Convincing homeowners to thoroughly read through their property-insurance policy before potential disaster strikes, isn’t always easy.
Many people are simply not aware that there are a variety of exclusions under which an insurance company may legitimately deny coverage for a claim submitted.
The remedy is simple; if you come across policy wording that seems broad or unclear, be sure to follow up with your insurance adviser for clarification.
In this article I highlight six of the most common exclusions that catch most policy-owners off guard.
1. Damage caused by wear and tear, rust, corrosion or gradual deterioration.
2. Water damage caused by flood, underground water or water that enters through cracks in your foundation.
3. Damage arising from the freezing of indoor plumbing.
Note: If you are away from home for more than four consecutive days over the normal heating months, consider draining the plumbing or arrange to have your home inspected on a daily basis to ensure that heat is maintained.
If, however, freezing-related damage were to occur despite such precautions, it might be covered.
4. Damage caused to the exterior of your home as the result of freezing, melting or moving snow or ice and heaving frost.
5. Damage caused by snow slide, landslide and other forms of earth movement (e.g., earthquakes). Note: However, damage from a fire or explosion caused by earth movement may be covered.
6. Damage caused by insects and rodents (e.g., termites, squirrels, mice, birds). Intentional or criminal acts (fraudulent claims).
You may be able to purchase additional optional coverage, also known as “endorsements,” to protect against some of the above excluded perils.
For example, you may want to consider purchasing a sewer backup endorsement if you live in a low-lying area, particularly one with combined storm and sanitary sewers.
As always, be sure to ask competent professionals for advice if you’re unsure about particulars.