Insured Perils

A peril is a chance event that is unexpected and accidental.

What Perils are Excluded?

The gradual deterioration of shingle roofing or the rotting of a wood fence is natural and expected, so is an uninsured peril. But if someone spray-paints graffiti on your garage door, and the graffiti must be removed and the door cleaned, the damage is due to an insured peril – vandalism.

Home insurance policies generally offer coverage for named perils, such as fire, wind and theft. Excluded perils may include earthquake or flood. Earthquake insurance can be purchased separately.

Commonly Insured Perils

Perils to a building and contents that you can expect to be insured for include:

  • Aircraft or vehicle impact
  • Electrical current
  • Explosion
  • Falling objects (excluding objects propelled by a snow slide or earth movement)
  • Fire
  • Lightning
  • Smoke (released suddenly from malfunctioning cooking or heating devices, but not from fireplaces) 
  • Theft
  • More examples

Speak to your insurance representative regarding the specifics of your policy. If you have a swimming pool or hot tub, inquire about policy options – such as a pool and spa endorsement – to ensure it is adequately insured.

Examples of Uninsured Perils

A home insurance policy is not a maintenance contract. Predictable events, such as the flooding of a home built on a flood plain are not covered. Uninsured perils include:

  1. Flooding or water damage caused by floodwater (due to overflow from a body of water). Certain areas are prone to floods, so damage caused by flooding in these areas is considered predictable. However, water damage caused by a sudden rupture of an indoor pipe would be covered.
    • Sewer backup/water damage coverage may be purchased as an add-on to your existing policy.
  2. Landslides, earthquakes and other earth movements. While these events are not covered on a home policy, damage from a fire or explosion caused by earth movement would be covered.
  3. Damage arising from the freezing of indoor plumbing. This is generally regarded as preventable. If you are away from your home for more than four days during the normal heating season, you must drain the plumbing or have your home checked regularly to ensure that heat is maintained. If freezing-related damage occurs despite such precautions, it would likely be covered.

A variety of other perils are excluded from policies.

Learn more about other uninsured perils.