Are You Sure Your South Florida Home Insurance Covers These?
Here is a surprise for you, these ten items may leave you high and dry if you put in a claim to your homeowner’s insurance company.
Let’s take a look at a list received from insurance experts of potential claims that people often think are included under their policy, but are not.
As always, read your policy in depth and pay extra attention to the section that lists out all the exclusions. After reading, if you still have any questions, contact your insurance agent. If you would like a second opinion, you can contact us at Broward Insurance.
In actuality, there are few insurance companies in Florida, or the nation, that will cover these. Be careful, owning a trampoline might even disqualify you from getting property insurance from a handful of companies. The statistics from the Consumer Product Safety Commission in 2010 showed that over 92,000 trampoline-related injuries required a visit to the emergency room. Insurance companies are well aware of that figure, and they stay far away from covering trampolines.
Well, I won’t tell the insurance company, you say. That will not go too far. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, these companies can, and will deny coverage or cancel your policy if they are not told when you put in a pool or purchase that trampoline your kids have been eyeing.
Screened Pool Enclosures
After Hurricane Wilma had blown through South Florida, some insurers decided that replacing all the blown down enclosures will never happen again. So, they excluded them from being covered. Other insurers simply will base coverage on the strength of the screen enclosure and how secure it is anchored to the home. Using thicker angles, larger screws, staggered angles and having screen attachment extrusions are a definite if you want the screen enclosure to stay anchored, according to a Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management Center report.
Pool enclosures can account for over 10% of the entire value of the home, and they do not hold up well in high winds and won’t last against flying debris.
Pools Without A Surrounding Fence
A cage, in insurance terms, is a necessity if you want your pool insured. Without one, pools will be ineligible, and illegal, according to Florida State law. According to the state safety commission, over 300 children, five years old and younger, drown in pools every year.
You Can Add Diving Boards To The List
Do not expect to get liability insurance to cover the risks associated with diving boards or slides. In fact, having either of these items may cause a disqualification of your insurance or no coverage at all.
Insurance companies based in Florida have a list of dogs they consider high risk, such as pit bulls. They will often exclude coverage for bites and other accidents caused by dogs on this list. This is another reason to review your current liability policy. On top of the exclusions, some insurers add liability for dogs automatically to the policy. You might be paying for it, without even knowing you have it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that dogs bite almost 8 million people a year and cause about 800,000 injuries. If you have a dog, and that dog bites someone, you might just find your insurance company either raising your premiums or excluding the dog from the coverage.
Cold, Hard Cash
So, you don’t trust the bank, and you keep all your hard earned money under your bed cushion. Well, even if you have it in a safe, most insurance companies won’t cover it.
Some Types Of Water Damage
Now, if your pipes burst from an accident, that is usually covered, but that could be the limit of your coverage. Let’s say, the sump pump fails and sewers backup through the drains in the house and causes damage. Well, that would not be covered unless you paid extra for sewer backup coverage. A sewer backup caused by a flood would be covered by a flood insurance policy.
How about that slow leak under the sink? Well, many insurers are not covering leaks that have been occurring for more than 14 days, even if the leak could not be seen prior.
Unless you have special flood insurance, don’t plan to file a claim. If you have hurricane insurance, it won’t cover floods even if the storm was the cause of the rising water. If you live in Florida, it is highly recommended to get a flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Home Improvements And Construction Work
If there is an issue with the workmanship or faulty materials, you can’t typically file a claim.
For example, if you had a house fire, and the fire department determined it was caused by faulty construction work, all that damage would be your responsibility. Now, if the company you hired that did the work is licensed, they will have liability insurance that would cover it.
If there was prior damage or normal wear and tear to the home, it’s not covered either. If you recall, after the 2004 hurricanes, some people just through tarps over their roofs and made hasty and minor repairs and pocketed the insurance money. If the home was damaged again by a hurricane in 2005, let’s say, the insurance company would typically deny the claim.
What About Your Baseball Cards From When You Were A Kid?
Unless you purchased a rider on your policy, those cards, your jewelry, art and any other valuable collectibles would not be covered for theft or damage. Some policies include a small amount to cover these losses, but it is usually less than $1000.
If you live in Florida, you know what mold can do. Unless the mold happened “suddenly and accidentally,” liability insurance will not cover it, without a separate coverage being added.
Don’t find yourself submitting a claim and having it denied because you did not understand your homeowner’s liability insurance policy. Contact Broward Insurance, South Florida’s Best Insurance and get advice A few moments of your time will bring you the peace of mind you need.