Jessica Fox Last Updated On: August 4, 2023

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What Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Could Cost You?

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You might think that if you buy homeowners insurance, you’re covered against all the incidents and accidents that may befall your abode. Unfortunately, this isn’t quite how it works. Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover a lot of common perils, which could leave you scrambling to pay for certain damages out-of-pocket. 

This is why it’s important to have a full understanding of what your homeowner insurance does and doesn’t cover so that you can be prepared for anything and increase your coverage where and when possible. This is what we’re going to talk about today: what homeowners insurance does not cover

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Types of Homeowners Insurance

There are three main types of homeowners insurance policies: HO-1, HO-2, and HO-3. HO-1 is virtually obsolete nowadays, as it offers very little coverage, so we’ll skip right by that and focus on the sorts of insurance you’ll most likely encounter.

HO-2 typically only covers the following:

  • Windstorm or hail
  • Fire, lightning, and smoke damage
  • Explosions
  • Riots or civil commotion
  • Damage caused by aircraft or vehicles
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief
  • Theft
  • Volcanic eruption
  • Falling objects
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire-protection sprinkler system or from a household appliance.
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system or an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system.
  • Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance.
  • Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current

This means that any other damage you can think of that is not on this list, is not covered under an HO-2 policy.

An HO-3 is a type of homeowners insurance policy that is known for offering the most extensive coverage. But even this policy has standard exclusions and they are as follows:

  • Ordinance or Law: When your home is damaged in a covered peril, your insurance provider will pay to restore your home to its original condition. This means that if there are updated building codes that you must adhere to that will require additional costs, your insurance company will not pay for that added expense.
  • Earth Movement: Geological events such as earthquakes, volcanos, sinkholes, and mudslides are not covered under homeowners insurance. However, you may purchase additional insurance for these events if you are worried about such perils.
  • Water Damage: Natural flooding, sump pump backup, and seeping groundwater are other perils that are not covered. But you also may purchase additional flooding insurance if you deem it necessary.
  • Power Failure: When the power goes out, there may be damages to your service lines or devices within your home that were harmed during the power surge. Such expenses are not covered in homeowners insurance.
  • Neglect: If damages to your home are caused by poor home maintenance, they are not covered by your homeowners insurance. This means any type of general wear and tear.
  • War: Damages caused by any type of war or nuclear weapon are not covered in your homeowners insurance policy. This may seem odd and extreme, but insurance companies need to think of everything.
  • Nuclear Hazard: If you happen to live near a nuclear power plant, damages to the environment due to nuclear power will not be covered under your homeowners insurance.
  • Intentional Loss: Something that you do intend to your home will not be covered. For example, if you graffiti a wall as part of an art exhibition, you are liable for the cost of restoring that wall.
  • Government Action: If a government authority damages your property, that damage is not covered by insurance. Examples of this include seizure or damage of property.
  • Loss to Property: Any damages caused by faulty zoning or bad workmanship is also not covered under this homeowners insurance policy.

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Other Homeowners Insurance Exclusions You Should Know About

There are a couple of other typical homeowners insurance exclusions that are worth noting. They are as follows:
  • Certain Dog Bite Liabilities: Dogs that have a history of violence or certain breeds such as pit bulls, rottweilers, German shepards, and chow chows are not covered in most home insurance policies.
  • Pest Damage and Removal: Pests are categorized as a maintenance issue and therefore are not covered in most homeowners insurance.
  • Mold: Oftentimes mold is the result of neglect, which is an exclusion in most homeowners insurance. Mold will only be covered if it is proven to be brought on suddenly and accidentally.
  • High Value Items: Though all possessions in your home are included in homeowners insurance, it is likely that the full price of high value items may not be covered.
We get it: This list of homeowner insurance exclusions is exhausting, but knowing the most common can help you keep your expectations realistic, and alert you to any potential problems you may encounter down the road. In some cases, like with high-value items like art or jewelry, you can still get protection by getting a separate or an add-on policy to get the insurance you need and want. Talk to your insurance company today. Or, if you don’t have one or are looking to switch, contact us for a free quote. We’ll pair you with the best homeowner insurance provider for your needs, at the best price.

Jessica Fox Jessica Fox has been a freelance writer for five years, with a specialty in health, wellness, and insurance. During this time, she’s written for some of the biggest B2B and B2C brands from around the world. Jessica is also the mother of two young daughters and loves coffee, writing, and working out.

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