Will My Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?
For quite a while now, there has been a lot of mixed opinions on whether homeowner’s insurance covers foundation repairs or not. Some say that it does, others say that it is not, while there are some that feel like it’s a ‘maybe.’ Well, the best answer to the question above greatly depends on the cause of foundation damage. To fully understand the complexities involved in foundation repairs and home insurance, here are some things that every homeowner should know.
Why do you need Homeowners Insurance?
In life, having a contingency plan is always the best plan. That’s why most, if not all, homeowners take up home insurance. More often than not, it’s the best shield against unwanted or unexpected home damage and repair costs.
If you are a homeowner, you can attest to the fact that an insurance policy always stirs feelings of financial surety and disaster readiness. It helps you to sleep easy knowing that your home is protected from the unknown regardless of your current financial state.
Does Homeowners Insurance cover everything?
What happens when you realize that your protective ‘insurance blanket’ is not as big as you had assumed? You should note that despite the fact that homeowner’s insurance policies are often advertised as comprehensive, that’s never the case. That’s because the foundation, which is a critical part of any home, is often not included in your insurance coverage. This means that you may have to foot your foundation repair costs.
What is and what isn’t covered in regard to your foundation?
Before you panic, you should know that there are a few special cases that can entitle you to an insurance claim on foundation damages. There are a lot of perils that can cause damages to your foundation including:
A. Insured Perils
Car or plane crashes
B. Uninsured Perils
Faulty construction (opt for your warranty)
Flooding (unless you have flood insurance)
Earthquakes (unless you have earthquake insurance or extended coverage)
Weak soil structure
Wear and tear
Now, in case your foundation incurs damages from one of the insured perils, then you are entitled to an insurance claim. If not, then you might be in a rather unfortunate situation.
How to Avoid Foundation Damages?
Taking all the above into consideration and the fact that some of the perils that can damage your foundation don’t fall within your home insurance cover, it’s evident that maintenance and preventive measures are necessary.
It is true that the only sure way of avoiding most of these damages is by conducting regular and thorough checks and repairs to your foundation before damages advance.
The earlier you spot issues, the easier and cheaper it will be for you to maintain your foundation. Here are five proactive measures you can employ to keep your foundation strong and damage-free.
1. Don’t plant trees close to your house Trees are notorious when it comes to damaging a home’s foundation. Their growth and roots’ penetration can cause massive cracks to develop on your foundation.
To avoid this, you need to plant trees away from your house or to install a strong root guard around your home.
2. Ensure your drainage is good. Poor drainage leads to a lot of perils including soil settlement and expansion; none of which are good for your foundation. Therefore, always make sure that water doesn’t settle near your home by making sure that there is a good drainage system in place.
3. Moisturize the soil around your home during dry seasons. Drought is a known threat to the strength and lifespan of any home or building’s foundation. During dry months, the soil around your home tends to lose more water leading to soil contraction or shrinking. Any tilt or shift in the balance can cause massive damages to your foundation.
4. Keep an eye out for plumbing issues. Despite the fact that plumbing-related perils are insured, it’s always prudent to ensure that you prevent them from weakening your foundation. After all, prevention is better than cure.
Similar to poor drainage, plumbing leaks can cause the soil around your foundation to expand leading to damages. Also, you are advised to raise the soil up to the foundation level in order to increase its strength and support.
5. Apply for flood insurance or an extended cover for earthquake-related perils. All the measures mentioned above are easy to execute since they fall under controllable perils. However, when it comes to natural disasters like flooding, landslides, and earthquakes, it’s always wise to have extra coverage for that.
Your homeowner’s insurance may or may not apply when it comes to covering foundation repair costs. The best way to be sure is to hire a competent home inspector to evaluate the damage and its root cause.
After you establish the cause, you’ll be able to plan your next course of action. However, it is important to keep in mind that proactive and preventive measures, despite being demanding and time-consuming, are the only sure way to avoid costly foundation damages.
There are many discounts available for homeowners' insurance that can lower your rate significantly. When you are shopping, make sure you let your agent know if any of these discounts could apply to your policy, like security systems, fire alarms, and sprinkler system discounts.