Home insurance is important! If you've previously purchased a home, you know that the sale will not close unless the new homeowner provides proof of this insurance — and with good reason. Home insurance, also known as homeowners insurance, is priceless when the unthinkable happens: your house burns down, a thief breaks in, or your child's friend breaks her arm running in the backyard. With that said, it does not cover all of the ills that can befall your biggest investment. Fortunately, preventive home maintenance can prevent a large portion of the remaining hazards. Let's take a closer look.
1. What Does Home Insurance Cover?
Generally speaking, home insurance covers liability should a visitor get injured on your property as well as damage caused by a burglary, an accident (burst pipe or kitchen fire, for example), or a natural disaster. Practically speaking, this means that your insurer would reimburse you for home repairs or replacing some of your personal belongings should they be damaged or destroyed by a covered event. It's important to note that there is a maximum to how much your insurance will reimburse you, although there is always the option of increasing your premium for augmented protection. Other structures on your property, connected to your home or free-standing, can also be covered. This would include garages, sheds, and decks in some instances. Depending on your insurer and package, damage you accidentally cause to someone else's property may also be covered.
Pro tip: From insurance to security systems and now preventive maintenance, AAA covers all aspects of your home. Learn more about how AAA helps care for your home.
2. What Is not Included?
Home insurance provides critical coverage for some of the common disasters that can befall your home, but it's not a catchall. Floods and earthquakes are not usually included under natural disaster coverage, but separate policies are available for each. Anything outside of what we mentioned in section one typically is not included. This means damage caused by vermin or rodents, power failure, animals you own, or normal wear and tear. Also, neglect. This is a big one and encompasses everything from rot, mold, and fungus to simply failing to effect timely repairs as things age and break around the house.
Pro tip: Homeowners insurance rates can be much higher for older homes, especially if they have outdated infrastructure or systems. Keeping up with repairs isn't only good for your safety and peace of mind. It's good for your wallet too.
3. Bridging the Gap With Preventive Maintenance
While preventive home maintenance will not protect you from floods or earthquakes (although strapping down appliances and installing a sump pump help), it can have a drastic impact on the other dangers your home insurance policy doesn't cover. Undergoing a thorough assessment can identify water leaks, foundation issues, malfunctioning appliances, and failing systems in your home before they turn into costly or time critical emergencies, saving you money, time, and stress. For example, catching a leak in your crawl space early gives you an opportunity to address the source before a pool forms and rodents and vermin start to gather there and crawl up into your home.
Pro tip: Follow our House Managers' advice and get on top of commonly forgotten maintenance tasks that can cause a lot of trouble for your biggest investment.
You have health insurance and do your best to eat healthily and exercise to keep your body in good shape. Your home is no different. It deserves proper upkeep as well as insurance, should things go south.