Your home is one of the biggest purchases you’ll ever make in your lifetime. That’s why it’s in your best interests to maintain it regularly. Homeowners insurance is a great way to protect your property from potential losses or damages so it can retain its value. If you’ve noticed issues concerning your home’s foundation, don’t dismiss them!
As a homeowner, it is your responsibility to evaluate the condition of your foundation. It’s important to immediately consult your homeowners insurance company if you suspect there is a problem. Here’s a closer look at what can cause foundation issues and how you can find out whether the damage is covered under your homeowners insurance policy.
Foundation Damage Covered by Homeowners Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance policy will usually cover any type of damage unless it explicitly states in the policy that it is not covered. Generally, a policy will pay if the foundation is damaged by natural events outside the homeowners’ control. Below are some of the most common causes of foundation problems usually covered by this type of policy.
- Falling objects (trees, telephone poles, etc.)
- Strong windstorm
- Water damage due to HVAC issues (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)
- Damage caused by an aircraft
- Destruction caused by a vehicle
- Damage caused by snow, ice, or sleet
Foundation Damage Not Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance
Now that you have a better idea of what may be covered under your homeowner’s insurance, here are the most common events that could harm your foundation but may not be covered under your policy:
- Poor home construction
- Damage caused by floods
- Destruction caused by earthquakes
- Damage caused by tree roots
- General wear and tear (cracking, expanding, settling, etc.)
What’s Included in Negligence?
A homeowners insurance policy will typically not take care of any foundational issues caused by your negligence. Foundations tend to sag, crack, buckle, and expand over time due to moisture and changes in the temperature. Since water molecules can expand and contract, the soil can shift due to the moisture and cause issues with the foundation.
Poor home construction and damage caused by drainage issues or tree roots are examples of negligence. In the insurer’s mind, it is your responsibility to perform your due diligence and hire a professional to inspect the property before you purchase the home. They can check if the soil underneath your home is not level or sturdy enough for the foundation. They will also spot if the gutters were not properly installed and water is draining underneath the house.
Inspectors will notify you if trees on your property are too close to the home, as their roots may push up against the foundation. If you are building a home, you can help prevent this by making sure the builders use the same type of soil when constructing your home and that it is packed tightly together beneath the foundation.
When damage occurs, the homeowner’s insurance company will investigate. If they find evidence that the foundation was damaged due to poor construction, you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket.
Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover floods or earthquakes, so it is in your best interest to purchase separate insurance policies to protect your home. This is especially important if you live in an area prone to those types of natural disasters.
If you’re unsure what types of hazards occur in your region, you can go to your county’s website or ask a local realtor if they have any insight. Ultimately, the only way to know if foundation damage is covered is to review your policy. Speak with an agent if you have any questions.
How Your Homeowner’s Insurance Can Help Resolve Your Foundation Issues
Once you’ve hired a professional and understand what caused the damage to your home’s foundation, you can file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance. Once you notify the insurance company, they can send a claims adjuster to your home and examine the foundation.
They can also help you resolve the issue in other ways. For example, they can provide a database of contractors or foundation specialists who can come to your home and assess the damage. These companies are usually prescreened beforehand, so you can trust that they’re credible.
Since they have experience working with the insurance provider, they know how to navigate the claims system and handle the repairs as necessary. Using a recommended company helps to create a seamless process.
If you suspect your cracking or buckling foundation is not covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy, be sure to hire a contractor or foundation specialist to investigate before you pay out of pocket. They can analyze the foundation, assess the damage, and tell you if there is a cause you missed. Then you can determine if you want to make an insurance claim.
Alpha Foundations: Your Source for Foundation Repair
One of our team members would be happy to assess your foundation and give you a free estimate. We offer many flexible financing options and can also repair your crawl spaces, concrete walls, and sea walls.