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Homeowners Insurance – Which Perils Are Covered and Which Aren’t

Do you know your insurance perils? Perils is a term used in the insurance industry meaning disasters. Almost all standard homeowner policies cover a long list of potential perils. After all, that’s the whole reason to have a homeowner’s policy. But be aware – not all perils are covered.

home insurance water damage

Following are perils that the Insurance Information Institute ( list as commonly NOT covered.

Floods – Flood coverage is available as a separate policy for both homeowners and renters. Flood insurance is a “must” if you live in a designated flood-prone zone, including high surf from tropical storms and hurricanes in the tropics, to overflowing rivers, to melting snow in northern regions. Plan ahead as there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect. Don’t wait until the evening news posts a warning!

Earthquakes – Earthquake coverage can be purchased as a separate policy or added to your homeowner’s policy. Granted, earthquakes are extremely uncommon in Florida, but you may want to consider it if you have a vacation home in an earthquake prone location.

Maintenance Damage – Neglect is not covered. Policies won’t cover damage due to neglected maintenance such as the damage done by termite (or other vermin) infestation. This applies to damage from neglected mold also.

Sewer Back-Up – Regardless of the cause (heavy rains for instance), sewer back-ups aren’t covered by either your homeowner’s or flood policies. You would need to either purchase a separate policy or added to your current policy as an endorsement. Did you know that you are responsible for the maintenance and repair of the sewer main pipe that runs from the street to your dwelling?

On the positive side, the list of perils that ARE generally covered by your homeowner’s policy are far far longer than the list of the ones that aren’t!  Here’s a short list of some of the more common perils covered.

  • Fire, lightning, power surges, explosions of all types
  • Vehicle damage to your dwelling.
  • Smoke damage
  • Vandalism
  • Theft – items stolen are usually covered by your policy’s “personal property” clause
  • Wind and hail
  • Water damage (not due to floods or freezing temperatures). Most policies cover water damage from burst pipes or water heaters.

Make a point to talk with your insurance agent and confirm which perils ARE and AREN’T included in your policy. There’s a lot to be said for being prepared…just in case!!

This information is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice.  Should you have any questions or would like to discuss your risk exposure with your homeowners insurance, please contact the insurance pros at ARCW Insurance.  We are here to help.