Discussing what is NOT covered in your Home Insurance policy isn't something many companies like to do. But the truth is - it's a pretty important subject. Your policy can't cover everything. If it did, insurance companies would have to raise premiums so dramatically to pay for losses you wouldn't be able to afford the policy. What you can do, is gain a better understanding of what is and is not covered ahead of time.
1. Your Loss Must Be Sudden And Accidental
A Homeowners Insurance policy is for sudden and accidental losses, events that people cannot prevent. If your loss is something that's developed slowly over time it is not considered sudden and accidental.
A prime example of this revolves around water claims from roof and leaking pipes. Home Insurance policies are designed to cover water events that occur suddenly. If you have a leaking pipe behind your tile in your shower, your insurance policy is not going to cover this if it is deemed that this has been occurring for quite some time.
The same holds true if your roof has been leaking for a while. When the insurance carrier investigates the claim, it if appears that the leaking has occurred for an extended period of time, this claim can also be denied.
People will typically ask, "how could I tell there was a leak occurring if I could see it?" This is a very understandable question, however, your policy only covers sudden events. Something that has been occurring for a long period of time is considered a maintenance neglect issue which will be discussed next.
2. Maintenance Neglect
It is the duty of the policyholder to maintain the property at all times. When certain items such as your roof, heating, plumbing, hot water heater, and wiring hit their life expectancy, it is your responsibility to replace these items as they most always end up in property damage when not properly maintained.
One of the above items that gets neglected all the time are roofs. The average shingle roof in FL has a life expectancy of 15-20 years. Due to the severe weather patterns that we experience in FL, your granules on your shingles will not last very long. Matter of fact, if your roof was replaced, wait until the next major rain storm and see how many granules end up in your gutters. If you start having claims as a result of items not being maintained properly, your Homeowners Insurance carrier will usually send you a non-renewal advising that you must get the item in question repaired or replaced before they will renew your Home Insurance policy.
3. Undisclosed Risks
When you first set up your homeowner policy, your insurance agent will review all the underwriting questions with you at the time of application. If you add things after the policy is in force and don't review with your agent/carrier, you may find that these items are not automatically covered.
Some of these items involve but not limited to dogs, slides, diving boards, trampolines, skate board ramps, or changing the occupancy of your home. Regarding changing of the occupancy of your home, some people vacate their homes and put them up for sale or rent out their homes without mentioning this to their carrier. These are items that completely change the terms of your policy and are not designed to cover these exposures.
The rule of thumb is contact your Homeowners Insurance carrier or agent anytime you make any changes to your home. This of course includes making any structural changes to you home. If you for instance added a pool cage to your home, most policies do not cover hurricane damage for pool cages unless this coverage is endorsed.
If you have questions on your policy, contact the professionals at Southern Insurance Group for your complimentary review.
Tom Johnson - Owner
Southern Insurance Group
352-243-9000 Opt 1 for quotes