Oftentimes assumptions turn out to be wrong. You assume you are adequately covered by your house insurance, but later when you make your claims, you find that you are not adequately protected.
After Hurricane Katrina, many homeowners found out their house insurance policies did not include flood coverage. Home insurance companies are getting smarter and smarter, covering only risks they are not likely to pay.
In coastal areas frequented by hurricanes, such as Florida, hurricane is not covered by regular homeowners insurance policies. Homeowners in Florida need to buy hurricane insurance from the state-owned insurance enterprise. In areas usually ravaged by forest fires, fire coverage is not offered. In earthquake-prone California, homeowners need to buy earthquake insurance from the state-operated California Earthquake Authority.
So get your house insurance policy now and examine the exclusions. If you have identified an exclusion that you believe should be covered, call your agent and buy a supplemental coverage or buy from your state insurance agency.
One typical exclusion is flood coverage. Flood has been viewed by insurance companies as a big risk in all areas so they do not cover it. Call the National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency for quotes. Include also wind coverage if you are in an area prone to both hurricanes and floods.
Damages from water leaks and mold are also no longer covered in many homeowners insurance policies. According to Frank Coyne, chief executive of Insurance Services Office, house insurance providers limit their coverage for water damage and exclude mold coverage due to the wave of toxic mold claims in 2002 in California, Florida, Texas and other states.
Another damage not covered by typical home insurance products is damage from sewage backups. You can avoid being stressed by costs of sewage repair by buying a rider sold at about $50 to $100.
Your house insurance policy also does not cover damages from termites, rodents and other house pests, so regularly conduct inspection to ensure there are not pests in your property.
Trampolines have been excluded in regular home insurance policies because of the number of claims related to trampoline accidents in the past. Insurers surely do not want to spend for endless hospitalizations for kids hurt while enjoying trampolines.
House insurance premiums get more costly if you have dangerous dog breeds such as pit bulls, wolf hybrids, rottweilers and dobermans.
If you have expensive personal possessions such as expensive jewelry and antiques, get additional coverage because there are coverage limits for personal possessions in regular house insurance policies.