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Hadley, Cook, and Quillen Insurance Agency Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

What's NOT Covered in a Homeowner's Policy?

Picture this, an earthquake randomly shakes Indiana for just a few seconds and stops just as suddenly as it began. You may have been able to sleep through it or didn't even notice it while going about your day. You return home and happen to realize your foundation is now cracked and crumbling and the walls are starting to warp. You go to check the damage inside and notice the drywall on the ceilings and interior walls are split and floors are starting to sag. Your first thought is how many tens of thousands of dollars it is going to take to fix all of this. Then you remember, it shouldn't be a huge deal, this is why you carry homeowner's insurance, right? Just call your agent, file a claim, and get it all fixed for just the cost of the deductible, right? Wrong! Believe it or not earthquakes, along with several other potential causes of loss, is not an automatically covered peril under a homeowner's policy in Indiana and you could be left holding the bag.

At HCQ, barring any unusual circumstances, we write our homeowners policy on what's called a "Special Cause of Loss Form." This means the carrier will cover any loss unless it is specifically excluded. (The other option is known as a "named perils form" and the cause of loss must be specifically listed such as fire, wind, hail, theft, etc.) If you aren't certain how to determine which form your policy is written as don't sweat! If you look at your homeowners policy, you should see either HO-1, HO-2, or HO-3. HO-1 and HO-2 are named perils while the HO-3 is "All Perils." It is important to understand what is not automatically covered to determine whether or not you need to purchase an endorsement for coverage in the event of something such as an earthquake. See the complete list below of the named exclusions common to all HO forms followed by exclusions that apply specifically to HO-3.

All forms

-Earthquake/Earth movement


-Sewer and sump back-up

-Off premises power failure




-Intentional losses

-Government action

-Concurrent causation

HO-3 only


-Water or ice damage to pavement, patio, fencing, foundation, or dock

-Theft to a dwelling under construction

-Vandalism to a dwelling that has been vacant for 60+ days