[#] Potential Surprises In Your Homeowner's Insurance

Homeowners insurance is a topic that most people rarely think about, unless you are shopping for insurance or have a claim, it usually does not cross your mind. There are several things that many people do not know about their policy because many topics are not discussed, leaving you in the dark. Here are a few common surprises:

1. Natural Disasters

Many people mistakenly believe that their homeowners insurance covers against natural disasters. A flood, for example, will not be covered by your homeowners insurance. If your house floods from the outside and is damaged, you are on your own to repair it. If your house is blown away in a hurricane, a typical policy will not cover it. Those that live in high risk areas near the coast have to pay into a hurricane insurance pool.

The same idea applies to earthquakes. In California, there are only a few insurance companies that offer earthquake insurance. Wildfires may or may not be covered by your insurance company. You will definitely want to check with your provider on these issues to see what your policy covers. 

2. Mold

One thing that a lot of people don't know is that their policy does not cover mold. Although in the past, it was covered, many states are completely cutting it out. Mold is an issue that can grow and grow without anyone even knowing it. By the time it is discovered, it might have completely taken over the house. Insurance companies are not covering horror stories of toxic and black mold If you have had water issues in the past, it is probably a good idea to have your house tested.

3. War and Terrorism

This is something that most people have never thought of. If your house is involved in an act of terrorism it will not be covered by homeowners insurance. If anyone destroys your home during war, your home will not be covered.

Riots or civil activities are typically covered, however, after September 11, insurers have taken a different stance on terrorism. Most commercial policies now exclude acts of terrorism. 

4. Dogs

Dogs are a tricky issue for insurance. Insurance companies pay over $300 million dollars every year to those that have been bitten by dogs. The homeowners insurance average cost goes up when you own certain breeds of dog. Rottweiler, Pit Bulls and other aggressive breeds may cause you to be unattractive to insurance companies. They may not cover you at all or they will raise your premiums significantly. It is better not to own a dog from the aggressive breeds list. 

5. Intentional Damage

Intentional arson or damage would not be covered and the rule is applied to all family members. If you have a teenager that rebels and causes damage, it is not covered. The same goes for feuding spouses, or anyone else that would be covered by the policy.