Many people assume that their basic homeowners insurance policy will pay for any type of damage that happens to their home and the property inside it, but what does homeowners insurance really cover? Before you assume you have the coverage you need, get to know the details of your specific policy to ensure your property is covered the right way at the right time.
Read on to find out what a standard homeowner insurance policy may not cover, and how you can add coverage to your policy.
Aside from mold being an eyesore and a health risk, many standard homeowners insurance policies either limit coverage for mold damage or downright exclude it. If you’re concerned about the mold risk in your home, talk to your Farm Bureau agent about extra coverage for fungi (which includes mold) that is provided in your policy.
2. Sewer Backup
A sewer backup can occur for a variety of reasons. From new homes being connected to outdated lines, to pipelines that handle both storm water and raw sewage becoming overwhelmed in a storm, to blockages as a result of interjected tree roots, a sewer backup can happen to anyone.
A simple fix, such as installing a sewer backflow valve, can help you stay ahead of a potential mess, but it’s also wise to consider adding sewer backup coverage to your homeowners policy. Although we can’t help you avoid the damage, we can help you minimize the expenses that come from it by protecting your floors, furniture, electrical systems and more.
3. Home Business
If you run a business out of your home, your standard homeowners policy may not cover a claim if your inventory were to catch fire or a customer slips and falls on your icy front stoop. Whether you have a side business as a traveling beauty consultant or you work as a website programmer from the garage, extra coverage can help you protect your home-based business.
4. Detached Property
Surrounding buildings on your property, such as sheds, treehouses and outbuildings, can be subject to a limit on your basic policy. If you have recently built an additional structure on your property, contact your agent to determine if additional property coverage should be applied.
5. Termite Infestation
If you’re wondering whether your homeowners insurance covers termites, you’re not alone. And for good reason! Colonies from a few hundred to several million can devastate the structural integrity of your home. Sagging floors, walls and ceilings are common examples of termite damage. These pests cause billions of dollars in damage per year and their ability to go undetected for years is an unsettling thought.
You can lower your risk by keeping paper, dead plants or wood — all food sources for termites — away from the soil near your house, and by making sure crawl spaces are ventilated and foundations are dry to prevent termites from getting water. Because termite damage is rarely covered under homeowners policies, arrange to have a licensed pest control company inspect and treat your home on a regular basis.
6. Jewelry, Fine Art and Rare Collections
Special personal property insurance (also called Inland Marine Coverage) is a way to protect your most valuable items — things like jewelry, fine art and other collectibles. Although you may have coverage for these belongings with your standard policy, limitations may apply, especially to the high-value items. This special coverage can increase the standard limits of your current policy to insure the full appraised value of your property.
Different breeds of dogs may or may not affect your homeowners insurance. Breeds that often require the pet owner to purchase extra coverage include, but are not limited to, Akitas, chow chows, Dobermans and Siberian huskies. If you have one of those breeds or another that you think might affect your homeowner’s insurance coverage, talk with your Farm Bureau agent to learn more about how your pet could affect your policy. And if you’re only considering adding a pet to the family, take in these considerations, as well.
Standard homeowners or renters insurance doesn’t typically cover earthquake damage. Earthquake coverage can be purchased as an add on. And while it’s particularly important to have if you live near a fault line, consider that a major earthquake can have an impact in far-reaching places. Ask yourself if you can afford the cost of rebuilding or repairing your home if it’s damaged by an earthquake. If not, consider buying earthquake coverage.
Protect Your Investments
Peace of mind is worth the extra pennies when it comes to protecting your largest investments. Schedule a SuperCheck with your Farm Bureau agent today to talk through any gaps that may exist in your current homeowners insurance coverage.