When it comes to insurance, people often shy away from getting down to the fine print and details because they assume that it is a tedious and cumbersome process. While reading the fine print isn’t exactly fun, it is absolutely essential.
When it comes to insurance, ignorance is the opposite of bliss. Nobody wants to pay hefty premiums only to have a claim rejected because of some loophole in the policy which they were not aware of.
It’s always better to stay informed about the events that are not covered by your average HOA so that you can get additional coverage if you want.
1. Mold – limited/no coverage
As you may already know, insurance is designed to help people out of an accidental or sudden situation, and any damage that happens slowly over a while is usually not covered. The logic is that damage that has happened over some time may be preventable, fixable, or avoidable. If that’s the case, then for not getting the issue seen to in a timely fashion should not become a reason for claiming insurance. Since mold is one of those things that you could have prevented, the likelihood of it being covered is slim. And even if there is a flood or a leak, make sure that it is taken care of immediately. Leaks bring moisture which helps the mold flourish. If there has been a flood, and if you are worried about the growth of mold, some companies can offer to extend your HOA to include mold, as long as you’re willing to pay the extra premiums.
2. Damage from sinkholes
According to the USGS, around 20% of land in the US is susceptible to sinkholes. The biggest at-risk states are Florida (which is the only state that has sinkhole cover in an HOA policy), Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. Of course, New Jersey is not immune to these mini-catastrophes. If you live in any of these states, it’s possibly important to get separate insurance for this, since sinkholes can cause very intense damage. The largest recent collapse of a sinkhole was in Alabama. That hole was 325 feet long and 120 feet deep. That’s a deep hole to lose your home into.
3. Trouble due to termites
Did you know that the National Pest Management Association estimated that termites cause around $5 billion in damage in the US, every year? While termite infestation is a common issue, it is not covered by our home insurance. The solution? Well, you will have to simply be careful and conduct pest control regularly so termites do not enter your home.
4. Sewer backup situations
This is possibly one of the worst situations to be in among those not covered by insurance. A backed-up sewer can destroy walls, furniture, electrical appliances, and systems and can be frighteningly expensive to rectify. If you feel like this could be a risk, it may make sense to speak with your friendly neighborhood insurance agency and see if it is possible to consider some extra insurance at an extra premium. Most companies do not offer this kind of cover, but there are a few that could extend your home insurance to include sewer back up under the right circumstances.
5. Damage due to construction work
This kind of damage is very common. If you have hired a contractor to take care of some fixes or remodeling around the house, be sure to inquire about the status of their license for any liability. Any damage done to your house during renovations is unlikely to be covered by your home insurance. So, if you’re about to renovate look long and hard at the liability cover your contractor carries.
To sum it all up, there are plenty of not-that-unlikely possibilities that are not covered by your average home insurance. It pays to be aware of those events. You can prepare for them and avoid them to the extent possible.