- December 19 2022
- | Insurance
Homeowners Insurance Exclusions
You pay your homeowners insurance premiums under the belief that you are covered against any kind of damage. These can be anything from busted water pipes to those events caused by natural disasters such as flooding.
When you file a homeowners insurance claim, you are filing your claim expecting to be compensated for these damages afterward. The problem is that certain items are excluded from your homeowner’s insurance policies. These are events that are not covered by the insurance company. You have to pay for any damages yourself from things like flooding. These exclusions can be devastating for you, and you must know what to do.
Our attorneys at Leverty & Associates can help with our knowledge and experience in working on these cases. We practice in insurance and personal injury law. You will speak with a qualified attorney who will look over your options and tell you what we can do.
Contact us today at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702) 507-0201 (Las Vegas) to schedule your free consultation.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Not Cover?
What is covered by your homeowners insurance company depends on the language of your insurance policy. Homeowners insurance may not cover damage that is caused by:
- Water: Water damage from busted or frozen pipes may not be covered by your homeowners insurance in some, limited circumstances
- Mold: Mold and fungi can be prevented. These damages can destroy the value of the home. The mold may not have happened by accident but neglect, so the carrier excludes it from your policy in that instance
- Earth Movement: This could depend on whether the damage was caused by humans or by natural movement of the Earth. Again, it really depends on the actual language of your insurance policy.
- Flooding: Flooding is one of the most frequent and catastrophic events. The losses from covering the damages of flooding have bankrupted insurance companies in the past. They can’t afford to cover these costs and refer you to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
The insurance companies exclude these areas out from the contract to avoid unlimited liabilities or those that are preventable.
For example, if you want coverage against floods, you must purchase your policy through the NFIP. The NFIP was started in 1968 by Congress to reduce the costs of covering floods for insurance companies. Many carriers faced unlimited losses before this time and stopped covering floods because the risks were too great.
Call Leverty & Associates at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702) 507-0201 (Las Vegas) if you wonder whether your claim was unfairly denied. You will speak with an attorney that practices in this area of the law and can help you to decide if you have a case.
What are the Grounds for Exclusion?
The insurance company will use certain circumstances as reasons for an exclusion. A few of the most notable include:
- Costs: The costs for covering the damage are too extensive so the insurance company excludes it from the policy.
- Causes: Something that is caused by you or a human-made event is excluded. The carrier covers those events that occur out of the ordinary, not by someone doing a particular activity.
- Wear and Tear: This exclusion is common in rental properties. Rarely does an insurance company cover damages that are caused by wear and tear. They define this as long-term damage that develops over time from someone living in or using the property. You must have a lot of proof to the contrary to avoid this exclusion. Notably, most insurance policies do cover the resulting damage from the wear and tear, just not the initial wear and tear.
What are Common Exclusions in a Homeowner Insurance Policy?
The insurance company will not honor all of the claims it receives. The carriers will investigate to decide the causes. This plays a role in determining whether something is excluded. The most common ones are:
- Maintenance: Failing to do to the maintenance on your property increases the odds you will have more severe damage. Carriers are looking to see if your actions or inactions have caused the problem.
- Force Majeure: Things such as nuclear wars and chemical or biological attacks are not covered.
These are the most common exclusions insurance companies will use to avoid paying the claim. They will say that the damages are not covered under the terms of the policy.
Buying Extra Insurance Coverage for Excluded Events
You can buy separate earth movement/earthquake insurance for an additional premium if you are concerned about it, and you can buy flood insurance for water damage. Additional coverage of this type is not always cheap, so the question about whether you get the insurance depends on whether the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered is worth the additional premium that is required for the additional coverage.
Exclusions in Landlord Insurance Policies
Sometimes you will see exclusions for typical wear and tear or moderate deterioration in landlord insurance policies.
There are also situations where a landlord is reclaiming a unit after the previous long-term tenant vacates. The landlord inspects the house, sees that it is in a terrible state of disrepair, and submits a claim to the insurance company, saying, “This damage created by the tenant is vandalism, not normal wear and tear.”
In this scenario, the insurance company often will argue that it was a long-term tenant and therefore all of the damage to the property falls under the “normal wear and tear” exclusion, regardless of how extraordinary the damage may be.
It’s very important to consult an attorney who is knowledgeable of homeowner’s policies and in Nevada case law to see whether the insurance company is correct in its interpretation of the exclusion language of the policy.
Does the Insurance Company Ever Change Its Position on a Denied Claim?
With the claimant acting on his or her own behalf, the insurance company normally would not reverse itself on a decision to reject a claim.
Sometimes a claimant needs to speak with, and hire, an experienced Nevada insurance lawyer to collect on a legitimate claim. Even if it has to go to trial, occasionally insurance companies must be forced to pay on a valid claim.
Contact Us Today
Contact Leverty & Associates at (775) 322-6636 (Reno) or (702) 507-0201 (Las Vegas) if you feel your insurance claim was unfairly denied. You will speak with a qualified attorney that has experience in handling these cases. They will explain your options and help you decide the way forward.