Have you fully reviewed your homeowner’s policy lately? There are most likely some gaps in your coverage that you are unaware of and could carry some serious financial consequences. Two of the biggest gaps you may find are flooding and earthquakes but there can be other hidden voids that are just as important.
FLOODING | Whether or not you reside in a flood area, you may want to think about some separate flood insurance. According to Flood Smart, flood claims over the last five years have averaged $39,000 with the average cost of flood coverage costing only $700 a year.
SEWER BACKUPS | Ever have a child try flushing a Barbie? Think clogged sewer or sump pump here. Just like flood damage, sewer backups aren’t covered by standard insurance policies. So in the unfortunate event that your basement floods and personal items are lost, you most likely won’t receive compensation. Plus side, this is a tiny additional expense that could have you exhaling in relief down the road.
MOLD | With moisture also comes spores, and a lot of them. They embed themselves into your air ducts, carpet, trim and behind drywall. It occurs naturally and most species are harmless but some species can be extremely damaging and a true health hazard. Some of the side effects could be nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, wheezing, eye and skin irritations which can be worse in persons with asthma or increased allergy symptoms. Whether you’re covered or not comes down to the origin of the mold. Something like a sudden burst pipe that is taken care of immediately might be covered in your standard plan but if you come across mold during a remodel, you may see these costs coming from your own pocket.
RELOCATION EXPENSES | If ice dams or a flood cause you to flee your home for an extended period of time, you may find out the hard way that all insurance plans do not cover relocation cost, even if the home loss itself is covered. If you add additional living-expense coverage to your standard policy, your safe from up to 12 months.
EARTHQUAKES | Yes, we live in Michigan and not California. However, the U.S. Geological Survey’s seismic hazard map should do a pretty good job of convincing you. Tremors happen everywhere, remember the 4.2 magnitude earthquake we felt back in July? It was the strongest earthquake Michigan has felt in over 67 years. So if you’re thinking we are safe, think again. Great news though, if you’re not located near a major fault line, your rates for earthquake insurance it’s pretty affordable.
POOLS | Your liability insurance probably doesn’t go nearly high enough when it comes to pool-related injuries. We suggest calling your agent and talk about increasing your limit as well as build a fence around the pool for good measure. You may want to also think twice about having all the neighborhood kids over next time. Side note: Your plan most likely not covered if your pool freezes and causes structural damage either so drain and winterize it long before the first frost.
TERMITES | These tiny pests cause an average of $5 billion worth of damage in the U.S. each year. And guess what, it isn’t covered by your homeowners insurance. Termite insurance is typically obtained through a pest removal service and is definitely worth looking into. It’s a good idea to play offense against these little guys.
TRAMPOLINES | Do you have one of these springy deathtraps in your yard? The Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that there were 104,691 ER worthy injuries from trampolines in 2014 alone. Insurance companies have taken notice and some have even restricted coverage unless you have spring pads and net enclosures. Others have excluded coverage completely.
If any of these gaps are concerning to you, dial up your neighborhood agent to begin plugging some of the holes yo