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Video — What Home Insurance Does NOT Cover

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There are potential damages and costs to homes that are not covered by most ordinary policies. These include repairs to burst pipes, sink holes, flood damage, mold, sewer issues, damage from earthquakes, damage caused by construction accident. Injuries sustained from dogs Psychological counseling for issues related to home damage, Termite damage injuries sustained while using a swimming pool and home damage caused by war. Review your policy specifics and your situation carefully.

12 Things That Are NOT Covered By Home Insurance

Homeowners insurance doesn't cover everything that could happen to your home. Flooding, earthquakes, termites, and mold are all things that standard home insurance policies don't cover. But you can add extra coverage to your policy, such as flood insurance and water backup coverage, to make sure you are fully protected.

12 things that your home insurance doesn't cover

  1. Flooding
  2. Landslides, earthquakes, and other types of ground movement
  3. Termites, rats, and other pests can cause problems.
  4. Mold
  5. Aggressive or dangerous dogs
  6. Poor care or maintenance
  7. Surges or loss of power
  8. Businesses run from home
  9. Local law or building code that says you have to bring your home up to code
  10. Damage done on purpose by you or another family member who lives there
  11. Nuclear risks
  12. War
Perils are risks that your homeowners or renters insurance policy will NOT cover. Lightning, fire, and theft are all examples of perils that every standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover. This means that if any of the following damage your house or another building on your property, your home insurance company won't pay to fix it.


Homeowners insurance does not cover water damage caused by natural flooding, rain, backed-up sewer lines or sump pumps, or water that seeps up from the ground and damages your home's foundation.

Water damage from broken pipes or a broken water heater, on the other hand, would be covered. Also, if a fire or explosion in your home is directly caused by one of the types of water damage that aren't covered, you probably won't have to pay for repairs.

Landslides, earthquakes, and other types of ground movement

Ground movement refers to the damage caused by earthquakes, land shock waves or tremors before and after volcanic eruptions, landslides, mudslides, mudflow, subsidence, sinkholes, and any other sinking or shifting of the earth.

This exclusion does not apply to damage caused by a fire or explosion because the earth moved. It also doesn't cover theft losses or damage caused by an earthquake. So if a thief breaks into your house through a crack left by an earthquake and steals your stuff, your insurance might pay to get it back.

Termites, rats, and other pests.

Animals like rats, termites, bees, bats, bed bugs, and other infestations usually aren't covered by homeowner's insurance, unless it's a very rare situation.

If a termite infestation causes part of your house to fall down, it's likely that this will be covered by the "collapse" part of your policy's "additional coverage." But if you just want to get rid of an infestation, you may have to pay for that yourself.


Whether or not your homeowners insurance will cover mold damage depends on what caused the mold in the first place. Most of the time, your homeowners insurance won't cover mold that is caused by a long-term leak, poor home maintenance, or flooding caused by nature.

But if the mold is caused by something sudden and unexpected, like a leak in your plumbing that you didn't know about, your insurance company might pay for the damage if you contact them right away.

Aggressive or dangerous dogs

Even though homeowners insurance usually covers medical and legal costs from dog bites, certain dog breeds and dogs with a history of biting could be left out of your liability coverage. But there are a number of insurance companies that are dog-friendly and will gladly cover your good boy.

Poor care or maintenance

This is a term in homeowners insurance that means you didn't do anything you could have done to keep your property from getting damaged. In other words, homeowners insurance usually doesn't cover things like normal wear and tear, leaks that are easy to spot and fix, and maintenance issues.

Take, for example, a pipe under the kitchen sink that leaks for weeks or months and causes the wood in your kitchen cabinets and floorboards to rot. If you made a claim, your insurance company would probably be able to use the neglect exclusion to say that it wasn't covered.

But if a plumbing problem causes a leak and mold to grow inside your walls, your insurance company probably wouldn't be able to prove that you were careless and you might be covered for the damage.

Surges or loss of power

Your policy won't cover damage from power surges or outages caused by your utility company or anything else that happens somewhere else. But if something on your property caused the power outage, like a short circuit that started a fire, that would be covered.

Businesses run from home

Personal liability is not covered by homeowners insurance for home businesses like daycares or pet boarding. Policies also only cover about $2,500 worth of business property. Also, it wouldn't cover trees, plants, or shrubs that are grown for profit. Whether or not your home insurance covers cannabis depends a lot on the policy, the insurance company, and the state where you live.

Local law or building code that says you have to bring your home up to code

This means any damage or loss caused by a local building law or ordinance that must be followed to bring your home up to code. This includes building, fixing, remodeling, renovating, or tearing down a building that hasn't already been damaged by a covered loss.

Damage done on purpose by you or another family member who lives there

Your home insurance won't pay for any damage or loss that you or a family member who lives there did on purpose. That means that if your angry teen spray-paints your house, your insurance won't pay to make it look like it did before.

Same thing if you or someone in your family hurts or hurts someone else on purpose. The personal liability part of your policy pays for legal and medical costs if you hurt someone or damage their property by accident, but not if you do it on purpose.

Nuclear risks

This rule doesn't cover any kind of nuclear reaction, radiation, or radioactive contamination, whether it was done on purpose or not. But fire damage caused by the nuclear danger would be paid for.


Your home insurance doesn't cover damage caused by war, whether it's a declared or undeclared war, a civil war, a nuclear war, or a fascist uprising in the nation's capital.

FAQs & Other Common Issues

If your house or things are damaged or destroyed by a government or public agency, your homeowners insurance won't pay to fix or replace it.

Are pools and trampolines home insurance exclusions?

Pools and trampolines aren't always not covered by home insurance. It depends on the insurance company. Some companies will cover your trampoline for damage and liability claims as long as it is surrounded by a safety net, while other companies may not cover it at all. Even though most insurance companies will cover pools, you'll probably have to pay more because you're more likely to have to make a liability claim.

What is a "no-coverage" clause?

There are some kinds of damage or loss that your homeowners insurance won't pay for. These are called "exclusions." In other words, your home insurance won't pay for repairs if your house is damaged or destroyed by something listed in the "Exclusions" section of your policy.

There are two main types of coverage in a homeowner's insurance policy that spell out what kinds of risks are covered.

Perils are risks that your homeowners or renters insurance policy will cover. You are covered and not covered for things like fire, lightning, and theft.

Named peril policies

If you have a named peril policy, you are only covered for the 16 things that are listed in your policy. If you can't show that your property was damaged by a named peril, you won't get your money back. Named perils coverage is usually found in the section of your policy that covers your personal property.

Open peril policies

If you have a "open peril" policy, it means that you are covered against all kinds of loss, except for the ones listed in your policy. Under open perils coverage, it is up to your insurance company to show that the damage or loss was not caused by something that is covered. Most of your policy's coverage for "open perils" is in the section for "dwelling and other structures."

Exclusions in insurance policies allow insurers to offer better coverage.

Even though insurance exclusions are often seen as bad, they actually let insurers write the broadest coverage possible. This means that your house is protected from pretty much everything except the things listed on your policy.

There are 4 extra things you can add to your home insurance policy.

Even though home insurance exclusions may seem like they can't be changed, insurance companies often offer coverage add-ons, or endorsements, that cover losses that aren't usually covered.

For some exclusions, like intentional loss and neglect, you'll probably have to take the loss on your own. There is no endorsement in the world that will cover losses caused by negligence or carelessness.

But you may be in luck if you want extra protection from earthquakes or water damage.

Water backup coverage: Most standard policies don't cover damage caused by backed-up sewer lines or sump pumps, but water backup coverage basically makes your policy cover damage caused by sewage backups and overflows. If your sewer line or sump pump backs up and floods your basement, water backup coverage can help pay for the cleanup and repairs.

Mold damage rider: Mold damage is usually covered by a standard policy if it's caused by something sudden and unexpected, like a pipe bursting or a broken appliance. You may also be covered if the mold came from a hidden pipe that leaked behind a wall or under the floor. But most policies only cover you up to a certain limit, like $1,000. A mold damage rider raises this limit to between $10,000 and $50,000 and usually covers more causes of mold growth, like wet or dry rot that forms slowly over time.

Earthquake endorsement: This add-on lets your home insurance cover damage caused by earthquakes, tremors, and shock waves, which were previously not covered because they were caused by "earth movement." You could also get a separate policy for earthquakes to make sure you are fully protected.

Flood insurance: Most insurance companies don't let you add flood coverage to your homeowners insurance, but they do offer separate flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Marco Giordano
Writer, Researcher & Video Editor
January 27, 2023
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