Homeowners insurance is designed to be comprehensive and cover most calamities that happen to you and your family. However, certain disasters aren’t covered by any standard homeowners policy, and protection for these incidents must be covered in a separate policy.
Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program and from a few private insurers.
You can get replacement cost coverage for the structure of your home, but only actual cash value coverage is available for your possessions. There may also be limits on coverage for furniture and other possessions stored in your basement.
Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But also consider buying it if your house could be flooded by melting snow, an overflowing creek, or water running down a steep hill. Don’t wait until the evening news announces a flood season warning to buy a policy. There is a 30-day waiting period before federal flood coverage takes effect.
Earthquake coverage can be a separate policy or an endorsement of your homeowner’s or renter’s policy. It is available from most insurance companies, and in California, it is also available from the California Earthquake Authority. In earthquake-prone states like California, the policy comes with a high deductible.
3. Maintenance damage
It is your responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect your home from damage. Your insurance policy will not cover damage due to lack of maintenance, mold, termite infestation, and infestation from other pests.