Things Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy May Not Cover - Blog

By Staebler Insurance On Mar 27, 2019

Every homeowner needs homeowner’s insurance. We all know that it is an essential protection to safeguard your home, your property, and the future prosperity of your family.  Sadly though, it is not a solution for all your insurance needs. While homeowner’s insurance will protect you in the event of a great many scenarios such as fire, theft, and liability for any bodily injury on your property, there are some things it might not help you with.

We’ve compiled a list to help you avoid any nasty surprises!

Memorabilia and Collections

Bad news sports fans, but your beloved collection of vintage baseball jerseys or your puck signed by The Great One himself might not be covered under your regular insurance. Yes, homeowner’s insurance is designed to protect your property in the event of disaster or theft, but there are exceptions made. At best, you could hope to be compensated at far less than the actual value of the missing or destroyed items. If you really want to protect the investment you’ve made in these items, you’ll need to get the highest value items appraised, document your collection with photos, and purchase a specific policy extension for them.

Sewer Backups

A common and unfortunate misconception is that homeowner’s insurance will cover you in the event of a sewer backup. Sadly, this is not typically the case! Whether a sewer backup is caused by tree roots gone wild, blockages in the system, flooding, or a breakage in the pipes, your homeowner’s insurance will not cover the damage done by this disgusting home catastrophe.

Sewer backups have never been pleasant, but they are arguably even more devastating in our current day and age. While a generation ago when the basement was generally seen as storage space for old items and maybe a workbench, today basements are frequently used as a secondary family room, a media and entertain hub, or even a bedroom. A sewer backup can ruin carpeting, furniture, bedding, electronics, and make an area unhabitable until a thorough cleaning and disinfecting can be done (an expensive process itself).

The key to protecting yourself from this kind of disaster is a sewer backup policy. This can either be purchased as its own protection, but it is frequently offered as an extension of your homeowner’s policy. As always, consult your broker to find the best value for this coverage!

Neglect and Excessive Wear and Tear

Insurance policies are designed to protect you from the unexpected curveballs life may throw at you. When it comes to predictable and expected issues though, you have to take personal responsibility for safeguarding your home. Issues such as untreated mold growth, worn and splintering wood in poorly-maintained decks, fences, and gazebos, and damaged caused by a known but untreated problem (say a leaky tub or toilet) are all examples of things that will not be covered by your homeowner’s insurance. Generally, if it is an issue you can reasonably see coming and take action to avoid, it won’t be covered.

That said, there are exceptions. If the damage is caused by a covered peril, like mold that is the result of water damage originating from a burst pipe for example, that is a different story. Confusing? It can be. This is why it is important to sit down with a knowledgeable broker who can explain exactly what kind of coverage you can expect from your policy and where you may be vulnerable.

Dog Attacks

This is one nobody likes to consider. We all love our dogs and think they are lovable sweethearts, but dogs do get off leashes, or feel threatened, or just make a mistake and sometimes bite people. If your dog injures somebody on or off your property, you are going to be held liable for the damages and it’s debatable whether or not your liability coverage will protect you. Many policies have exclusions for what are considered "aggressive breeds” that present a high risk. If you own one of those breeds, you’ll likely be on your own to deal with the damages.

Not sure what your homeowner’s insurance covers? Get in touch with a Staebler broker to review your policy, point out any gaps, and help you find the protection you need.