10 Things that your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy does Not Cover

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 30, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Purchasing insurance for your North Carolina home may be a requirement for anyone with a mortgage, but it’s also a smart move. Your insurance policy protects your house and yourself from accidents, damage, and other unforeseen events that are too costly for you to repair or replace yourself.

The fact is that the standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover every possible situation that could occur. It’s best to understand what your policy won’t cover and what you can purchase additional coverage for, in order to reduce your risk.

Take a look at these 10 things that your homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover.

  1. Mold is not automatically included in a standard policy but you can purchase additional coverage for your home. Remember, mold is often preventable simply by eliminating moisture as soon as you discover it.
  2. Sewer back up isn’t something any of us want to think about. If it occurs, the damage can be enormous. While it’s not covered under standard policies, you can purchase additional coverage.
  3. Termite damage is preventable and therefore not covered under your homeowner’s policy. Watch out for the signs of termites, keep moisture away from your foundation, and have annual inspections to prevent infestations.
  4. Aggressive dog breeds are based on the highest occurrence of dog attacks and claims filed with insurance companies. High risk breeds like Pit Bulls and Rottweilers won’t be covered in the event of a dog bite, even if you purchase additional coverage for accidents involving your pets.
  5. War and acts of terrorism are not covered under standard policies. War isn’t covered at all, and acts of terrorism aren’t typically referred to within policies. The damage to your home from fire, smoke, or explosion might be covered because those things are specifically mentioned.
  6. Sinkholes fall under the “earth movement” category in your policy and are not covered. The only exception is in Florida where sinkhole coverage is required under law to be included in a standard policy. Another exception is in Tennessee, which makes additional sinkhole coverage available for purchase.
  7. Earthquakes, like sinkholes, aren’t covered in standard policies but you can purchase additional coverage. Your deductible won’t be a fixed dollar amount but a percentage of the replacement costs, anywhere from two to 20 percent.
  8. Flooding is covered by purchasing a separate policy backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and won’t be covered under your standard homeowner’s insurance policy.
  9. Trampoline accidents aren’t covered under your homeowner’s policy. In 2009, more than 90,000 trampoline injuries resulted in a trip to the emergency room. You might not even be able to purchase a standard policy from some carriers simply for owning a trampoline.
  10. Nuclear accidents may not sound like a big threat, but three million people in the United States live within 10 miles of a nuclear power plant. Your homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover the damage caused from an accident, but a 1957 federal law established a fund for people affected by nuclear accidents to cover the costs of repair and replacement.

Some of these issues can be covered through additional endorsements that don’t add too much to the costs of your insurance premium. Some are preventable, as long as you take care of your home. Others are rare occurrences. Keep these things in mind when speaking with your insurance agent so that you can prevent nasty surprises later. Remember – when in doubt, talk to your insurance agent to find out exactly what is and is not covered.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Tom Reynolds.

Lower your Risk by Keeping Policy and Procedure Documents Up-to-Date

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 22, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Operating any business comes with a certain amount of risk and reward. Working with people of any age, especially those who need medical services, increases both the risks and the rewards.

The biggest reward is knowing that you’ve helped someone. The biggest risk is often from injury-causing accidents.

You didn’t go into the business of helping the elderly to cause any harm. The opposite is true. Whether it’s a nursing home, an assisted living facility, or even a retirement community, you opened your doors to help our aging population.

The reality is that problems happen. A study, conducted by the Office of the Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, looked at the care for Medicare beneficiaries from 2008 to 2012. In that time, 22 percent of patients experienced an adverse event – an injury of some kind. Of those events, 59 percent were found to be preventable.


An excellent way to prevent unnecessary and avoidable injuries is to keep your policy and procedure documents accurate and current. For the prevention of accidents, you should consider at least two separate manuals.


Accidents and injuries from improperly functioning equipment are not only hazardous for patients and employees but can increase your insurance premiums if too many claims are received. The best cure is preventative maintenance. If you don’t already have one, you’ll want to create and then update a policy and procedures manual specific to your building and equipment.

The manual should include:

  • A schedule of routine inspections
  • An annual inventory of equipment
  • A maintenance schedule for equipment – weekly, monthly, or annual
  • Logs for each piece of equipment – include found problems and corrective services/replacement
  • Inspection checklists
  • System for work orders and service requests


When an accident occurs, wounds are possible. In order to make sure that everyone receives quality care, and to prevent further complications, policies and procedures should be in place for wounds as well. The focus of this manual should be on accepted standards of practice, research-driven clinical guidelines, and interdisciplinary involvement. Having this in place helps ensure that everyone receives medically and scientifically based care while communicating with each other.

The manual should include information on the following:

  • Accountability – program oversight, staff involvement in prevention and treatment, expectation of caregivers to observe and monitor
  • Admission wound assessment
  • Ongoing wound assessment
  • Wound management
  • Wound care
  • Documentation and care planning
  • Notification procedure – physician, family, and other staff
  • Education of staff

Your elder care facility needs to have the proper insurance policies in place. That doesn’t mean that you should need to use it all the time. Lowering your elder care facility insurance costs begins with lowering your risk. Policies and procedures that prevent and minimize accidents in your nursing home or assisted living facility are a good step in the right direction. Once you write those policies and procedures, make sure that your entire staff is following them – hold them accountable, and update them as needed. Your risk of an insurance claim, or worse, a lawsuit will decrease.

Best of all, your patients will be better off for it.

Image courtesy of Flickr user jkfid.

Does my Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 16, 2015. It has 0 comments.

Working out in your front yard the other day, you noticed something strange in the wooden posts near the front door. Little holes had formed near the ground where your shrubs are, and there are all kinds of white bugs near the worst section.

Uh oh. You realize you might have termites. You begin imagining collapsing ceilings, crumbling walls, and much more. It’s your worst nightmare as a homeowner.

The question now is, do you call your insurance company? Will your policy cover the damage?

Charlotte homeowner’s insurance policy is meant to cover you in the case of a sudden or unforeseen event that causes damage to your home and your possessions. Unfortunately, termite damage isn’t one of them because it’s preventable.

If the worst case scenario occurred, and you experienced a structural collapse, your insurance would not cover the repair to your home, but it may cover the damage to your possessions caused by the collapse. Remember, that’s a worst case situation.

With prevention, termite damage to that extent is avoidable.


Before you find evidence of termites, there are several things you can do to prevent or contain the damage.

  1. Check the drainage around your home. Keep your gutters and downspouts free of debris and do what you can to keep water from pooling around the foundation of your house. Don’t give them a nice wet place to set up a new home.
  2. Check your foundation periodically and fill in any gaps you find.
  3. Don’t plant anything too close to your home, and don’t allow plants to grow against any wood surfaces.
  4. Seal the exterior parts of your home that are made of wood, especially those sections close to the ground.
  5. Make sure you schedule periodic inspections with a termite/pest control company. Find and get to know a good company in your area. They’ll prove to be invaluable in preventing termite damage.

Taking care of your home to prevent a problem is the best solution of all. A few minutes every few months and bit of planning will help.


While there’s no such thing as “termite coverage” under your insurance policy, you may be able to purchase something called a termite bond. Some people call it “termite insurance” but really it’s a contract between you and a termite/pest control company to prevent infestations and treat termites as needed.

Most bonds include routine termite inspections and treatments, as needed. Some companies will even pay for retreatment and repairs on future damage if their inspections and routine treatments don’t prevent an infestation. Always read the fine print and ask questions. There may be exclusions in the termite bond based on home structure, type of termite, or what exactly is covered.

Although there’s no way to use your homeowner’s insurance policy to deal with termite damage, you do have options to prevent infestations. Take care of your home, keep your eyes open, and bring in the help of qualified professionals when necessary. The old saying is true. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Image courtesy of Flickr user choking sun.

For Hotels, More Amenities Equals More Risk

Written By Charlotte Insurance on July 6, 2015. It has 0 comments.

In 2015, over $300 billion is expected to be spent on global business travel. That number doesn’t factor in what vacation travelers spend. To cash in on all that spending, hotels that want to stay competitive must offer at least a few amenities.

With added hotel amenities comes more risk to your business. Whether you already have all the amenities you want for your hotel, or you’re thinking of adding more, you’ll want to make sure you have the right insurance coverage when something happens. And something will always happen.


Hotels of all sizes offer at least some amenities – continental breakfasts, Wifi, business areas, and all hotels have employees. Between these few factors, anything can happen.

  • Spa services – Medical or cosmetic procedures bring about their own risks including accidental injury.
  • Valet services – Car accidents, minor damage to vehicles, even car theft are all real possibilities.
  • Food spoilage – Food poisoning and accidental exposure to life-threatening allergens can happen in any establishment that serves food.
  • Liquor liability – Liquor consumption brings plenty of risk thanks to those who don’t know when to quit. In a lawsuit or an accident, your hotel could be blamed for a patron’s liquor consumption.
  • Entertainment venues – If you’re offering events, concerts, and other entertainment for your guests, the risk increases as more people come to your location.

There are other risks that can happen regardless of which amenities you .

  • Employee theft – Restaurants and bars that have a lot of cash are easy targets for theft.
  • Forgery or alteration
  • Theft of money or securities – This can be employees or other guests.
  • Slips and falls – In a hotel, there are multiple places where a guest may fall: the lobby, their room, hallways, elevators, stairs, etc.


A quick glance at even a few of the risks your hotel could face may make you want to re-think amenities completely. You can offer your guests a world-class stay in your hotel while minimizing the risks to your business. What you need is the right North Carolina hotel insurance policy.

General liability: All businesses need general liability coverage. This protects your business in the event of employee theft, damage, or injury caused to a guest from slips, falls, and other accidents while on the property. It can even protect you from lawsuits if you decide to place your hotel name on any products you offer guests in the hotel – toiletries, water, and more.

Professional liability: This type of insurance is necessary if you offer spa services.

Other coverage to consider:

If you hire subcontractors or independent contractors to provide any services in your hotel, make sure that they have all of the appropriate insurance policies in place. Require that they name your hotel as Additional Insured to their policies for the duration of their work with you.

Offering special amenities to attract guests and keep them coming back on their travels is a wise business decision. You don’t have to be scared off by the potential risks. With the right coverage, you can rest easy knowing that even if the worst happens, you and your business are protected.