. Theft of Expensive Items
Standard policies usually won't cover more than $1,000 worth of damage or loss in the event of a burglary. That would be great if thieves knew to stop at $1,000 to make sure you can claim all of it, but if you have expensive jewelry, antiques or top-of-the-line electronics, they're going to indulge themselves. Talk with your insurer to get additional coverage for these so-called "luxury" items that society swears you need to not be seen as a hermit or social outcast.
  1. Trampoline Injuries or Damages
True Story
The entire idea of a trampoline without a net wall or padding on the springs is a deathtrap. Did you know that some insurance companies won't even consider coverage for you if you have a trampoline? I didn't either, and the statistics for these torture devices are staggering: trampolines alone caused over 92 THOUSAND injuries. Not just minor scrapes and bruises either, these are injuries worthy of and emergency room visit!

  1. Earthquake Damages
The majority of homeowner's insurance policies do not cover earthquake damages or their subsequent aftershocks. If you are one of the lucky few that have this specialized insurance, you'll find that because of the extent of damage to your home earthquakes will apply to your home, your deductible is almost always a percentage of your entire home's structural replacement value! Maybe that mansion on the San Andres Fault wasn't such a good idea after all...
  1. Sacrifices of War
Huh, good God ya'll. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing! Say it again ya'll! Sorry, I couldn't contain myself. If your home is collateral damage in any kind of war battle or assault, your will not be covered by your insurance. After the Trade Center disaster, Congress passed the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act of 2002. So unless specifically stated in your insurance policy that you are not covered in the event of a terrorist attack, your home should be insured from their wrath.

There are so many things that can go wrong with your home. If you suspect any of these things may be going on, please make sure your homeowner's insurance policy has you covered, or will at least help with some of the repairs. Please make sure you have Homeowner's Insurance, and if you don't call (479)-968-2633 today! Tberry's Insurance is a full-line Arkansas Insurance Provider. We cover home, auto and business insurances. Visit our site to see all the insurance we provide. 

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