Why isn’t this covered by my home insurance: common home insurance exclusions in Quebec

Homeowner’s insurance or home insurance is considered a necessity by insurers and homeowners alike. You may find the bulk of mortgage companies will require their borrowers to carry some level of insurance coverage – either a fair portion or the full value of the property. They may not agree to a loan without proof of sufficient home insurance. It is a good idea to have this protection, required or not. Home insurance can protect your property from unexpected disasters, such as extreme weather events, fires, theft and vandalism, and more. It even offers third-party liability insurance, if a guest injured themselves while visiting your property or broke their phone and held you liable as a result. Home insurance may very well be the difference between being in the hole for hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal expenses and being able to restore your living circumstances back to normal.

That being said, home insurance doesn’t cover everything under the sun. In Quebec, common home insurance exclusions may be comprised of the list below – and can vary, depending on your policy and provider. While some exclusions may be rectified with an endorsement, there are some perils that are unable to be covered at all. See why some perils and losses are excluded by your home insurance below.

Why isn’t water damage covered by home insurance?

Water damage – that is due to a natural event, such as sewer or sump pump backup – and even from groundwater seepage – is not covered by your home insurance unless you have already purchased a homeowner’s insurance endorsement that includes these particular perils. Negligence or lack of regular maintenance that could result in water damages – i.e, anything not an unexpected or unnatural occurrence – is not covered, because you as the homeowner are expected to be mindful of when your home’s systems, such as its plumbing, are due for repairs. You are also expected to watch out for smaller issues that could escalate with time so they can be dealt with before a claim needs to be made.

Why aren’t pests and termites covered by home insurance?

Pests and termites may result from maintenance issues and are not covered by home insurance as the homeowner is expected to deal with any and all problems before they result in a larger infestation. Damages as a result of an infestation, repairs, replacements for belongings, and the removal of pests –termite, rodent, bat, or even bed bug – is not covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Why aren’t certain dog breeds covered by my home insurance?

Certain dog bites pose a higher risk of dog bites, which can range into the hundreds of thousands of dollars if a lawsuit is filed against the homeowner. Therefore, some breeds are excluded from coverage or “blacklisted” by certain insurance providers, including wolfdog-hybrids, chow chows, American pit bull terriers, Rottweiler, or even a Great Dane. Individual dogs that have had a history of biting may also be excluded from your insurance.

Why aren’t earth movements covered by my home insurance?

Damage as a result of earth movements may not be covered by home insurance, although you may have the opportunity to purchase earthquake insurance. However, for some providers, earthquake insurance isn’t offered at all, which may be due to the risk of earthquake and the high claim payout. It can also be due to the fact that earthquake events – including foreshock and aftershock – can occur up to multiple weeks before or after an event and pile up the damages.

Why aren’t acts of war covered by my home insurance?

Acts of war are generally not covered by home insurance, including invasions, revolutions, terrorism, military coups, etc. In Quebec, common home insurance exclusions may be mostly due to that the homeowner is expected to care for the home and damages occur because of lack of maintenance. Insurance companies typically do not cover damages sustained by acts of war because it is virtually impossible to calculate the premiums for this type of coverage. War damages could potentially range into the realm of astronomical costs, which an insurance company may not be able to recover from in the event of a war.

Why aren’t intentional actions covered by my home insurance?

Intentional actions – i.e, damage that you cause to your home intentionally, such as if you upend part of your floor to turn into a bowling alley or graffiti a part of your wall – are typically not covered by homeowners’ insurance because insurance is intended to cover your property from unexpected damages or events. Homeowner’s insurance is not intended to restore your home to its previous condition following a series of damages that you directly caused.