Homeowner's Insurance: Are you Covered?

by Camara Realty, LLC 03/15/2020

Image by Brasil Creativo from Shutterstock

If this is your first time owning a home, your mind is likely consumed with plans to replace the carpet or upgrade the appliances. You want to get the best deals and save money where you can. One area not to skimp, though, is in your homeowner's insurance. The last thing you want is to install the perfect spa bath only to have the sewer back up, and you find out your policy doesn't cover sewerage.

How can that be, you ask? Surprisingly, homeowner’s insurance does not cover everything. In fact, there are lots of things you may believe it covers that are nowhere to be found in the policy. While some of these things might be small annoyances, others can devastate your carefully laid plans for the perfect house.

Here are some big-ticket items that your insurance may not cover:

  • Floods: Water overflowing your property or home comes from many sources: heavy rain, tropical storms, groundwater rising, seepage, sewer backup, or water pressure from saturated soil (called hydrostatic pressure). The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) generally does not cover leakage, seepage, sewer backup, or hydrostatic pressure unless a federally defined flood caused it.

  • Sewer back: While not covered by NFIP, you may request an added endorsement to cover aging sewer systems and backed-up storm drains. Otherwise, you’re on your own for the cleanup and damages this causes in your home.

  • Mold: While posing significant home damage and health risks, mold can hide behind cabinets, in walls, under the floor, and in the insulation. With thousands of varieties, mold policies only cover infestations from specific species. These policies often have low upper limits, too, so the cost to remove it and repair the damage may fall to you.

  • Sinkholes, earthquakes, and shifting ground: Most policies exclude earth movement without specific riders. Your house may be located in an area that is prone to earthquake, mudslide, or sinkhole damage, so ask your insurance agent to provide the appropriate additions to your policy.

  • Termites: These wood and fiber-eating pests can destroy walls, floors, support beams, and other untreated wood in your home. Nationally termite damage repair is a multi-billion dollar business. Rarely do homeowner’s insurance policies cover termites. Your home inspection should reveal the presence of termites, so negotiate with the seller for termite remediation before completing your purchase.

Other items your policy may not cover are bites from pets, especially exotic animals or certain dog breeds, and accidents from high-risk toys such as trampolines and pools. You might be surprised to realize that most policies also exclude acts of war and nuclear power plant accidents.

Before you close on your home, discuss all your insurance needs with your insurance agent. If you need guidance, your real estate professional can offer advice.

About the Author
Author

Camara Realty, LLC

I have been in the real estate services business in the Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate markets for many successful years and will be here for many more. This longevity and confidence comes from my real estate services to a great many Buyers and Sellers, and their recommendations to others that result in repeat and referral business that keeps me productive and successful.

As a full service Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate professional, I work with Buyers, Sellers and Investors in real estate transactions spanning all of the price ranges and property types.

Residential Single Family – My residential single family services connect Buyers with Sellers every day, and I do it with professionalism and a total dedication to my clients. This property type is the majority of my market transactions, but by far not the only one in which I have expertise.

Condominiums – While condominiums are residential, they’re a very different market focus, and I am an expert in evaluating condos and helping Buyers and Sellers to cope with the special financing and homeowner concerns for this property type.

Multi–family – Investors are great clients for me. Multi–family properties are a very unique market. The detailed return on investment and valuation calculations investors need to evaluate properties for rental are second nature to me.
 

Vacant Land – Land is a very special property class. It’s relatively easy to show a gourmet cook a wonderful commercial kitchen in a home and see their eyes light up. It’s more of a challenge to help a Buyer or Seller to realize the potential in a piece of land. I'm the best at it in the Juno Beach, Jupiter, North Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, and Tequesta real estate markets.

Call me at 561-629-3979 or email me to start a discussion of your needs. Or, fill out this quick form and tell me about your property interests and an overview of your needs.