What types of incidents aren’t covered under a standard home insurance policy?

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Asked August 2, 2010

1 Answer


Assuming you have an HO-3 insurance policy, you are covered for most accidental damages and liabilities that may happen in or around the home. You are not covered against acts of war, floods, earthquakes, or bringing your home into compliance with local building codes. Special coverages, called riders, are available to add coverage for flooding if you deem it necessary, or earthquakes if you live in a zone where those may happen. If you live in a zone where a particular natural disaster is a common threat, such as earthquakes and California or Florida and hurricanes, the coverage you need may only be available through special carriers that offer an insurance pool where many different companies share in the risks.

Home insurance does not pay to bring your home up to code. Even worse, if the home is not compliant, you may find it difficult to get home insurance because the risk of insuring it is too high.

The standard HO-3 home insurance policy has these exclusions:

  • Loss to Property - Includes faulty zoning, poor construction and inappropriate materials.
  • Water Damage - Includes all water damage, including sewage and foundation seepage.
  • Earth Movement - Any movement of the earth, including sink holes, mudslides, and shock waves.
  • Ordinance or Laws - Includes demolition or structural changes required by code.
  • Governmental Action - Includes destruction or seizure by any governmental agency for any legal reason.
  • War - Including undeclared war and civil wars and unrest.
  • Nuclear Hazards - Includes nuclear waste, detonation, and contamination.
  • Intentional Loss - Any loss that you participated in or allowed to happen for specific gain.
  • Neglect - Includes any losses that could have been prevented with responsible property management.

Answered August 2, 2010 by Anonymous

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