The Surprising Stuff Your Home Insurance Won't Cover

Don't assume your homeowners insurance is always there for you. Here are ways a standard policy may let you down.

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You buy home insurance to protect you from sky-high bills if your home is damaged or if some sort of accident happens on your property. And that's how it usually works.

But if you haven't read your policy closely, you may be unaware of big and potentially expensive gaps in your coverage. Your insurance covers a lot of things --- but not everything.

Don't let your insurance let you down. Here are 10 examples of what a standard homeowners policy often won't cover. With this stuff, peace of mind is likely to cost extra.

1. Flooding

flooding in luxurious kitchen interior. 3d creative illustration
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A flood that originates inside the home — like if your water heater leaks all over the floor — is usually covered by homeowners insurance.

But flooding caused by natural or physical forces outside the home — if, say, a nearby river spills out of its banks and into your living room — would not be covered by typical home insurance.

For that, you need special flood coverage offered through a government program. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) maps show whether your home is at high risk for flooding — and whether you need to get flood insurance ASAP.

2. Sinkholes

Sinkhole In Mayaguez Puerto Rico
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Homeowners insurance policies usually note that they do not cover damage caused by earth movement.

Sinkholes fall into this category because in a sinkhole, the ground opens up.

In states where sinkholes are common, homeowners can purchase special coverage for them. In Florida, a 2016 law requires insurers to make sinkhole insurance available to policyholders "for an appropriate additional premium."