Many people who are buying a house for the first time have several misconceptions about what home insurance covers. These misunderstandings are common since so many individuals don't actually read the policies or ask enough questions of the agent.
Homeowners insurance covers accidental and unpreventable damage. It is intended for sudden events, not a problem that gradually worsens over time. For this reason, policies also pay for damage caused by vandalism.
The Concept of Prevention: Examples
The concept of prevention in the world of insurance can be confusing to homeowners.
Home insurance will typically pay for roofing repair and replacement after high-speed winds blow many shingles off. It also pays for restoration requirements due to rainwater damage inside the building because of this incident.
In contrast, water damage caused by an old, leaky roof is not usually covered. The insurer considers this to be a preventable problem. Homeowners are responsible for making sure their roof is in good condition. Roof replacement also is often not covered because the companies do not pay for problems caused by wear and tear over time.
The policy may cover water damage resulting from a broken plumbing pipe but not by a water heater that springs a leak. Broken pipes are unexpected events that normally cannot be foreseen. Water heater leaks, on the other hand, usually only occur with older appliances. The household residents should have taken precautions to prevent a leak.
A somewhat similar decision regards a termite infestation. Homeowners should be watching for signs of infestations by bugs and other pests, and they should be taking action to prevent pests from damaging their homes.
Another common misconception is the idea that insurance pays for repairs when a tree falls onto another person's house. In this case, the policy connected with the damaged home would pay for repair work. That might seem unfair, but because it is a nearly universal standard, the guideline streamlines the process. The neighbor was probably not to blame for the tree's demise.
There also may be confusion about when a homeowner is liable for someone's injury on the property. A prevalent example involves someone slipping and falling on icy pavement. The property owner generally is not considered liable if there was no reasonable way to know that ice had developed. A freak ice storm that occurs suddenly due to unexpected plunging temperatures is an example.
People who are buying a home and have questions about insurance coverage may contact a home insurance agent for assistance.