Seven Words You Never Want to Hear

There are seven words you never want to hear from your insurance company when you need them: Sorry, that’s not covered by your policy.

But how many of us have actually read our insurance policies?

I’ve read a few of them, and let me tell you they are a major snoozefest — and a confusing one at that.

Unfortunately, the reason that I read at least one of our policies was because we were surprised to find out that something wasn’t covered.

Luckily that something was relatively minor, but my takeaway after reading the policy was this: insurance policies are designed to mitigate risk — both risk to you regarding covered items, and risk to the insurance company regarding high claims costs.

And it makes sense. Insurance of all types is big business, and big businesses hire effective lawyers to draw up their policies. They’d be stupid not to.

But we would be stupid to blithely assume that something is covered without actually finding out for ourselves. Which, sadly, probably means reading and understanding the fine print, or at least having your insurance company point you to the correct fine print that states that yes, X is covered. Reading the exclusions page can also be very helpful, because that will tell you in (relatively) plain language what kinds of things are not covered.

For example, what happens if your sewer backs up and waters ruins your flooring, furniture, and parts of your walls?

What will your policy pay for? Replacement furniture? The current value of your furniture? Water removal? Carpet & drywall replacement?

Or will it pay nothing, because sewer backups are excluded on your policy?

Don’t just assume that things are covered. Find out what you’re really at risk for.


  • Bas

    We’ve had one of these recently where an electric outage resulted in a freezer with spoiled food (6 days will do that). Not good when my girlfriend is starting up her catering business.
    We promptly switched insurance companies and now we’re covered for that.

  • Thats a good point that you make. I found out my health insurance didn’t cover my white fillings! I’m like, seriously?!?!

    • My dental insurance doesn’t either, but they will pay an amount equal to the metal fillings, so it’s not really a big difference.

  • Yeah…reading the fine print sucks but is necessary. Luckily we haven’t run into many problems yet (we had to pay for Delauded in my husband’s surgery for some reason, but I didn’t fight the $18 charge…). I try to make sure the big stuff is covered and check when I think of situations that might occur with us.

  • Yes. Its so necessary to read those fine prints. Insurance is a business for companies and most of them take it for granted that policies are not read completely and take advantage of it. Its on us to read them as it is our money a stake.

  • That is so true. We are lucky that we’ve only filed one claim with our insurance and it was for our roof and it was covered. Granted they only did half the roof (the part that was damaged) and we had to do the rest but at least the worst part was covered. It did lead me to look at my policy a little more closely.