As a homeowner, you need to have home insurance. This essentially covers you and provides you with protection should the worst happen to your house or your belongings. There are many different home insurance providers out there who offer different levels of coverage for a monthly fee, but there are some things that you would expect to be covered under a standard policy that, surprisingly, are not.

If you’re looking to take out home insurance, it’s important to know what’s covered and what’s not. We’ve put together a list of common things that you might assume are covered but are actually not, giving you an idea of what you need to be asking about separately.

Earthquakes and sinkholes

The first thing that you might assume is covered under your home insurance policy is earth movements, including earthquakes and sinkholes. These can occur at almost any time, and depending on where you live, they might even be expected. Despite this, a lot of standard home insurance policies do not cover earthquakes and sinkholes. Instead, you will need to add it on to your existing policy to ensure that should the earth move or open up, you can claim for damaged incurred to your property and belongings. If not, the cost of repairs could be extremely high.

Outbuilding theft

Depending on your insurer, you may be surprised to learn that the theft of items stored in an outbuilding isn’t always covered under a standard policy. If you have outbuildings where you store items like bikes, garden furniture, lawn mowers, or anything else such as tools, it’s worth double checking with your insurer whether theft of these items from an outbuilding is covered under your policy.

If it’s not, you should be able to easily add it on, but you may be required to have certain security checks in place, such as comprehensive door locking and lockable windows.

Timber rot

Timber rot is a common issue many homeowners have to deal with for one reason or another. Your policy may cover the cause of the problem, such as a storm damaged roof or a burst water pipe, but wet rot and dry rot home insurance coverage isn’t commonplace under a standard policy. It can be costly to repair and may even be considered negligence on your part by the insurer if the damage gets too bad. Generally speaking, you can’t add timber rot onto your insurance because it’s excluded, but if you can prove that the damage was caused by something that is covered, you might be able to recoup some of the costs.

Damage during an extended absence

If your house gets broken into or experiences accidental damage whilst you’re away on holiday, your home insurance will, generally speaking, cover you, but if you’re away for more than 30 days, they may not. If you plan on going on an extended break, it’s best practice to inform your insurer because it may be that after a certain period of time of absence, your home insurance becomes invalid. It’s worth checking your terms and seeing how long you can be away for before your policy becomes redundant.

You will also need to bear in mind that if you do fall victim to a robbery but your windows were unlocked or entry was considered unforced, this may also invalidate your insurance.


It’s important that your look after what matters most to you and home insurance is the best way to do this. Despite this, you need to make sure you’re asking the right questions about the coverage to ensure you got end up short.

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