Is the damage you suffered at your home covered under your insurance policy?

This a question insured homeowners often struggle to determine before filing a claim.  Each policy is different and must be reviewed and evaluated to identify what is and is not covered.  Some policies are “all-risk” policies meaning they cover for direct physical damage to your home caused by any peril unless specifically excluded, excepted, or endorsement limits apply, while others are “named-peril” policies meaning they only cover a stated list of named perils which could include only a few of the following general categories:

  • Hurricane
  • Fire or Lightning
  • Windstorm or Hail
  • Explosion
  • Riot or Civil Commotion
  • Aircraft
  • Vehicles (unless caused by the insured)
  • Smoke
  • Vandalism or Malicious Mischief
  • Theft (limit of liability on HOA is usually $1,000)
  • Volcanic Eruption
  • Falling Objects
  • Weight of Ice, Snow, or Sleet
  • Accidental Discharge or Overflow of Water or Steam
  • Sudden & Accidental Tearing Apart, Cracking, Burning, or Bulging
  • Freezing
  • Sudden & Accidental Damage from Artificially Generated Electric Current

Often named peril policies are even more specific in defining what peril they cover and have exceptions or limits placed upon the named perils covered requiring further interpretation to determine the extent of coverage and what you can expect as a possible outcome should you choose to pursue a claim.  

There are sometimes additional coverages under a policy that insured homeowners are unaware of or could have simply forgot they optionally selected when they obtained their policy such as (This is a sample list and is not all encompassing of all Florida property insurance policies.):

  • Reasonable emergency measures
  • Tree, shrubs, and other plants
  • Fire department service charge
  • Property removal
  • Loss assessment
  • Collapse
  • Castrophic ground cover collapse
  • Debris removal after a hurricane or other catastrophe
  • Burglarization of your property
  • Personal property damage (e.g. furniture, clothing, artwork, firearms, jewelry, etc.)
  • Limited fungi, wet rot, dry rot, mold, and bacteria coverage with differing coverage amounts
  • Limited screen enclosure coverage
  • Glass or safety glazing material coverage
  • Golf cart coverage
  • Identity Theft
  • Credit card, electronic fund transfer card or access device, forgery and counterfeit money
  • Limited water damage
  • Optional sinkhole
  • Ordinance or law coverage
  • Water backup or sump overflow
  • War and nuclear hazards rider

Even though a peril may be covered, the recovery of money to place your home back in its pre-loss condition may still be excluded, excepted, or limited.  Such exclusions could include but are not limited to:

  • Neglect
  • Ongoing long-term damage
  • Failure to prevent further damage or mitigate
  • War or nuclear hazard related damage
  • Violation of ordinance or law
  • Earth movement
  • Water flooding, tidal waves, spray, surface water, etc.
  • Power failure
  • Intentional loss
  • Governmental action
  • Assignee or third parties
  • Criminal or illegal activity
  • Pre-existing damage
  • Overlapping damage from multiple claims
  • Fungi, wet rot, dry rot, or bacteria
  • Improper or poor-quality repair work resulting in property damage
  • maintenance related causes
  • Leaks from or damages to roofs or plumbing systems caused by age, normal wear and tear, obsolescence, fading, oxidization, weathering, deterioration, decay, marring, delamination, crumbling, settling, cracking, shifting, bowing, bulging, bending, leaning, shrinkage, expansion, bellying, contraction, corrosion, 

As you can see it is not easy to interpret a property insurance policy to determine what is and is not covered under your policy.  However, at Watson Et Barnard Law as a courtesy we can take the guesswork and confusion out this determination of whether the loss you suffered is covered under your policy.  We can also explain the claims process to you and what to expect should you choose to file a claim.  Give us a call or send us a message to put our expertise to work for you in getting the money you need to restore your home to its pre-loss condition.  Remember we only get paid if you get paid on your claim.


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Christopher WatsonIs the damage you suffered at your home covered under your insurance policy?