5 Homeowner's Insurance Loopholes You May Not Be Aware Of

5 Homeowner Insurance Loopholes You May Not Be Aware Of by Woodard Cleaning & Restoration in St. Louis, MO.

Let’s face it; a signature on your insurance policy does not indicate fluency, or even familiarity, with the ins-and-outs of your coverage. Far too often, homeowners feel left in the dark about the inclusions of their homeowner’s policy, and find themselves in a tight spot when accidents occur. Simply put: having an insurance policy is not a “get out of jail free” card, but it is a step in the right direction. Together, we’ll review five common homeowner's insurance loopholes as defined by standard insurance policies, however, to get the most out of your coverage, reach out to your insurance agent to discuss the inclusions and exclusions of your policy.

Aggressive Dogs

Did you know that insurance companies pay out over $300 million every year to cover the cost of dog-related injuries? Keep that in mind the next time you pet a stray on the street! With that being said, it is no surprise that insurance carriers have become a bit more cautious when outlining the specific inclusions of policy coverage.

If you have a dog, whether aggressive or not, make sure your insurance agent is aware, and get some clarity on the amount of pet protection your policy provides. If you are particularly worried about your dog's aggression, hang a "Beware of Dog" sign on your fence, and keep the dog away from known aggression triggers (unfamiliar house guests, other animals, etc.).


Trampolines

Sure, trampolines provide hours of backyard fun, but when it comes to safety, they pose a pretty high risk; in fact, every year, trampolines are the cause of more than 80,000 trips to hospital emergency rooms. Homeowners take a safety risk when choosing to set up a trampoline on their property, and are held liable in the unfortunate event that an accident or personal injury may occur.

Based on several factors, such as individual insurance policies and carriers, trampoline coverage may vary from zero to complete coverage. If you currently have a trampoline on your property, contact your homeowner’s insurance agent to determine if you have ample coverage. On the contrary, if you’re considering adding a trampoline to your property, take a few moments to review your coverage and insurance policy before jumping into a decision.


Simultaneous Events

When bad weather strikes, everyone’s home is at risk for flood, fire, and storm damage. What happens if your home is swept by treacherous storm damage, but also floods in the process? Are you covered? In some cases, you may not be.

In the event of simultaneous events, insurance coverage can get a little tricky. In the insurance industry, professionals use the term “anti-concurrent causation” to describe a combination of losses that may declare your policy as void or invalid. To know exactly where you stand, closely scan the fine print on your insurance policy. If you find a clause indicating that dual catastrophes will jeopardize your coverage, contact your insurance agent immediately to work through this issue.


Flooding

In the event of a flood, most homeowners automatically assume their insurance policy covers their home, assets, and valuables; unfortunately, that is not the case. When defined by insurance carriers, flooding is not deemed an “act of nature.”To keep your home, and everything in it, protected against floods and flood damage, you must purchase separate flood insurance coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Considering 20% of flood claims occur in low-to-moderate risk zones, flood insurance is a must-have for every homeowner, in every geographical location. Contact your insurance agent today, or check out FloodSmart.gov, to get an estimated cost for flood insurance in your region.


Jewelry, Collectibles & High-Value Items

Contrary to popular belief, everything under your roof is not protected by your insurance coverage; providers set limits on payout amounts for personal items. Since coverage from the basic home insurance policy rarely covers the cost of high-dollar or personally valuable items, we strongly suggest insuring irreplaceable items (wedding rings, valuable collectibles, family heirlooms, etc.) separately.