Homeowners insurance is a vital investment for anyone who owns the property. Not only does homeowner’s insurance protect your home and land, but it also insures any assets and wealth kept in your home. It even covers any legal and medical expenses incurred in the event you are held liable for an accident!
However, there is much confusion among American homeowners regarding what exactly is covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, also known as an HO-3. For example, many people don’t realize that homeowners insurance policies don’t usually cover flood or earthquake damage—until they go to make a claim for such damage. Our attorneys explain what is and isn’t covered by homeowners insurance in Florida.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Your homeowner's insurance policy should clearly state which losses or “perils” are covered. The term “perils” refers to any hazard that is covered by your policy. Be sure to read your homeowner's insurance policy carefully to ensure that you understand what exact perils are covered and if any exceptions apply.
For example, most policies cover only certain types of water damage or apply limits to how much they are willing to pay out to cover the loss of certain types of personal property due to theft or other mishaps. According to most standard homeowners insurance policies, you’re insured against losses caused by:
- Accidental damage from an artificially generated electrical current
- Accidental damage involving surfaces tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam
- Falling objects
- Frozen plumbing
- Motor vehicles
- Riots or civil commotions
- Volcanic eruptions
- Weight of snow, ice, or sleet
What Isn’t Typically Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Just as knowing what is covered on your homeowner's insurance policy will help you better understand when to make a claim, knowing what isn’t covered can go a long way to saving you and your family trouble and money down the line. The most common exclusions found in standard HO-3 homeowners insurance policies include losses caused by:
- Animals owned by an insured
- Birds, insects, rodents, or vermin
- Damage caused by earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, sinkholes, and similar events
- Governmental actions
- Intentional loss
- Maintenance issues
- Mischievous acts
- Mold, fungus, or wet rot (although exceptions may include any damage hidden within walls, ceilings, or floors after an accidental discharge or overflow of water from plumbing or HVAC)
- Nuclear hazards
- Ordinance of law (when the government orders homeowners to tear down, rebuild, or renovate in order to meet local ordinances)
- Power outages
- Water damage from flooding, sewage backups, surface water, tidal water, waves, or groundwater seeping into the home
Homeowners insurance is meant to cover your home, personal property, and related assets in the event they are damaged, burglarized, or you find yourself held liable for an accident. It also covers your home against any “perils” listed in your policy. Always read the fine print to ensure you know exactly what is covered—otherwise, you could be faced with an unpleasant surprise later on.
If you have any questions or concerns about your homeowner's insurance policy, or if you seek legal representation in a related matter, contact our attorneys today at (239) 603-6913 or reach out to us online.