Neglect and Homeowners Insurance
The purpose of homeowners’ insurance is to help protect homeowners from losses and property damage due to covered calamities. Home insurance is actually a series of coverages that includes the main dwelling, outbuildings, personal property, and liability. Homeowners’ insurance is not intended to cover normal wear and tear, and it certainly is not designed to cover damage due to owner neglect. Here is a quick look at some examples where claims may be denied due to neglect.
It is likely that damage caused by a falling tree during a storm will be covered under a home insurance policy. If that tree, however, has been diseased and leaning over a neighbor’s home and that fact was known in advance, that could be considered neglect. Diseased or dangerous trees should be removed as a part of home maintenance.
Sure, a wooden fence that is blown down by wind or damaged when a car drives through it may be covered. A neglected fence that is rotted, rusting, or otherwise in disrepair may not be. Again, a homeowner is responsible for normal repair and replacement of aspects of their home, and neglect is not sufficient cause for a claim.
Roofs that have been damaged by storms are likely to be covered at least on some level. Some companies are moving to prorated coverage for roofing based on the expected lifespan of the roof and how long it has been in service. If a roof has been neglected and leaks go unattended, coverage could potentially be denied.
Home insurance is not intended as a replacement for routine home maintenance. It is important that homeowners keep properties well maintained and repaired.
If you have questions about home insurance and what is and isn’t routinely covered, please feel free to give us a call. As independent insurance agents, we are qualified to review home insurance policies issued by any company. If you like, we can then search our network of companies to find coverage to suit your situation and your budget. Reach out to us today and get started.