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4 Major Disasters Homeowners and Renters Insurance Won't Cover

Money Girl explains 4 major disasters that are surprisingly not covered by home or renters insurance.

By
Laura Adams, MBA
6-minute read
Episode #369

Disaster #3: Sewer backups

Would it be poor taste to say that having a sewer backup really stinks? Not just because it’s a health hazard, but because cleaning it up typically isn’t covered by a standard home insurance policy.

Homeowners are responsible for maintenance of their sewer lines. If you have a sewer backup due to aging pipes, blockages from tree roots, or from excess storm water runoff, it can ruin floors, walls, electrical systems, and personal belongings.

The good news is that you can get an endorsement to your homeowners policy to cover sewer backups that could cost as little as $50 per year.

Disaster #4: Mold

Mold is another health hazard that can creep up on you in your home. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are over 1,000 different species of mold in the U.S. It can make you sick, cause allergic reactions, and be expensive to clean up.

But a standard homeowners policy typically limits coverage for mold damage, or excludes it. Some insurers offer an endorsement to increase your protection against mold.

How to Protect Your Property from Natural Disasters

The best way to protect your property and belongings from the risk of various natural disasters is to discuss your potential risk with an insurance company or agent. Ask whether you need specialized coverage beyond what a typical home or renters policy provides.

Get multiple quotes and advice from different insurance providers, such as:

Then weigh the information you’re given carefully. Ask about what discounts you may qualify for, such as having an alarm system, smoke detectors, or a new roof. Also, remember that maintaining good credit helps reduce the cost of insurance. Read or listen to What You Should Know About Credit-Based Insurance Scores to learn more.

Take the time to review all your insurance at least once a year to make sure you aren’t over- or under-insured and have the most affordable coverage possible.

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About the Author

Laura Adams, MBA

Laura Adams received an MBA from the University of Florida. She's an award-winning personal finance author, speaker, and consumer advocate who is a frequent, trusted source for the national media. Money-Smart Solopreneur: A Personal Finance System for Freelancers, Entrepreneurs, and Side-Hustlers is her newest title. Laura's previous book, Debt-Free Blueprint: How to Get Out of Debt and Build a Financial Life You Love, was an Amazon #1 New Release. Do you have a money question? Call the Money Girl listener line at 302-364-0308. Your question could be featured on the show.