coveringyourassets

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5 Exclusions Your Phoenix Homeowners Insurance Probably Doesn’t Cover

This list includes five common risks you may think you’re covered for – but really aren’t.  Most of these are excluded from standard homeowners insurance policies here in Phoenix (and the rest of the country) and will only be covered if you purchase optional coverage for an additional fee, if available.  They are:

  1. Trampolines:  According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission 92,159 people received emergency room treatment for injuries caused on trampolines in 2010.  This fact has not escaped the attention of insurance companies.  Most Arizona homeowners policies specifically exclude coverage for trampolines, and some companies won’t sell you coverage at all (even excluding the trampoline) if you own one.  Not telling them won’t change anything, as many policies include language that states they can deny coverage or cancel your policy if you fail to disclose that you purchase one.
  2. Owning a “Bad Dog:”  There are 11 canine breeds that regularly make the “bad dog” list of many Phoenix home insurers – and may be excluded from animal liability coverage on your policy.  These breeds are:  Akita, Alaskan Malamute, Chow Chow, Doberman Pinscher, German Shepherd, Pit Bull, Presa Canario, Rottweiler, Siberian Husky, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, and any wolf hybrid.  Insurers claim when they identify and exclude breeds that are more likely to bite, this helps lower insurance premiums for everyone in Arizona.  However, some people feel animals should be judged individually, not as a group through breed profiling.  Even the AKC has voiced their opinion, saying that these breeds actually end up saving money by deterring break-ins.  But, until this policy is changed, you could be sitting on a HUGE potential lawsuit if you own a dog of this breed and it ends up biting anyone.  Your homeowners will likely not cover the claim and you’ll be left to defend yourself against any liability.
  3. Jewelry, Fine Art & Collectibles:  Most standard policies include a small amount of coverage for these types of things (up to, say, $2,500 maximum).  However, if you’ve got any of these items (or a combination of them) that is valued at more than that, you’ll need to purchase a rider to your policy that increases your coverage for these items.  Expect to have your items appraised, photographed, etc.  so the insurance company will agree to a coverage amount in the event of a covered loss.
  4. Mold or Fungus:  Insurance companies used to cover mold or fungus if it was the direct result of a covered risk.  That made sense, right?  If your home is flooded because a water pipe breaks inside the wall and mold develops, your insurance would cover mold treatment and removal.  However, recent litigation has changed the way Arizona insurers deal with mold and fungus.  Many of them have excluded coverage altogether – even when caused by a covered risk.  So, make sure to read your policy carefully so you know if you’re covered or not – as mold and fungus can be a very expensive fix if you have to come out of pocket on it.
  5. Pool Diving Boards and Slides:  Here in Phoenix, pools are common.  If you have an older pool, it wouldn’t be unusual to have either a diving board or slide.  Just keep in mind that some companies will charge a surcharge for either of these items or exclude them from coverage, while some companies won’t issue you insurance at all.

The worst thing is having something terrible happen, only to realize you’re not covered for it.  Not only are you dealing with the emotional aftermath of the situation, but now you’re left holding the bag as far as liability or replacement goes.

My advice is the same as always … pull out your policy and read through it carefully to see what’s covered — as well as what’s excluded.  As the old saying goes … the devil is in the details.

Until next time …

Tavisha, Go Time Insurance

(602) 938-1515

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