Just as it’s important to know what your home insurance policy covers, it’s equally as important to know what isn’t covered! The good news is, some things you can get extra coverage for. But, others simply aren’t covered at all.
Here are ten things that aren’t usually covered by the typical
1. Wear and tear, and maintenance
Home insurance doesn’t cover your house or personal items from wear and tear. By wear and tear, we mean damage or deterioration resulting from ordinary use. Insurance is meant to cover things that happen suddenly – and wear and tear happens over time. If your roof is getting too old or your fridge breaks down, fixing it or replacing it won’t be covered. General property upkeep and maintenance tasks also aren’t covered by insurance. If water damage occurs because you didn’t fix a leaky toilet, for example, you’ll have to pay out of your own pocket to clean up the mess.
2. Sewer backup
Dealing with sewer backup is never fun (but it’s almost always smelly!). The aftermath of the water damage usually costs a pretty penny. Ideally, you can
3. Overland flooding
Overland water is an optional coverage. This means it’s not automatically included in home insurance policies. It covers loss or damage to your home and/or personal belongings caused by fresh water coming in through your windows and doors at ground level.
Now, you might think that fresh water comes only from rivers or lakes and that if you don’t live near one of these, you don’t need this coverage. But fresh water also includes heavy rain, spring run-off or melting snow or ice. These days, more and more homeowners are at risk of flood due to climate-change-related weather events (like severe rainstorms). Adding this coverage to your policy could save you a lot of money if flooding happens to you.
4. Frozen pipes
All home insurance policies cover sudden and accidental bursting of plumbing pipes and appliances. But if the pipes freeze while you’re away, it could be a different story. Most insurers have restrictions during the winter if you’re away from your home for more than a few days in a row. They’ll likely require you to either shut off your water supply and drain the pipes, or have someone visiting your home daily to make sure the heat is on. As always, check with your home insurance provider on how they would handle this.
5. Earthquakes and landslides
Albertans, this one applies to you! While hail coverage is included in most home insurance policies across Canada, if you’re a homeowner or renter in Alberta this coverage is optional. Because Alberta gets so much hail (darn Chinook!), the choice is yours, whether or not you want to add it, since it could raise your premium. Just be aware that if a hailstorm does happen and you don’t have hail coverage, you’re the one paying for the damage. Either way, if the forecast is calling for hail, make sure you know
7. A home business
8. Special belongings
If you own a pricey item considered to be a “
9. Loss or damage caused by mould
Mould is generally isn’t generally included in a home insurance policy, since it’s considered preventable. Even if the mould might be caused by a covered event (like a leak), determining the source of the mould can be really tricky. So, there’s no guarantee that your insurance provider will cover the cost.
10. Damage caused by animals (including skunks, raccoons, birds, vermin, rodents, bats, and insects)
Most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover damage caused by pests. If a family of squirrels or raccoons makes your attic their home, you’ll have to pay for cleanup and/or repairs costs. Whether they’re furry and cute or creepy and crawly, having unwelcome guests in your home is just one reason why it’s so important to do a