What’s Covered Under Your Homeowner’s Policy?

Your home is likely your biggest investment and protecting that investment is essential. A homeowners insurance policy provides protection against many of the threatening situations lifehomeowners can throw your way. The protection your policy secures for you and your family provides peace of mind in an unpredictable world. It’s not only the sensible thing to do. Many times, homeowners insurance is a condition of your home loan.

But, just what does your standard homeowners insurance cover? Know the ins and outs of your coverage before a catastrophe occurs. There are limitations to every policy and finding out where you stand before it‘s too late allows you to prepare, and, if possible, seek additional coverage.

  • Floods: Standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. If your home is located in a designated flood zone, you likely had to obtain special flood insurance as a condition of purchase. You may have purchased your flood insurance through your insurer, or through the flood protection program offered by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) at a special rate. If you’re concerned about the possibility of a flood near your home, you should speak to your insurance provider and take steps to obtain coverage.
  • Mold: Household mold, destructive mildew, wet rot and fungus are all over the news these days. They can easily destroy drywall, damage foundations, cause odor problems and even impact the health of you and your family. Mold, and it’s counterparts, are not covered on most homeowners policies – at least not in the standard way. If the mold is a direct result of a peril such as a burst pipe, the cleanup is covered. However, if mold has been growing in your walls and floorboards, and you fear it’s effects, you’ll need a specific rider policy to cover it’s eradication and clean up.
  • Wildlife, Rodents, and Other Pests: Whether you live in the city or a rural area, you can easily suffer damage to your home from household pests. Wildlife, squirrels, termites and even mice can be destructive little critters. Getting rid of these home-invaders before they do too much damage can be a costly endeavor. And the wreck they leave in their wake can be expensive as well. Insurance companies view these infestations as your responsibility in maintaining your property and offer no provisions for pest damage, though some companies in areas prone to termite infestation will offer a specific termite policy.
  • Jewelry, Artwork, and Collectibles: Treasured jewelry, art, antiques, or collectibles require specific coverage. A standard homeowners policy won’t protect your investment beyond a few thousand dollars. In most cases, a separate policy, naming your valuables and their appraisals, is required for such rare and expensive items.
  • Power Surges: Should your area experience a power surge that damages your electronics or household appliances, you may not be covered for repairs or replacement. While fire and other catastrophes are reason for replacement or repair, a power surge isn’t. If you own expensive electronics or appliances and fear a power surge could wipe you out, bring your concerns up to your insurer.

If you have any doubts about your coverage, contact your insurer to discuss ways to customize your policy. It’s impossible to prepare for every eventuality in life, but knowing you, your family and your home will be taken care of in the face of many of life’s mishaps can prevent more than a few sleepless nights. Evaluate your homeowners insurance policy today, before it’s too late.

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