When it comes to fixing damage in their homes, a lot of homeowners tend to put off these projects for as long as possible, especially when big ones are in question. For instance, foundation repairs can be a pain since they last longer than a couple of hours and can cost a pretty penny. However, postponing them is rarely a good idea since problems can only get bigger with time and the price you pay to fix them will only increase. Most homeowners put off these repairs due to the amount of money they will have to spend. Although in some cases, home insurance will cover the cost of repairs, this is not always a valid option.
Here’s When You Can Count on Your Insurance Policy to Cover the Costs
Whether or not you already have a home insurance policy, you need to keep in mind that every policy is different. If you have one, you will need to read it thoroughly and see when it will cover the cost of repairs. If the cause of your foundation crack is not on the list, you will have to pay for everything out of your own pocket. If you still don’t have a home insurance policy, don’t sign up for the first one that is offered to you. Do your research, see what they offer, read the fine print, check the exclusions, and only then will you be able to make an informed decision.
With that said, you should look for a policy that will cover unexpected issues that cause damage to your house. Your policy should cover the cost of repairs in the case of fire explosions, tornados, lightning and storms, heaving, vandalism, water damage caused by leaking pipes, and flooding caused by a broken washing machine.
Here’s When You Will Have to Pay for the Costs from Your Own Pocket
Although, as we said, every policy is different, there are some situations when you most likely won’t be able to count on the policy to cover the costs. If the foundation crack is a result of the following factors, you will probably have to pay for the repairs yourself:
- Normal wear and tear: As years go by, the number of things that need to be fixed around your home increases. The fence will need to be painted, as well as the windows and the front door, the roof will require some fixing, and some things will need to be completely replaced. Maintaining your home to keep it in good condition is your obligation and keeping the foundation in order is also your job. If the foundation has cracked due to wear and tear, it means you haven’t maintained it properly, and home insurance won’t cover the cost.
- Natural shifting and earth movement: If you are looking to buy a house, make sure it is not located in a landslide area because no home insurance company will cover the cost of damage caused by a landslide. The same rule goes for sinkholes, mudslides, and earthquakes.
- Foundation settling: If your foundation cracks have been caused by soil expansion or contraction, don’t count on money from the insurance company. Most companies believe that these things could be avoided with proper home maintenance and won’t cover the costs of repairs.
- Faulty construction: If the workers who built the house didn’t do a very good job and now you are left with a damaged foundation, don’t expect that the insurance company will give you money to fix it. Usually, insurance companies don’t cover poor workmanship, which is one more reason to do thorough research before hiring any workers. If you have found yourself in this situation, you can only hope that the warranty is still valid.
- Vermin and termite damage: If your home has been invaded by insects, rodents, or other vermin that has led to foundation cracks, you won’t be able to count on the money. After all, pest control is a part of regular home maintenance.
- Floods: Floods caused by excessive rain or overflowing rivers are not covered. Unless the flood is a result of a broken washing machine hose, your policy won’t cover the repairs.
All in all, the insurance company won’t cover the cost of repairs in cases when this type of situation could have been prevented by regular maintenance. Maybe this sounds unfair, but it is your job to inspect the property before buying it and to keep it in a good condition.
What Are Your Options If Your Foundation Cracks Aren’t Covered by Insurance?
There are not many things you could do if your insurance policy does not cover your foundation cracks. You can make peace with the situation and pay for the repairs yourself or you can hire expert contractors in Birmingham, AL, let them inspect your house, and determine the true cause of the damage. If they assess that the problem is a result of poor maintenance, you can pay the contractor to fix it. However, make sure you talk about payment options and financing plans beforehand. Maybe you will learn about a plan you could take advantage of.
In conclusion, everything that could be categorized as poor maintenance won’t make the cut since this kind of problem could be avoided. On the other hand, your policy should cover the damage if it was caused by unexpected events such as burst pipes, storms, or lightning.
If you can’t count on the money from the insurance company, you still shouldn’t put off repairs. As we mentioned, the problem won’t go away, and chances are that it will become even bigger. After all, you need to remember that the foundation supports your biggest investment—your house—so take the necessary steps ASAP.
If you have noticed that there are cracks in your foundation, but you are not sure what to do next, contact the local experts at AFS to schedule a free foundation inspection and repair quote to see what your options are.