4 Examples on the topic of unnamed perils in buildings insurance

Again and again, of course, the question arises, what services do I need in the building insurance policy. Some performance is more of a luxury, but other performance can add significant value.


These certainly include the unnamed hazards, which do come up as damage more often than not.

What are unnamed perils in homeowners insurance?

As the term implies, these are hazards, accordingly resulting damages, which are not named in the insurance conditions, no matter if positive (included) or negative (excluded) as cause of damage.

Here one should look at how an insurance is structured. The terms of the policy usually always list (with a few exceptions) what is covered and how.

An example from the VGB2008

1. Insurance claim
(a) The insurer shall provide indemnity for insured aches caused by
aa) Fire, lightning, explosion, implosion, impact or crash of an aircraft, its parts or cargo;
bb) Tap water;
cc) storm, hail destroyed or damaged or lost.
(b) Each of the hazard groups under (aa) – (cc) may also be insured individually.

Further sections then further define what is then insured and exactly how.

Accordingly, no compensation will then be paid for damages arising from events not listed, i.e. dangers. This often results in anger and incomprehension, "why my damage" is not paid. In blanket terms, only what was insured, i.e. enumerated in the terms of insurance, would be paid.

The "unnamed hazards" clause or condition extension then added the following passage to the existing conditions in the rule

other unnamed perils not expressly included or excluded in the terms and conditions of insurance and this schedule of benefits, arising from a sudden external event

In detail, the wording may possibly be slightly different, but the actual meaning should always be the same.

Of course, this is not a full coverage insurance against everything, as one should continue to read the conditions very carefully, as previously excluded risks continue to be excluded, but no one knows what may eventually happen to unknown events.

Damage examples

These examples of damage are what we have experienced and settled so far. There can be so many examples, you can't be that creative. You know, first you have bad luck, then you don't have good luck either.

Submerged groundwater

Let's start with a very recent claim from 2019, which we are currently settling with a client against the insurer.

Due to the drought that has now lasted two years, the water table in the area of the insured building has dropped. This caused subsidence of the ca. 20 year old building and as a result cracks in the walls and flooring. Unlike the excluded mining risk, this is a peril insured through the unnamed perils, or. Damage diagram.

Penetration of rainwater

A common type of damage that is usually insured through the unnamed perils (yes, it always comes back to the individual conditions, all of which I am unfortunately unaware of) is water intrusion without external damage. For example, if the storm pushes rainwater through the joints of roof tiles on an older building, causing ceilings to become wet.

Another example is when, in the course of a storm, rainwater pushes into the building through wall cracks or vents, but without damaging them.

Wildlife in the house

Wild boars in the living room, this really happened, are likewise an unnamed danger and the resulting damage, on the one hand to the building, on the other hand also to the household effects. Damage from feral hogs is not otherwise an insured peril, without unnamed perils.

Falling cabinet

As a final example, let's take the cabinet falling off the wall, here under the household insurance policy. This loss is also an unnamed peril.

Often this type of damage often has to do with water. Whereby, of course, all other possible cases not yet known can be covered by it, as long as they have not been previously included or excluded, respectively. can be insured separately, such as natural hazards. But in our experience, the exclusions in the policy terms of the all-risk/unnamed perils tariffs are pretty much congruent with the "normal" tariffs available in the market, so there is already a significant added value.

Just the example of "wild pigs in the living room" shows that they can cause major damage, but are not listed as a cause of loss in typical buildings and contents insurance policies.

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