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  • Writer's pictureEva Tomlin

5 Things That Could Void Your Home Insurance 

Owning a home in San Francisco comes with unique challenges and rewards. From the iconic Golden Gate Bridge views to the notorious fog, living in this vibrant city is a dream for many. However, when it comes to protecting your valuable assets with home insurance, there are specific pitfalls San Franciscans should be particularly aware of to avoid voiding their coverage. 

Below are five crucial factors that could jeopardize your home insurance in San Francisco.

1. Ignoring Earthquake Retrofitting

San Francisco is no stranger to earthquakes, residing near several major fault lines, including the infamous San Andreas. Most standard home insurance policies do not cover earthquake damage, necessitating separate earthquake insurance. Failing to retrofit your home to withstand earthquakes better can void even this specific coverage. 

Retrofitting not only strengthens your home's foundation and structure but is also a requisite for many insurance companies to minimize risk. Enlist the services of a San Francisco Handyman to ensure your home complies with the latest safety codes and standards to keep your insurance valid.

2. Neglecting Regular Maintenance

One of the most common reasons home insurance claims get denied is due to neglect or lack of maintenance. Insurance companies expect homeowners to perform regular upkeep to prevent issues such as water damage from leaks, termite damage, or mold. 

In San Francisco's humid climate, mold and mildew can become a significant problem if not addressed. Regular inspections and maintenance are crucial to ensure that what may start as a small problem doesn’t result in a voided insurance claim.

3. Unauthorized Home Modifications

The charm of San Francisco homes often comes with a desire to personalize and modify. However, undertaking major home improvements without the necessary permits can nullify your insurance. This includes additions or structural changes that could impact the integrity of your home. 

Insurance providers require that all modifications meet local building codes and regulations. Failure to comply not only risks fines and having to undo the work but can also leave you without coverage when you most need it.

4. Operating a Home Business

With the rise of remote work and home-based businesses, it is essential to understand how this affects your home insurance. Standard policies typically have limited coverage for business-related equipment and none for business-related liabilities. 

If you are running a business from your San Francisco home (particularly if it involves frequent visitors or storing valuable inventory), you may need additional coverage. Not disclosing this information to your insurer could result in a claim denial if they determine the business operations contributed to the loss or damages.

5. Leaving Your Home Unoccupied

San Francisco's allure often leads homeowners to lengthy travels, yet leaving your home unoccupied for extended periods without notifying your insurance company could void your coverage. Unoccupied homes are at a higher risk for issues like theft, vandalism, and unnoticed damage, such as water leaks. 

Many insurance policies have specific clauses regarding how long a home can be left unoccupied, usually around 30 days. It's crucial to communicate with your insurer before any extended absence to understand your policy's stipulations and perhaps arrange for additional coverage.

Protecting Your San Francisco Home

Understanding and adhering to these factors can significantly contribute to the peace of mind of knowing your home is well-protected. Regular communication with your insurance provider, adherence to local building codes, and proactive maintenance by a handyman are key. 

By avoiding these five pitfalls, you ensure that your San Francisco dream home remains a source of joy rather than unexpected headaches.


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