9 Things You Thought Were Covered by Home Insurance But Aren't

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By: Aquib Nawab


1 - Flood damage

Flood coverage is usually excluded from standard home insurance. However, flooding can cause enormous damage, destroying walls, floors, furniture and appliances. Living in flood zones near oceans, rivers or low-lying areas makes flood insurance critical to recover from water destruction. Policies should cover both the structure and personal property.

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2 - Earthquake damage

Earthquake coverage provides protection from foundational cracks, collapsed walls and roof damage from seismic activity. For those residing in earthquake-prone states like California, Oregon and Washington, having earthquake insurance can mean the difference between rebuilding or major financial loss. It's a necessary add-on policy.

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3 - Regular maintenance

Things like an old leaky roof, faulty electrical or broken appliances due to normal wear and tear are often excluded. But lack of maintenance can lead to severe water damage, electrical fires or other breakdowns. Policies should provide some annual coverage for preventative maintenance issues to avoid larger disasters.

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4 - Cash and jewelry

Standard policies offer limited theft coverage for cash or precious metals, often just several hundred dollars. The same for jewelry, usually with caps around $1500. Having high limits for cash and a jewelry rider to fully cover expensive pieces prevents painful losses from theft.

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5 - Landscaping

Damage from storms, wind, hail, snow or fallen trees often excludes lawns, gardens, shrubs and trees. But restoring landscaping can cost thousands. Coverage for trees alone provides protection against wind destruction, disease or lightning strikes.

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6 - Pets

Dogs may bite someone or damage furniture, while cats can cause fire by knocking over candles. Including liability and property damage coverage for pets provides peace of mind against significant expenses.

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7 - Home businesses

Using part of one's home for an office requires added coverage for valuable equipment and liability related to customers on premises. Policies should allow for home business use to protect this source of income.

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8 - Set Up Autopay

Set up autopay through the card issuer website to have your monthly bill automatically paid in full from your checking account every month. Autopay prevents missed or late payments that result in fees along with credit score dings. It also saves the hassle of manually making payments.

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9 - Track Your Spending

Check your card account frequently to review charges, confirm legitimate transactions, and watch for fraudulent activity. Many issuers provide real-time notifications when the card is used. Downloading the issuer app aids monitoring, as does budgeting software to analyze spending habits.

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