Disasters Covered by Your Homeowners Insurance

What types of disasters are covered by my homeowners insurance in Chicago, Wheaton, and Alsip Illinois?

Standard homeowners policies generally cover a wide range of potential disasters, from tornadoes and windstorms, to fire and lightning strikes, to winter storm damage caused by weight of ice and snow. Most homeowners policies cover all the disasters listed below. Some policies provide coverage only for the first 10 listed. It is important to check check your insurance policy for the specific perils covered.

Disasters That Are Not Covered

1. Floods

Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program - NFIP ( 888-379-9531) and from a few private insurers.

You can get replacement cost coverage for the structure of your home, but only actual cash value coverage is available for your possessions. There may also be limits on coverage for furniture and other possessions stored in your basement.

Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But also consider buying it if your house could be flooded by melting snow, an overflowing creek or water running down a steep hill. Don’t wait until the evening news announces a flood season warning to buy a policy. There is a 30-day waiting period before federal flood coverage takes effect.

 

2. Earthquakes

Earthquake coverage can be a separate policy or an endorsement to your homeowners or renters policy. It's available from most insurance companies. In earthquake prone states like California, the policy comes with a high deductible.

 

3. Maintenance damage

It is your responsibility to take reasonable precautions to protect your home from damage. Your insurance policy will not cover damage due to lack of maintenance, mold, termite infestation and infestation from other pests.

 

4. Sewer backup

Sewer backups or the inability of sump pumps to handle runoff water from major downpours are not covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy, nor are they covered by flood insurance. Those types of coverages must be purchased either as a separate product or as an endorsement to a homeowners policy.

 

Sewer backup coverage is available from most insurers for a nominal cost—usually an additional annual premium of $40-$50.

 

Many homeowners may not realize that they are responsible for the maintenance and repair of their house or sewer lateral—the pipeline between the city sanitary sewer main, usually located in the street—and the building. The sewer lateral is owned and maintained by the property owner including any part that extends into the street or public right of way.

 

 

If you have questions or concerns on this issue, do not hesitate to call Zeiler Insurance and speak to one of our customer service representatives. As an independent agency, Zeiler Insurance prides itself with quality customer services for the people of the Chicago-land area and the rest of the Midwest. Customer or not, we can review your insurance and see if you are being protected appropriately for the right price.

-Karli Zeiler

karli@zeiler.com

(708) 597-5900 Ext. 130

For more information on coverages, visit http://www.iii.org/article/what-types-of-disasters-are-covered-by-my-homeowners-insurance

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