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April 19, 2014

Home Owners Finding Gaps in Insurance Coverage

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Home Owners Finding Gaps in Insurance Coverage

Homeowner's insurance rates have risen 69 percent over the past decade, now averaging $1,000 a year. But as rates rise, home owners are finding their coverage hasn’t. In fact, some insurance companies have added new restrictions or increased deductibles, CNNMoney reports. 

Some home owners are being faced with tens of thousands of dollars in costs for damages that they originally thought would be covered by their homeowner's insurance policies.  

"It's easy to think you're covered when you're not," says Amy Bach, executive director of advocacy group United Policyholders.

For example, coverage most often falls short in covering flood damage and wind damage, according to the article. Private insurers mostly stopped covering flood damage, which forced home owners to be proactive in purchasing coverage through the National Flood Insurance Plan. Also, special wind deductibles have been introduced in several states, but home owners need to be proactive in checking their amount of coverage in case of a windstorm and deciding whether they need additional coverage. 

Another area where homeowner's insurance policies fall short in coverage, according to experts, is covering water damage, such as from a cracked pipe, leaky toilet, or clogged drain. Many insurers have scaled back their coverage in this area. Some experts recommend home owners should increase their protection by getting a rider that covers sewer and drain backups, particularly if they have a sump pump. Wireless water alarms -- which cost about $25 for three -- also can help home owners detect a leak quickly before significant damage.  

Source: “Covered by homeowners insurance? Don't be so sure,” CNNMoney (April 12, 2013)

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