Homeowners Insurance: "Am I Covered?"

Oklahoma homeowners often ask the question, “what does this home insurance cover?”  Coverage’s can vary a lot from one policy to another.  However, there are some things that are consistently limited or not covered at all in home policies.  Therefore, sometimes I’ll answer the question by telling my customers about these limitations.  Here are some of my top examples of things that are not covered or that have limited coverage under homeowners insurance policies in Oklahoma City, Edmond and the entire state of Oklahoma….. Rising Flood Water: Surface water and rising flood water damage is the # 1 uninsured loss in Oklahoma and the United States.  Most flood victims will tell you that they thought their home was in an area that was high enough that it would not flood. Many Oklahoma home policies do cover damage that results from a sudden rupture of water from your plumbing system or air conditioning system. Shifting Soil: Much of the soil type in Oklahoma is clay.  It expands with moisture and contracts as it dries out.  Hot and dry Oklahoma summers can result in shifts in your foundation that crack slabs and crack walls.  This type of damage is not covered by any home policy, as far as I know. Jewelry: Oklahoma home insurance policies limit coverage for theft of jewelry.  Furthermore, mysterious disappearance or a stone falling out of a setting is not usually covered unless special endorsements are purchased.  Most of your jewelry needs can be met by purchasing extra jewelry coverage.  Jewelry is usually covered up to your Personal Property policy limit in a fire loss or a tornado loss. Tools and Other Property Used In Your Business: Coverage is very limited under most policies.  You are expected to have a separate business insurance policy for these items. Sewer Back Up: This coverage is oftentimes available by endorsement.  Some companies interpret this exclusion to mean back up of a city’s main sewer line and distinguish this from an “overflow” due to a problem within your plumbing system.  I do represent one company, Safeco, that provides significant coverage for sewer back up without an extra charge. Motorized Land Vehicles: Be very careful here.  You’ll usually need a separate policy for motorcycles, dirt bikes, ATV’s, boats, trailers, etc.  However, you may be able to get coverage for a motorized wheel chair and a riding lawn mower.  You might get some coverage for a tractor if it is used “exclusively” to maintain the premises. Business Liability: Liability which arises from your business activities is almost always excluded.  Certain professions such as teachers and sales people might be able to purchase it with endorsement if you are an “employee” of someone else and not “self-employed”. Mechanical Breakdown of Appliances: This is not usually covered but is now being offered by endorsement by a growing list of companies. Damage Caused By Insects and Animals: Not Covered:  This would include damage caused by termites, dogs, squirrels, etc. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of Oklahoma home insurance coverages, limitations and exclusions.  It is my intent to help you educate yourself so you’ll be able to shop more effectively by asking the right questions.   Von Nix, CPCU Statewide Insurance Agency https://okstatewide.com