What is not covered by my homeowner's insurance?

Q:

What is not covered by my homeowner's insurance?

A:

What is not covered by your homeowner insurance policy depends on the details of your specific policy. Always refer to your policy wordings to discover exactly what is and is not covered.

That said, I can still give you a general run down of some of the exclusions you'll find in the "model" policies that form the basis of the actual homeowner's policies available on the market.

In general, there are three base homeowner's insurance forms: homeowner's basic, homeowner's broad, and homeowner's comprehensive.

Homeowner's Basic Form

This form covers the building and personal property for named perils only. Everything else is excluded. Some of the common named perils include:

  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke
  • Windstorm or hail
  • Theft

Some notable exclusions include:

  • Buildings for business use
  • Dwellings vacant for more than 30 days
  • Illegally acquired property
  • Property damaged by an insured's intentional acts
  • Damage caused by the application of heat, such as clothes damaged in a dryer (note, however, that while the clothes themselves would not be covered, resultant damage is covered)

Homeowner's Broad Form

This form covers personal property for named perils, and buildings for all risks. Now, "all risks" does not literally mean there is coverage for any and every risk; there are exclusions for things like certain kinds of water damage, wear and tear, earthquakes or other general earth movement – although you can get an endorsement for these (see 5 Water Damage Home Insurance Scenarios: Are You Covered? to learn more).

Homeowner's Comprehensive Form

This form covers both the building(s) and personal property for all risks. This is your most complete coverage form. Some notable exclusions include:

  • Sporting equipment due to use
  • Wear and tear or mechanical breakdown
  • Settling of building
  • Damage to property while being worked on (resultant damage is covered)
  • Water damage
  • Avalanche, landslides, earthquakes, or general earth movement

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Written by Jacques Wong
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Jacques grew up around the insurance industry and began actively participating in 2013. Since then, he has gotten a Level 2 license, won an Insurance Council of BC award in 2015 for academic excellence in the insurance licensing courses and educates insurance professionals through PNC Learning.   Full Bio