8 Risks a Standard Homeowners Policy Doesn’t Cover
Far too many people purchase a standard homeowners insurance policy and believe that is all they need. Unfortunately, that leaves them unprotected from more than a few everyday risks, like the eight listed below.
Work with your independent insurance agent when choosing your home insurance to ensure you have protection from these risks and others that are important to you.
1. Service Lines
You have all kinds of service lines running into your home from the street. In many cities, you may have buried electric lines, gas lines, water lines, sewer lines, and more. Without specific service line insurance, you could be responsible for repairs to these lines should something happen to damage them.
The costs of these repairs can be quite extensive. As a result, most homeowners are happy to invest in the nominal cost of service line protection rather than risk making these costly repairs without it.
If your insurance provider doesn’t include service line protection as part of your standard homeowner’s policy (which most don’t), make sure you ask about a rider policy so you don’t have to cover these costs on your own.
2. Sump Pump Failure
This is another problem that is easily remedied by purchasing an “add-on” or endorsement policy from your insurance providers to cover the water damage resulting from sump pump failure.
With this type of damage, you may not even know there’s a problem until there is quite a bit of water damage. It’s another problem that can be costly to repair. Especially when a simple endorsement to your homeowners insurance can help you avoid this expense altogether.
3. Office or Business in the Home
If you have a home office, and who doesn’t these days, or operate a business from your home, you could be left out in the cold when it comes to insurance protection. Most homeowners policies offer limited protection, generally $2,500 or less, for office equipment you keep in your home and no protection at all for things like:
- Costly business equipment
- Office furniture
More importantly, this limited protection doesn’t cover liability issues that may arise from operating a business from your home. That’s why it is essential for people who work from home to work with a trusted insurance agent to make sure their insurance needs are covered. You want sufficient protection for your equipment, tools, supplies, inventory, and liability risks.
4. Water Backup of Sewers and Drains
Few things in life are less fun than going through a sewer backup into your home or basement — except, perhaps, going through these experiences without insurance protection to help you recover.
The unfortunate truth is that these can happen for no other reason than hard rain, tree roots, or clogged drains. There isn’t always something you can do to avoid this type of disaster. Plus, your standard home insurance isn’t likely to offer protection from this specific hazard.
While this type of event is generally excluded from coverage with most standard homeowners insurance policies, there are riders available that will cover this unpleasant process.
Whether you’re a fan of fine arts, scour local flea markets for antique masterpieces, or collect various items of value, such as the below, these treasures are the types of items that only gain value over time.
- Antique dolls
- Priceless lamps
- Valuable trading cards or comic books
Unfortunately, traditional insurance products don’t value items the same way. Plus, most policies have limits for how much they are willing to pay out for “like items.” Again, that’s why it’s important to work with an independent insurance agency to ensure you have the right kind of insurance protection for your valuable items, antiques, and collectibles.
For many homeowners, jewelry is one of your more valuable possessions. The more jewelry you own, the greater your need for independent and specific item coverage since it’s considered a high-value property.
While a homeowners policy may provide some limited coverage for jewelry, to get sufficient protection for your jewelry from theft, fire, and other hazards, you’ll need to purchase a floater policy or endorsement that covers the value of each individual piece of jewelry you wish to insure.
7. Flood Damage
This is one type of coverage many homeowners only find out they lack after it is too late and a flood has occurred. The unfortunate truth is that you do not need to live on a large body of water to experience the devastation of a flooded home.
In fact, people are shocked to discover that new construction in the area can be a significant contributing factor for flooding, environmental changes, rivers and streams, creeks, and more. Even melting ice in the spring can be the catalyst for massive flooding, and if you do not have specific flood insurance for your home, you are not protected.
One cost-effective option is to go with flood insurance offered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, if your home is valued at greater than $250,000, you may wish to choose private insurance options instead. We can help you determine which type of flood insurance is the best for your situation.
Sinkholes haven’t always been the problems they seem to have become in recent years. Because of that, most homeowners insurance policies simply do not cover them. It’s not just sinkholes that are problematic when it comes to moving earth. Earthquakes, landslides, and mudslides may also be specifically excluded from your insurance protection.
The Insurance Center of North Jersey understands how important it is to have robust protection for your home and family. We’ll work with you to identify areas where you may not have sufficient coverage so you can enjoy greater peace of mind.