10 Common Homeowner Coverage Gaps

10 Common Homeowner Coverage GapsDo you know if your home is fully insured after a total loss? Or, how about if you have coverage for water backup from sewers, drains, or sump pumps? In the event of a claim, the last think you want to worry about is if you’re covered. Reviewing your policy with an independent agent today can help you identify gaps in your coverage, giving you better protection when you need it most.

Here are the 10 most common coverage gaps found in homeowners policies:

  1. Flooding. Flooding isn’t covered by a standard homeowners policy. Flood insurance can be purchased through your independent agent backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Keep in mind, flood premiums will vary based on the flood risk zone you live in.
  2. Earthquakes. Earthquake can happen anywhere in the world, which is why its important for you to consider adding an earthquake endorsement onto your policy. This endorsement covers damages resulting from an earthquake, such as landslides, mudslides, volcanic eruptions, and other earth movements.
  3. Mold. Mold has become an increasingly common problem in homes located in high-humidity areas and as a result has been eliminated from most homeowner policies. Check with your independent agent to determine whether your policy covers damage from mold.
  4. Items of exceptional value. While a standard homeowners policy will cover the cost of replacing some personal property, it does have its limits. If you have items of exceptional value, speak to your independent agent about purchasing a personal articles floater. This coverage protects items such as jewelry, furs, fine art, cameras, computers, china and silverware, coin collections, guns, and musical instruments.
  5. Replacement value. A home’s market value is significantly less than its replacement cost value. Replacement cost value covers the estimated cost to rebuild your home in accordance with ordinance and law changes. Take steps to insurance your home to value before experiencing a total loss by taking an inventory of your belongings, getting an estimate of your home’s value, and reporting any recent remodeling or renovation projects.
  6. Sump pumps. Water backup from sewers, drains, or sump pumps isn’t covered by a standard homeowners policy. An endorsement can be added to your existing policy to cover damages from water backup.
  7. Vacant or unoccupied homes. A homeowners policy will protect your home when you are on vacation or away for an extended period of time, but there are necessary steps you should take to ensure you won’t be held liable for the cost of any damages that happen while you are away. For example, if you are flying south for the winter months, ensure that the pipes are drained to prevent freezing or bursting.
  8. Ordinance and law. Building code compliance costs are limited on a standard homeowners policy. Additional coverage can be purchased for upgrades required by new building codes, such as earthquake upgrades for homes located in a quake zone.
  9. Condominium. If you own a condo, be aware that your association’s property insurance doesn’t cover your furniture, wall coverings, and electronics. There may also be no coverage for interior walls or structural improvements made to your unit, depending on the bylaw agreements of the condominium’s association. Check with your agent about purchasing condominium insurance.
  10. Recreational vehicles. If you own any recreational vehicles used to maintain your property (i.e. tractor, ATV), coverage is strictly limited to the premises and to the perils listed on your homeowners policy.

For more information, contact McGrath Insurance Group at 508-347-6850 or marketing@mcgrathinsurance.com.

*This article is written for informational purposes only and should not be construed as providing legal advice.