Home insurance covers a wide variety of events and situations, both naturally occurring and things that happen at the hands of other people. What isn't usually covered are things that fall under the category of an "Act of God", which usually refers to something so unlikely or rare that an insurance company cannot properly account for it in their risk models. Home insurance premiums are kept at a reasonable rate because of these exclusions, which very few homeowners will ever need to deal with in the first place. These five disasters are so rare for Utah that insurance will not cover them under a basic policy.
FloodsNo standard homeowner's policy will cover flood damage, which is why people who live in flood-prone areas often purchase add-on coverage for floods. Flooding is not a major concern in most areas, but when one does occur, the homeowner is almost always left footing the bill. Even in an area well away from a floodplain, heavy rains can cause water to seep into a basement, especially if your sump pump cannot keep up with the precipitation. This type of damage can take a couple of weeks to clear up and can cost several thousands of dollars depending on how severe the flood was.
Sewer BackupsIt is rare for a sewer system to backup into a home in most cases, but when it does, it can cause a lot of problems. Homes connected to a city sewer system will generally never have this problem, even in the heaviest of rains. What is more common is a clog forming somewhere in the sewer line between the home and the main. This can be caused by tree roots growing into the pipe, or it can be caused by flushing too much down the drain in your home. Septic systems can also backup if they are not cleaned out on a regular basis, or if the leech field has become oversaturated.
MoldAny kind of water damage can quickly lead to mold if it is not cleaned up properly and in a timely manner. Since mold is almost always the result of a homeowner's own actions, even though it is unintentional, insurance companies will not pay to have it removed. Mold is most often found in bathrooms, especially if they are not well ventilated and contain a shower, but it can also be found quite a bit in kitchens and other areas that might have incidental contact with water. Depending on the size of the home, remediation can take a few days and cost more than $1,000.
Maintenance DamageDamaging your home while trying to work on it is another situation that almost always occurs as a result of a homeowner's actions, making it unlikely your insurance will cover the cost of any repairs. Common mistakes include:
- Breaking a water line
- Damaging the electrical system
- HVAC damage