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Sneaky homeowners insurance tricks

You think your homeowners insurance policy has you covered? Think again. And watch this video to see what they might not be telling you.

By Smart Spending Editor Jun 3, 2013 4:20PM
Ah yes, homeowners insurance. Designed to help you sleep better at night, you think you're covered. But hold on. There are a number of details your homeowners insurance company might not be divulging.

Are you covered for damages caused by animals, for example? If you live in the suburbs, squirrels and raccoons can wreak some havoc with your home that your insurance policy won't be covering. And what about flood insurance? Most policies won't cover personal items ... which of course will be all wet should a catastrophic flood strike your area. Are you over-insured? Under? Have you missed a credit card payment? All of these things could be strikes against you.

Want to learn more? Watch this video. Then do your homework to learn what you are -- and aren't -- covered for under your existing policy.



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11Comments
Jun 26, 2013 4:50PM
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It's a matter of knowing what you're buying. Homeowners insurance is designed to protect the single biggest purchase anyone is likely to make; it only makes sense that you would take the time to read through the contract and find out exactly what is and isn't covered by your policy. Insurance isn't a maintenance contract for your home- when you buy insurance, you're contractually obligated to take care of your home. Insurance companies don't negotiate- you either want what they're selling, or you don't. Shop around, or find an independent agent (or two) to shop for you.
Jun 26, 2013 4:37PM
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It is just a scam with a big lobby behind it to make it mandatory.  Health insurance is the same.  
Jun 26, 2013 5:29PM
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People need to have homeowner's insurance. I was stunned when Katrina hit Louisiana that all of those people thought that the government was responsible to buy them new homes! Let's see... you lived in a tar shack before the storm, and now you want a $350,000 bungalow?
Just be wary of the fine print. Most policies don't cover mold, flooding in "encased" areas, like a basement, or accidents in driveways, etc. It's just the insurance industry's way of getting out of paying anything. It's downright disgusting that people don't file claims on the smaller amounts because they fear rising premiums. Isn't that what insurance is for in the first place?

Jun 26, 2013 4:59PM
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Some TV commercials try to scare us by saying that a typical visit to the emergency room costs $2000.  But, they don't say that this is still much cheaper than paying a $2000 monthly premium for a family, every month (what my COBRA is), for 12 months every year (cheaper if single, etc.).  We are better off  paying cash, using urgent care instead of the hospital, and accepting that we may suffer a little, just like our ancestors have for 10,000 years, and they made it this far.  The hospitals send you home too soon after surgeries, anyway, often creating complications, and they overcharge.  If I can not shop around, then whoever sends me to a hospital must take the responsibility of paying for his/her decision.  The insurance company only pay $1 on my wife's prescription, and she has a $15 co-pay.  She asked what it would cost with no insurance and the pharmacy said $16.  Well, I guess that makes a lot of sense with a $2000 monthly COBRA premium  and no income!  Crooks!
Jun 26, 2013 5:45PM
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No home owners insurance is not a maintenance policy, for a better explanation ask what is excluded, if not on that list then it is covered!  Don't be surprised if a deer crashes through your living room window and destroys your house you won't get paid....unless of course you are in the one percentile!  Yes insurance companies play favorites the the well to do!  
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