Property Coverage Exclusions
1) Earthquakes, Sinkholes & Other Movements of the Earth—Damages from earthquakes are not covered by most home insurance policies but can be provided as an addendum in all states except California. In California, earthquake insurance is handled by the California Earthquake Authority and insurers must offer to sell their customers a separate policy for earthquake insurance every other year. Furthermore, fires caused by earthquakes whether or not you have earthquake insurance are covered under your standard policy.
2) Flood & Other Water Damage—While your policy might say that it covers water damage, not all water damage is created equal. Floods caused by nature, such as an overflowing river, are not covered. You would need flood insurance for that. Other water damage refers to overflow or backup from sump pump, sewer system or drains.
3) Windstorms—In some areas of the U.S. such as Northeastern states and Gulf Coast states where windstorms are common, purchasing separate coverage is necessary because it may not be standard policy.
4) Damage caused by war, nuclear hazard or terrorism— Standard home insurance policies cover for riots, civil unrest and vandalism. However, most insurance policies of any kind tend not to provide coverage for war, terrorism or nuclear hazards.
5) Trampoline & Treehouse Injuries—Yup, you read that correctly. Trampolines are secretly death-traps. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the number of trampoline related-injuries has tripled in the last decade, so most companies have deemed trampolines, as well as treehouses, too high-risk.
6) Separate structures on your premises that are used solely for business—When a home business is or is not covered is not always crystal clear. The best thing you can do is obtain additional business insurance rather than assume it’s covered under your home insurance policy.
7) Jewelry, Fine Art, Rare Collections—Standard coverage for any of these items, including wedding rings, are up to $1,000. You may want to consider acquiring a separate luxury home insurance policy.
8) Boat Theft—If your boat or other water vehicle with less than 25 horsepower is stolen from your home, it’s covered. If it’s stolen elsewhere, it’s not.
9) Food—In case you’ve ever wondered, when food spoils in the event of a power outage or because your home loses power due to another peril, the loss of food is not covered.
10) Death or Injuries from Pools—Most policies will cover your pool—or you’ll just have to pay a bit more for coverage—as long as certain safety measures (e.g. a fence of a certain height around the pool) are in place. Having a diving board or a slide may cause your coverage to be denied.
11) Trees, plants or shrubs are not covered when they are damaged by wind or disease.—Your home insurance policy covers landscaping worth 5% of your policy value or $500 per item. Named perils such as theft, fire and even falling aircraft that damage your home also extend to your landscaping. Wind and disease are thus excluded.
12) Damage due to neglect and failure to maintain the property—This includes: termite and insect damage, bird or rodent damage, rot or mold, general wear and tear, damage caused by smog, smoke, or other industrial and agricultural waste or damage caused by hidden defects and mechanical breakdown.
Personal Liability Exclusions
13) Defamation of Character—Personal liability is meant to provide coverage when you are found legally responsible for injury to someone else. It doesn’t cover lawsuits involving defamation of character or slander because they are usually deemed intentional acts. You can take out an umbrella policy or sign a personal injury endorsement on top of your home insurance policy; the latter only provides coverage if your act of slander is deemed unintentional.
14) Expenses due to identity theft—This is actually a rather recent inclusion in personal liability coverage, due to the rise in identity theft crimes. Some insurers may cover expenses due to identity theft, but not all have made it standard in their policies.
15) Aggressive Dog Attacks (to others)—Most policies will cover your dog, if it isn’t considered an aggressive or “high-risk” breed. The list of high-risk dogs varies from company to company and even year to year, so be sure to ask your insurance company.