Judy Moore - Barrett Sotheby's International Realty



Posted by Judy Moore on 11/14/2021

Image by Brasil Creativo from Shutterstock

If this is your first time owning a home, your mind is likely consumed with plans to replace the carpet or upgrade the appliances. You want to get the best deals and save money where you can. One area not to skimp, though, is in your homeowner's insurance. The last thing you want is to install the perfect spa bath only to have the sewer back up, and you find out your policy doesn't cover sewerage.

How can that be, you ask? Surprisingly, homeowner’s insurance does not cover everything. In fact, there are lots of things you may believe it covers that are nowhere to be found in the policy. While some of these things might be small annoyances, others can devastate your carefully laid plans for the perfect house.

Here are some big-ticket items that your insurance may not cover:

  • Floods: Water overflowing your property or home comes from many sources: heavy rain, tropical storms, groundwater rising, seepage, sewer backup, or water pressure from saturated soil (called hydrostatic pressure). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) generally does not cover leakage, seepage, sewer backup, or hydrostatic pressure unless a federally defined flood caused it.

  • Sewer back: While not covered by NFIP, you may request an added endorsement to cover aging sewer systems and backed-up storm drains. Otherwise, you’re on your own for the cleanup and damages this causes in your home.

  • Mold: While posing significant home damage and health risks, mold can hide behind cabinets, in walls, under the floor, and in the insulation. With thousands of varieties, mold policies only cover infestations from specific species. These policies often have low upper limits, too, so the cost to remove it and repair the damage may fall to you.

  • Sinkholes, earthquakes, and shifting ground: Most policies exclude earth movement without specific riders. Your house may be located in an area that is prone to earthquake, mudslide, or sinkhole damage, so ask your insurance agent to provide the appropriate additions to your policy.

  • Termites: These wood and fiber-eating pests can destroy walls, floors, support beams, and other untreated wood in your home. Nationally termite damage repair is a multi-billion dollar business. Rarely do homeowner’s insurance policies cover termites. Your home inspection should reveal the presence of termites, so negotiate with the seller for termite remediation before completing your purchase.

Other items your policy may not cover are bites from pets, especially exotic animals or certain dog breeds, and accidents from high-risk toys such as trampolines and pools. You might be surprised to realize that most policies also exclude acts of war and nuclear power plant accidents.

Before you close on your home, discuss all your insurance needs with your insurance agent. If you need guidance, your real estate professional can offer advice.





Posted by Judy Moore on 10/3/2021

You are required to get homeowners insurance when you purchase a home. You probably are so excited about buying a home that you neglect to learn the ins and outs of your policy. Unfortunately, there are many things that insurance won’t cover, yet many homeowners think that they are covered under their home insurance policy. Below, you’ll find some things that are often not covered by your home insurance, even though you might think they are. 


Broken Pipes


While your home insurance will cover damage from water in your home (different than flood insurance), the policy probably won’t cover what it takes to fix broken pipes. Your best bet in this area is prevention. You should be sure that your pipes are insulated properly and that there is adequate airflow around the pipes in your cabinets.


Earthquakes


If an earthquake hits, you’re out of luck when it comes to your homeowners insurance policy. You typically need a separate policy to get earthquake coverage. If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, you’ll need to inquire about specific policies to protect your home from this type of natural disaster.


Floods


You’ll also need a separate policy in the event of a flood. Homeowner’s policies do not cover damage or losses caused by flooding. You can get optional coverage and this is highly recommended, especially if you live near a body of water or in an area that’s prone to flooding.


A Sewer Backup


If a sewer backs up, you’ll face some serious damage in your home. Unfortunately, your homeowners policy will not cover this type of damage. The repairs can be hefty. If you wish, you can always add this type of coverage to your policy. 


Only Portions Of Disasters May Be Covered


If a hurricane hits, any damage that has been caused by the wind will be covered by your home insurance policy. If you face flooding, however, and do not have a flood insurance policy, you’ll be out of luck. Without extra coverage, some natural disasters can be a special disaster for you and your wallet. 


Keep Up The Maintenance On Your Home


It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance policy. When you know how to prepare for different situations, it will make caring for and maintaining your home and your financial future a lot easier. If you prepare accordingly for natural disasters as directed, and perform proper maintenance on your home, your insurance policy should act in the best interest for you. If you happen to live in an area where you are prone to natural disasters, make sure you get the appropriate additional coverage that you’ll need to protect you.