When disaster strikes a home – whether because of Mother Nature or the mistakes of ourselves or others – an insured’s first thought after the crisis has passed is to contact his or her homeowners’ insurance company to file a claim. For those homeowners who do not carefully read their policies, they are often dismayed to find that their homeowner’s policy covers far fewer events and disasters than they initially assumed. This often leaves the homeowner on the hook for the cost of repairing the damage.
It is not uncommon for certain events and happenings that result in damage to a home to be excluded from coverage under the homeowner’s insurance policy. Knowledge regarding what is and what is not covered – and what excluded events can be covered under a separate policy – is essential to ensuring your home is adequately protected against the uncertainties of life.
What Events are Commonly Excluded from Homeowners’ Insurance Policies?
Some common causes of damage that are routinely excluded from most Florida homeowners’ insurance policies include:
- Earthquakes: Especially in areas that are not prone to earthquakes, homeowners usually realize that their insurance coverage does not extend to damage caused by an earthquake. In many cases, you are able to purchase separate earthquake protection.
- Floods: Water in your house does not always mean it is not covered by your homeowners’ policy. Water damage from a pipe that has burst or a leaky faucet, as well as rain that has entered the house during a storm through a damaged or leaky roof, usually is covered by a homeowners’ policy. By contrast, damage caused by groundwater or by a body of water that has overflowed its banks generally will not be covered. Like earthquake damage, a homeowner can purchase flood insurance in addition to homeowners’ insurance.
- War: Damage to your home caused by a nuclear or conventional war is not covered under most homeowners’ policies. Damage caused by terrorist attacks, however, are usually treated differently. A terrorist attack may be viewed more as a criminal action than an act of war. In Florida, insurance companies are not permitted to exclude damage caused by terrorism from homeowners’ insurance policies.
- Dogs and Other Animals: If you have a dog, injuries caused by that dog may not be covered under your homeowners’ insurance policy.
Protecting Yourself Where Your Homeowners’ Policy Does Not
For several of the above-listed events (and for some others not discussed in this blog), an additional policy can be purchased to protect your home and its contents from a specific threat. It is important that homeowners read their insurance papers carefully in order to ascertain what damage is and is not covered, so they can plan accordingly. For example, Florida policyholders might consider flood insurance a prudent choice given our state’s abundance of water and risk of hurricanes and other flood-producing events.
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].