Home insurance protects your home, but it only protects against the types of damage explicitly described in your policy. In order to truly protect your home and family, you need to make sure you have the right insurance policy before you need to use it. Discovering your policy doesn’t cover water damage after a flood is a nightmare no one should have to deal with. To prepare for the unexpected, be sure to read the fine print and consider any additional coverage options. You may be surprised what isn’t covered in your basic plan.
Read the Fine Print
Although home insurance is designed to protect your home, the fact is that insurance providers are businesses, and they always seek a profit. Insurance companies make bets about the integrity and safety of your home. If no disasters strike, the insurance company will make the most profit. When accidents happen or natural disasters damage your home, you expect your insurance to cover the cost of repairs.
Since insurance companies seek profit, however, they naturally seek to cut their losses wherever possible. You must read the fine print of your insurance policy very carefully. If a specific service isn’t explicitly listed, your insurance company may deny you that service when you need it most. Different terms indicate different kinds of repairs. Restoration isn’t the same as mitigation. Mitigation isn’t the same as remediation. Don’t take a sales person’s word for it. Their mistake will become your problem. Always read the fine print.
Sometimes, your plan may offer additional coverage options for an extra fee in addition to your regular premiums. These options cover services for the least likely situations homeowners expect to face. Many plans do not cover flood damage, for instance. However, even if you don’t live in a flood plain, low points in your yard can fill with water during a heavy rain, neighborhood drainage systems may fail, and there’s always the chance a pipe will burst in your basement. If your home has a sump pump or other basement drainage system, this is a clear sign you need flood protection. Nonporous soil in many areas sheds water rather than absorbing it, so all it takes is one heavy rain and a downed power line for a basement to flood.
Also check that your policy covers restoration and not just mitigation or remediation. Fire damage leaves permanent scars on your home if you don’t have restoration services. Conversely, restoration only begins after mitigation services bring a halt to any remaining fire damage. One or both of these steps may be under optional coverage options with your insurance company. If disaster strikes, you will need both.
Every home insurance plan needs mitigation, remediation, and restoration coverage. You need both fire damage coverage and water damage coverage. You don’t need property in a flood plain or a wildfire hazard zone to validate these services. Home insurance prepares you for the unexpected, and by leaving vital services out of your policy, you are gambling with your future. Your home is your greatest investment. Be sure your home insurance protects it.