Do you know if you need flood insurance? Are you sure your homeowners insurance will suffice? Have you examined and understood the terms and conditions of your homeowners policy? Think it covers you for everything?
St Patrick’s Day may be the perfect time for a pint in the nearest pub and your favorite four-leaf-clover shirt while you wait for a good dose of luck to come your way. But don’t rely on luck to keep your home protected.
According to Carole Walker, an executive director at the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association: “Many people don’t take the time to understand what is and isn’t covered and mistakenly assume insurance will pay for any type of damage.” She adds, “We often hear from people that the only time they think about what their insurance covers is when they go to file a claim. Of course, then it’s too late.”
So read your homeowners policy before you assume everything’s covered. Don’t blindly hope for the best. Knowing as much as you can about your homeowners policy now can help you make the right decisions later on.
Flood damage. Your home insurance has limited coverage for damage caused by rain. But if the property gets flooded, you’re on your own. If you live in a flood zone, you might want to go for a flood insurance policy. From debris removal to coverage for your electric al and plumbing systems, you’ll have the right assistance if and when you need it.
Mold. A health risk, as well as an eye-sore, a breakout of molds is a common sight in homes. In the U.S. alone, there are about 1,000 species to be had. However, there’s only a limited coverage for mold damage in the standard homeowners insurance policy. Some don’t even mention it. And those that do, along with offers to expand on that coverage, charge hefty fees.
Sinkholes. There are many home insurance policies that don’t include coverage for “earth movement” like earthquakes or sinkholes. So check if yours is the same. If you live in Florida, though, that shouldn’t be the case. Insurance Information Institute vice president Loretta Worters says “Florida is the only state in which insurers are required to provide coverage for sinkhole damage. This means Florida insurers must add on coverage for “catastrophic ground cover collapse.” So make sure your policy has this covered.
Termites. No matter how destructive colonies of termites are—from hundreds to millions—termite damage still isn’t part of the regular homeowners insurance package.
Nuclear damage. In the U.S. there are about 3 million Americans who reside within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant that’s active, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). So if any leaks or damage to the reactor happens and results into your home being quarantined and declared unlivable, and you and your family injured in any way, your standard homeowners insurance doesn’t have you covered. However, there is the 1957 federal law—the Price-Anderson Act—that states compensation is required for you and your families, in the event of any commercial nuclear accidents.