Your standard home insurance  policy covers some things, but not others. Exclusions define what is specifically not covered and endorsements are extra coverage that supplement your policy.
Some things people commonly and mistakenly believe are covered by their homeowner’s policy include damage caused by flooding, earthquakes or war. Not all risks and perils are insurable, while others can be covered by endorsements or by purchasing special insurance coverage such as earthquake or hurricane insurance.
Read on to learn about exclusions typically found in standard homeowner’s insurance policies and endorsements you may want to consider when purchasing insurance coverage on your home and property.
Exclusions – What is Not Covered
Exclusions are specific hazards, perils or events your insurance company does not cover.
Thus, it is critical to know exactly what your homeowner’s insurance policy will or will not cover so you will be prepared when the time comes to file a claim.
You don’t want to wonder whether that tree limb crashing through your roof, causing thousands of dollars in damage is covered or not at the time it happens!
Common exclusions in standard homeowner’s insurance policy include:
- Damage caused to your home by normal wear and tear, rust, corrosion or deterioration
- Water damage caused by floods, underground water, or water that enters through cracks in your foundation, which is called seepage
- Damage caused by your indoor plumbing becoming frozen
- Damage to the exterior of your home caused by freezing, melting, moving snow, ice, or heaving frost
- Damage caused by snow slide, landslide, mudslide or other movement of the earth
- Damage caused by pests like vermin or insects
- Damage caused by your own intentional or criminal acts
- Damage caused by a fire or explosion occurring as a result the earth moving may be covered, but read your policy carefully to be sure
Endorsements – Extra Coverage You Might Consider Purchasing
If you want coverage in addition to what your homeowner’s insurance policy provides, consider adding endorsements, which specify additional amounts, perils and risks you may be able to cover.
Endorsements you can add typically include the following:
- Coverage for guaranteed replacement costs needed to rebuild your home, assuming the requirements and conditions of your policy are met
- Coverage for extended replacement costs in the event that rebuilding exceeds expected costs, usually between 20% and 25% additional coverage is available with this endorsement
- Coverage to keep up with inflation; could be a good investment during times of high inflation or if you don’t review or amend your policy for a long period of time.
- Coverage for expensive belongings like jewelry, furs, coins, stamp collections, firearms, computers, and antiques that are over the normal policy limits; such items must be separately scheduled if you want such coverage
- Coverage for a vacation home or other secondary residence
- Coverage to protect against theft that occurs without proof of forcible entry; also can be used to broaden coverage to include personal items when they are stolen from a motor vehicle, trailer or watercraft
- Coverage to protect against credit card and depositor’s forgery, meaning the event of theft or unauthorized use of your credit cards or the forgery of checks, drafts, or promissory notes