What Are the Most Common Exclusions for Home Insurance Coverage?

Home insurance policies are designed to protect your home and possessions from sudden or accidental damage, such as storms, burglaries, and fires. However, there are several common disasters and liabilities that aren't covered by a standard policy. Here are 10 of the most common home insurance exclusions and how you can cover some of the gaps. Floods, such as those caused by overflowing rivers or heavy rains, are not covered by most home insurance policies.

To protect yourself from this risk, you'll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. This policy can cover both the physical structure of your home and your possessions. Additionally, your home insurance policy is likely to exclude other types of water damage, such as clogged sewer pipes or overflowing sump pumps. To cover this gap, you can purchase a water guarantee, a guarantee or a supplement to your policy. Mold coverage is complicated because it's often difficult to identify the root cause of a mold problem.

For damage to be covered, your insurer must consider that the cause of the mold is sudden, accidental and a problem covered by your policy. This means that, for example, home insurers don't usually pay to repair mold damage if it's due to a prolonged water leak or poor home maintenance. However, your policy may cover repairs if the mold is due to a sudden leak in the pipes, as long as you take steps to fix the problem right away.Bed bugs, termites, mice, and other bugs are often excluded from home insurance for the same reason that wear and tear isn't covered. From an insurer's perspective, getting rid of infestations and repairing damage left behind are simply part of maintaining your home.

Wind damage can also cost you in 19 states and in Washington D. C., where deductibles are calculated as a percentage of the insured value of your home. Earth movement is another common exclusion in home insurance policies. This includes earthquakes, sinks, and mudflows. While your basic home insurance won't cover this type of damage, you can easily get additional coverage.

Earthquake and sinkhole coverage generally isn't even a standalone policy; it's a supplement to your current home insurance coverage. Water damage is often not covered by a standard home insurance policy. This ranges from flood damage to problems in the sewer system. Flood damage can be covered by a flood insurance policy while water reserve and sink discharge or overflow coverage is generally offered as a supplement to your current home insurance policy. Your home insurance policy generally covers certain types of water damage, such as flooding caused by a broken pipe, as long as the incident could not be prevented. However, if your home is considered to no longer comply with the standard building code or regulations after an incident occurs, any claim would not cover the cost of improving the damage to comply with the new building codes.

The good news is that you can add a reconstruction ordinance or a legal coverage endorsement to your policy. Examining the coverage offered by your home insurance can help you determine if you may need supplemental coverage. If you're wondering if your home insurance is enough, the best thing to do is to contact your insurance agent and talk directly with them about your concerns.