Foundation issues are every homeowner’s worst nightmare. If the very base of your dream home crumbles, the whole thing can come crashing down around you. However, because of its supportive nature and difficult repair location, fixing the foundation of your home can be quite expensive. Home insurance is built to help you take care of certain damages concerning your home’s structure, but can it take on this hefty repair request? Let’s take a look.
What causes a foundation to crack?
Of course, there are natural disasters that can start collapsing a foundation like a pile of bricks. There are also tons of random events that may cause damage to your home, such as vehicle damage or falling objects. The most common forms of foundation damage, though, comes from:
- Evaporation – causing soil to expand and shrink beneath your foundation
- Tree roots growing under your home – causing soil to shift and sometimes shrink
- Plumbing leaks & burst pipes – causing a buildup of pressure under your foundation
- Improper drainage – which prevents water from properly escaping and allows it to erode the soil under your foundation
- Improper construction – which can cause a house to sink if the ground isn’t properly prepared before building the house.
Yet, the most common way that a house’s foundation can be damaged is by shifting soil, erosion, and poor soil conditions that can present themselves over time. So, the question is if your home insurance will cover damages that have happened over a long period of time.
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Will my home insurance help fix my foundation?
Home insurance is there to help you with sudden disasters that may come your way. More likely than not, your foundation has suffered at the hands of the shifting sands of time – quite literally. Since soil tends to simply expand, contract, and erode over time, a foundation that was damaged by this method probably won’t be covered by your home insurance. In a carrier’s eyes, the damage can be seen as a simple wear and tear issue rather than a sudden outcome (even if the damage came as a sudden surprise to you).
Will my home insurance help me repair my foundation after a natural disaster?
If your foundation was damaged as the result of a covered peril, such as a fire, a windstorm, or a falling object (like a tree), your home insurance may cover the damage to your foundation in addition to the damages to your home as a whole. However, if the foundation repair will be considered in the total amount that it takes to rebuild you home, you’ll need to make sure that you have enough coverage.
If your home is covered for its market value – or the amount that your home would sell for the day before the disaster – you may end up paying a lot more out of pocket to repair the rest of your home after your foundation is fixed. If your home is insured for its replacement cost value – the cost that it would take to rebuild your home entirely – you could have a lot more help from your insurance to rebuild a solid foundation as well as repair your home’s structure.
Earthquakes, Floods, & Sinkholes
Nonetheless, most of the perils that home insurance covers reflect events that usually affect your home from the top down, not the ground up. Typical natural disasters that start near your foundation, on the ground, are typically not covered at all by home insurance. These disasters and typically excluded home insurance perils are:
Usually, these policies must be purchased separately or as a rider to existing homeowners’ policies in order to have coverage for any part of your house. So again, be sure to check with your agent and read through your policy to check what is and isn’t covered by your home insurance.
How can I prevent foundation damage?
Most times, foundation damage can take a homeowner by surprise. However, there are a few ways that you can prevent damage and its costly repair bill:
- During dry seasons, water the ground around your foundation to check for gaps between the soil and your foundation
- Keep your gutter’s exit points clear and away from your house to prevent water from seeping underground
- When planting trees, make sure they are placed far from the perimeter of your house
- If trees are planted close to your home, consider placing root guards or defensive shields blocking their roots systems from growing under your home.
- If you have a newer home, check your construction company’s warranty. Most builders’ warranties cover their construction for about 10 years.
While your foundation is a vital part of the home you aim to protect, it’s not the only portion that needs protection. That’s why our experts work with you to find the right coverage for, not only the building blocks of your home, but everything that goes into keeping up everything under your roof. Plus, with the expertise and the multiple carrier relationships our agents have developed, we’ll help you get the best price on the coverage you need. To get started with your free, customized home insurance quotes, just give us a call, fill out our online form, or LiveChat with a specialist today!