Homeowners’ insurance is crucial because it protects you from the financial consequences of unexpected problems with your home. Usually, policies include liability issues and damage to the structure or contents of your building. While home insurance in Victorville covers a wide variety of risks, it isn’t comprehensive, and you might need to take out additional policies. You can find out what is and isn’t covered by looking at your policy’s documents.
Typically, your insurance is limited to natural disasters, man-made issues like vandalism, and liability lawsuits. However, you might also need protection for very valuable items, your car, issues with your pets or household pests, and the business you are running from home. Read on to find out what isn’t covered by home insurance, so you can determine whether you need to purchase an additional policy.
What Isn’t Covered by Home Insurance?
The purpose of home insurance is to protect you from losses that are unexpected and outside your control. Regular wear and tear, your appliances, damage caused by animals, and issues that arose because you failed to properly maintain your property aren’t included. Similarly, you won’t be protected if you leave your home empty for many months at a time or if you run certain kinds of businesses from your house.
To find out whether your current insurance is comprehensive enough, speak to an insurance agent. They can assess your risks and explain your options to you. If you decide to purchase additional policies or to switch to a different home insurance company, they can help you find the best policies.
Regular Wear and Tear
Every property suffers from wear and tear, no matter how well you look after it. Over time, you’ll start to notice discoloration on your walls, the paint peeling off, small areas of mold in your bathroom, or stains on your carpet. Unfortunately, this is considered normal, and your insurance policy won’t cover it.
It’s also worth remembering that damage from storms and other disasters might not be covered if the reason for the problem is wear and tear. For instance, you won’t get a lot of money for a 50-year-old roof that collapses during a heavy rainshower because part of the issue is the decaying structure, and a newer roof wouldn’t have caved in.
While many of your internal structures might be covered if you have contents insurance, it’s unlikely that your policy will replace your appliances, which might include your washing machine, your dishwasher, your tumble dryer, your fridge, and your freezer.
However, many of the manufacturers offer a guarantee, so you might be covered if they break within the first few years. Some appliance companies also offer optional insurance, which you can take out if you want to lower your risk levels.
Damage You’re Responsible For
If you directly or indirectly caused damage to your property, it’s unlikely that your home insurance in Victorville will cover it. Some common examples of this are DIY incidents, such as breaking one of your walls or your ceiling while working on a project or damage caused by children. Spillages or stains on your furniture, curtains, and carpets also aren’t covered.
People often wonder whether the damage caused by their pets is covered by their insurance. Will your policy cover a ruined carpet, chewed-up furniture, or a scratched floor? Normally, the answer is “no,” although it depends on the exact type of policy you have.
When you aren’t living in your building, the likelihood of a problem increases. This is because you won’t be there to notice if something goes wrong, so small issues are able to spiral out of control. What’s more, criminals might notice that your home is empty, so they are more tempted to break in. Insurance companies know this, so your home insurance might not cover you if you go away for a long time.
Usually, short vacations won’t affect your insurance coverage, so if you’re just going on a two or three-week trip, you’re unlikely to run into any issues. People who leave their homes unoccupied for longer than a month must check with their insurance provider to make sure they are still covered. Most policies cover empty homes for 30-60 days, and after that, the owners need to get unoccupied home insurance.
Very Valuable Items
In addition to the structures of your building, you can also get the contents insured. However, the payout you receive for each item might be limited. If you have very valuable possessions, such as jewelry, collectors’ items, or antiques, it might be worth getting extra insurance. This type of policy will cover the full amount of the item, so it will be much easier for you to replace it.
Car insurance is separate from home insurance, and most homeowners need to take out both policies. When something happens to your home, your home insurance pays, but when your vehicle is damaged, your auto insurance policy kicks in. While the difference is usually clear-cut, the lines can blur when the accident happens at your own home, for example, if your garage’s ceiling collapses onto your vehicle.
Sometimes, home insurance will pay for some of the damage, especially for the items stored inside your car. To make things easier and to save money, choosing the same company for both your auto and your home insurance could be a good idea. You’re likely to get a better offer that way, and you won’t have to worry about dealing with two separate companies.
Damage Caused By Pests
One of the biggest problems homeowners have is pests in their houses. Rats, cockroaches, ants, and termites are fairly common, and they can cause a lot of problems. Unless you have an add-on policy, it’s unlikely that your home insurance in Victorville will cover this issue. To prevent issues, always check your home for pests, and don’t delay getting an exterminator in when you find some.
Running a Business from Home
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people started working from home. While some of them have returned to the office, others are still spending the majority of their working days at the home office. In most cases, this isn’t a problem because it doesn’t increase your risk. But if you are regularly inviting customers or coworkers to your home, there could be liability issues that aren’t covered by your home insurance.
Similarly, expensive work equipment might not be covered, especially if it is worth many thousands of dollars. Before setting up a permanent home office, check with your insurance company to make sure you’re not putting yourself at risk.
What Does Regular Insurance Cover?
The most common home insurance is an HO-3 policy. This covers the structures of your home, its contents, and liability issues such as compensation for an injury and legal expenses. Some of the adverse events that are included are fire and lightening, a windstorm, an explosion, smoke, theft, vandalism, and damage caused by an aircraft or vehicles.
Most HO-3 policies come with some exclusions, such as wear and tear, war, a power failure, or an earthquake. However, a wide range of issues are included, and your home will be covered unless the damage stems from one of the excluded perils listed in your policy documentation.
What Does a More Comprehensive Policy Cover?
Homeowners who are worried about running into issues with their property can get a more comprehensive policy, called an HO-5 policy. This will protect you from the same kinds of circumstances, but you will receive the full replacement cost of your items instead of their current value. Not all insurance companies offer these comprehensive policies, so you might not have as much choice. However, they are good options for new buildings.
Do I Need Extra Home Insurance in Victorville?
Almost every homeowner needs some sort of extra insurance. In California and most other states, vehicle insurance is a legal requirement for all cars that are operated or parked on local roads. The average cost of a policy is around $2,200 per year, but you can shop around and find the best deal in your area. People with a clean driving record, a high credit score, and a safe vehicle are likely to pay less, while young and inexperienced drivers might pay more.
You might also need additional policies, for example if you keep very expensive items at your home or if you use costly work equipment in your home office. A good insurance agent can help you determine whether you are covered by your home insurance policy or whether you need to purchase additional products. They can also prepare quotes for you, so you don’t risk overpaying or paying for something you don’t need.
Everyone who owns a property needs to get home insurance in Victorville because this protects the building’s structures and content. However, some items and perils aren’t covered, so you might need to get an additional policy. Get in touch with us at ISU Armac and ask us for quotes. We can help you find the most comprehensive and cost-effective insurance in your area.