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A good home insurance policy is fundamental for peace of mind. The policy will cover your house and your belongings from damage and theft. Homeowners are shielded from personal liability should someone be injured while on the property. Insurance policies don’t cover everything however, and it is important that homeowner’s are aware of the following five things that your home insurance policy might not cover.
1. Aggressive Dogs
Insurance policies have very specific limitations as to what they will cover for injuries related to dogs. Some policies will not cover dogs at all. Homeowner’s insurance policies may include liability coverage that protect the owner from dog related injuries, but not if the dog is on the high-risk list. The high-risk list is determined by the average number of reported bites by particular breeds. Historically these breeds include the Doberman, pit bull, German Shepard, and Rottweiler. There are insurance companies that provide liability coverage for owners, but typically, it will not be your home insurance policy. Insurance companies pay out over $300 million annually for injuries related to dogs.
Injuries resulting from trampolines may not be covered. As a homeowner, you may want to check your policy if you are considering purchasing one for backyard fun. Some insurance companies will not cover you at all if there is a trampoline on your property. For the year 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported over 92,000 trampoline related injuries.
The National Flood Insurance Program offers flood insurance to homeowners that will protect them from this “act of nature.” Home insurance policies will typically cover water damage that occurs from pipes that have burst, dripping faucets, or damaged roofs that allow water to leak through. Many homeowners choose not to buy flood insurance because they live in moderate-to-low-risk zones. When faced with flood damages, homeowners may find that they must pay for the damages themselves. Residents in central Iowa, Vermont, and most recently, Colorado, have found this out the hard way.
Separate policies are nearly always required for earthquake insurance. Some states are at a higher risk for earthquake damage, but quakes have been known to unexpectedly happen in states such as Virginia, New York, and South Carolina. There is not a fixed deductible dollar amount for earthquake policies. The amount is based on a percentage from 2% to 20% of the home’s replacement value. The cost of coverage varies for each region and types of structures.
5. Simultaneous Events
Anti-concurrent clauses are often included in homeowner insurance policies. This clause means that dual catastrophes, such as a storm involving both rain and wind, could jeopardize your home coverage. Homeowner policies typically cover wind damage, but not flood damage. If a homeowner is not able to prove that the damage was done by wind alone, the insurance coverage could be denied.