Insurance as a purchased service has been around for centuries. In fact, the first known insurance provider here in America was founded in 1752 by Benjamin Franklin himself. Throughout the years, insurance companies have developed numerous insurance products that protect policyholders from all manners of loss of property, including theft, environmental damage, and more.
With as many different ways as there are to insure something—be it a house, car, rental property, or even expensive jewelry—it can be confusing knowing whether or not a specific piece of property is covered by any given insurance policy. In this article, Matthew R. Osborne, PC is helping you make sense of property insurance coverage by sharing some little-known facts related to just what is and is not covered by most property insurance policies.
For most people, the home is the single most valuable asset they own. Most homeowners insurance policies are technically considered HO-3 policies, a kind of contractual agreement between the policy issuer and the policyholder. An HO-3 policy is fairly comprehensive when it comes to what is and isn’t covered, and expected loss of property coverage for things like vandalism and hail damage is typically included.
So, what’s not included in the typical HO-3 homeowners insurance policy?
Unfortunately, earthquake damage coverage isn’t normally included in most homeowners’ insurance policies. However, addendums can be tacked onto many of these policies—addendums that specifically cover earthquake damage—but they do cost more. Also, if you live in the state of California, insurance coverage gets even more complex.
Thankfully, Coloradoans don’t experience the kind of earthquakes that cause significant structural damage. It does happen, however. In May of 2014, a magnitude 3.4 earthquake struck Colorado, causing minor damage to numerous homes.
Let’s be clear: water damage means flood damage. It also means mudflow damage. In fact, water damage insurance coverage is a type of coverage unique unto itself, as it’s one of the only types of insurance run by the government, through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Other sources of water damage can include malfunctioning sump pumps, inlet overflows, and heavy rains. Like earthquake damage coverage, water damage insurance requires an addendum to an existing homeowner’s insurance policy.
So, what else isn’t included in the standard homeowners insurance policy? Well, think about what happens when required maintenance of a home is neglected. The damage that can be brought on by things like termites, rodents, mold, and rust is typically not covered by homeowners insurance policies.
For loss of property claims related to these types of damages, yet another policy addendum would be required.
Let’s move on to renter’s insurance. For those who are renting a house, condo, townhome, or apartment, good renter’s insurance coverage is a great idea. And, it’s fairly inexpensive—average renter’s insurance coverage costs about $20 per month and typically includes at least $7,500 in coverage.
To protect renter’s insurance policyholders against loss of property, most policies cover the following:
- Falling aircraft
- Damage from other people’s vehicles (but not your own)
- Short-circuiting electrical appliances
- Damage from water heater malfunctions
- Smoke damage
However, there’s a lot that is not covered by typical renter’s insurance policies, including:
- Damage from natural disasters like floods, earthquakes, or collapsing sinkholes
- Damage from rodents or pests, including bedbugs, rats, and termites
- Exceptionally high-value items like heirloom jewelry, antiques, or premium appliances [most renter’s insurance providers limit coverage for each item lost or damaged, up to a certain amount (for example, up to $1,500 for a necklace)]
- Loss of property from terrorism or war
Before purchasing renter’s insurance, it’s advisable to take a full inventory of everything you own, noting the condition that everything is in at the time of the policy issuance. Remember that most renter’s insurance policies can be supplemented with other types of insurance for even broader coverage.
Insurance Dispute? Contact Matthew R. Osborne, PC
You pay good money for the insurance coverage you need to stay protected against loss of property. If you need legal guidance in your specific insurance situation, don’t hesitate to contact the team at Matthew R. Osborne, PC to schedule an initial consultation.
[Disclaimer: This information is being provided for the convenience of our website visitors. It should not be considered legal advice. If you’d like professional assistance with a specific insurance coverage situation, the attorneys at Matthew R. Osborne, PC suggest scheduling a free consultation before making any insurance decision.]