According to statistics, foundation problems are responsible for more financial losses to homeowners than floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and hurricanes combined.
A high number of homes get damaged as a result of foundation problems. Unfortunately, many homeowners tend to assume their insurance will cover this. While it is true a homeowner’s insurance covers many risks that your property may face, this might not always be the case for foundation repairs.
Homeowners get a rude shock when they discover foundation repairs were not part of their homeowner’s insurance policy. Foundation problems may be expensive to fix depending on the extent of the damage and technique used for repair. To avoid disappointment when you discover your home insurance doesn’t cover foundation issues, you can cushion yourself by doing the following things.
Examine Your Policy
When signing up for homeowners insurance, it’s essential to carefully check what areas your insurance policy covers.
Foundation damage from soil expansion and contraction as a result of poor soil site prep or poor construction are usually excluded by most insurance policies. This is because foundation problems are considered avoidable by ensuring your foundation is regularly maintained.
By doing this, homeowners are able to control factors that contribute to foundation problems, including inadequate drainage and failure to keep the soil uniformly moist on all sides. In short, insurance companies may not cover foundation repairs, especially in cases where factors leading to the damage could have been prevented.
Before choosing an insurance policy, always check what the cover caters for. Should your foundation damage be caused as a result of a fire, tornado or explosion, your insurer may pay for foundation repairs up to the coverage limit.
Be Keen to Check for Warranties
If your foundation damage is as a result of defective construction due to inadequate site preparation or failure to adequately maintain drainage or soil moisture, you won’t receive compensation from your homeowner’s insurance.
However, there are home builders who provide foundation warranties. They usually cover structural defects, labor, and materials for up to 10 years. Should any foundation damage occur within the warranty period, repairs can be sorted out by your home builder.
When buying a house, always check whether it comes with a foundation warranty. Also, check how long it takes. This way, if you encounter any kind of foundation damage, you can check whether your warranty is still in effect.
Be forewarned that insurance companies are notorious for claiming foundation failure is not covered due to inadequate soil maintenance, or failing retainer wall.
Have a Professional Inspect Your Home Foundation
Before purchasing a home, make sure you hire a Texas foundation specialist to check your home. You want them to ascertain the quality of the foundation before you proceed with your purchase.
Many homeowners are disappointed when their insurance companies fail to pay for foundation damages. To avoid spending too much on foundation repair, it is wise to hire professionals to do comprehensive checks on your foundation. This will save you a great amount on repairs.
Some prospective buyers perform other important checks and forget foundation repair, which is a critical part of a house purchase process. Home inspectors are notorious for using words that minimize signs of foundation problems. One such example that we have seen is that “the foundation movement was typical for homes in the neighborhood.”
Consider Taking Supplemental Insurance Coverage
Depending on where you stay as well as the prevailing conditions, it may be a good idea to buy supplemental insurance. This includes risks not covered by your initial homeowner’s insurance policy.
Major insurance companies allow you to take supplementary coverage besides the existing policy. It addresses risks such as water seepage or burst water pipe, sewer leaks, freshwater leaks, flooding, and earthquakes. However, supplementary insurance generally doesn’t cover damages as a result of shifting, earth movement or settling of the foundation.
It may also not cover plumbing leaks that are caused as a result of the repair. Foundation repair companies do not cover such damage.
Act Quickly on Foundation Problems
If you see any initial signs of a foundation problem, do not wait for the problem to get worse. It is best to address problems early to prevent more serious structural problems. That could end up costing you more!
Foundation issues begin as minor damage and become worse if you fail to get professionals to sort out the issue or issues causing the problem. including the root causes, which may include defective plumbing, retainer wall failure or inadequate drainage. Insurance companies always refuse to pay for additional costs especially if they are caused as a result of a foundation issue that was never repaired early enough.
What to Do If Your Homeowner Insurance Doesn’t Cover Foundation Repairs
Unfortunately, if your home’s foundation is damaged and your insurance doesn’t cover this risk, your options are limited. The most likely way to go would be to call an expert to do an evaluation. They can present you with a budget and approach for repair, which you then have to finance on your own.
Alternatively, ask a foundation engineer to carry out a comprehensive check. This way you can prove the reason for your foundation issue to your insurance company. For instance, if your foundation shifted as a result of a sudden below slab flood that was caused by a broken or leaky pipe. In this case, you could be in a position for compensation because suddeb internal flooding is covered by homeowner policies.
The best approach is to hire a foundation specialist. They can then find out the cause of the damage. With this information, the insurance company would ultimately decide whether you qualify for compensation or not. During the check, an expert will collect as much evidence as possible to substantiate your claim and make a case for coverage.
If you happen to live in an area which is susceptible to earthquakes or floods, you should consider adding these risks to your policy. Doing this is critical because natural disasters can cause extensive damage to your home. And this is beside foundation problems, which will cost you a sum of money to fix.
To avoid digging deep into your pockets to repair foundation problems (which aren’t covered by your Texas homeowners’ insurance), it is best to ensure your foundation is in a good shape. Most foundation complications are caused as a result of shifting soil beneath your home. This mainly happens due to floods.
In this case, work with professionals to address any drainage issues to avoid water accumulation. This is especially important during heavy rains to avoid your soil trapping moisture.
With proper mitigation measures from a foundation specialist, you won’t have to worry about the stress associated with foundation repairs. Thorough inspections are critical to ensure your foundation is always in good condition. Oftentimes the foundation problem can be fixed by drainage correction, requiring no foundation underpinning.
For more information, consider hiring a homeowners insurance agent or contact us today!