Friday, April 18, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Know your insurance exclusions

DEAR HARRY: I live in the Far Northeast. I have all my insurance (life, health, auto and homeowner's) with the same agent. I noticed last week that my patio was leaning a bit. The next day, I found it leaning about an inch more. I called a nearby contractor, who said that it needed more support to prevent it from getting worse. My insurance agent had the insurance company send an adjuster, who said that the leaning was caused by gradual decay over a long period of time and that the company was not liable. My cost for the repair was $600. I tried to get this repair done to prevent harm to passers-by and neighbors, and my insurance company said it wasn't covered. Help!

WHAT HARRY SAYS: From what you have said, it is hard to determine whether your policy has an exclusion for your type of loss. First, ask your agent to show you where in the policy you are denied coverage. If he is unable to satisfy you, contact the Pennsylvania Insurance Commission at 215-560-2630. They will help you to understand what happened. Homeowner's policies have lists of what is and what is not covered. Too many people are unaware of the exclusions. Very often these can be included by riders at an additional premium.

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Harry Gross Daily News Personal Finance Columnist
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