Should I Count on the Insurance Money?
June 11, 2021
When they notice that they have cracks in their foundation, a lot of homeowners decide to ignore this problem. Unfortunately, cracks are often a sign of a much bigger issue, and if you are lucky, they won’t widen in time. However, in most cases, the cracks get only bigger as days pass, and in the end, repairing the damage costs much more than it would if you just nipped the problem in the bud. Ironically, money is usually the main reason homeowners decide to postpone the repairs. This project can cost a pretty penny, and not everyone is ready to invest money into it.
Luckily, in some cases, the insurance policy can kick in and you can fix the damage without paying anything from your pocket. However, there are scenarios where you just cannot count on the money from the insurance company. So, will your insurance provider cover the foundation repair costs?
When Can You Count on Receiving Money from Your Insurance Policy?
Every home insurance policy is different, so you need to see what is listed in yours. The first thing you need to do is to determine the cause of the cracks. If the cause is listed in your policy, you are in luck. However, if it is not, you will have to pay for the repairs out of pocket. If you still haven’t signed up for a home insurance policy, you should take time to go over the offers, see what they cover, and opt for the best one. Keep in mind that you should always read the fine print, so there aren’t any unpleasant surprises. After all, you should completely understand the exclusions and your responsibilities as a homeowner.
With that said, there are some unpredictable events your policy must cover. Sign up for the policy that will pay for the damage in case it was caused by fire explosions, tornado, lightning, storms, heave, vandalism, water damage triggered by leaking pipes, and flooding that occurred due to broken pipes or a faulty washing machine.
What Happens When Your Home Insurance Policy Won’t Cover the Foundation Cracks?
Every company has its list of exclusions it won’t pay out. Here are just some of the events after which you should not expect to see the money from the insurance company in your area.
Normal wear and tear: To stay in top shape, your home will need regular maintenance. Otherwise, the signs of wear and tear will quickly appear. Home insurance companies usually don’t cover foundation cracks if they happened as a result of normal wear and tear, since this damage could have been prevented.
Natural shifting and earth movement: Sometimes, the earth’s movement can cause landslides, sinkholes, mudslides, and even earthquakes. If your foundation cracks have appeared as a result of a shifting, don’t count on the money from the insurance. If you are buying a new home, make sure it is not located in the landslide area, or you might come across many problems in your future.
Foundation settling: If you regularly maintain your home’s foundation, it will stay in the best shape. However, if it comes to the foundation settling which results in foundation cracks among other problems, you will most likely have to pay for the repairs yourself.
Faulty construction: When you are building a new home, you shouldn’t try to save money on construction. Hire the best team that will do an amazing job, because investing in your home is money well spent. If you have cracks in the foundation that are a result of poor workmanship, your insurance company won’t give you the money for repairs. The only thing you can do in this scenario is to hope your warranty is still valid. If it has expired, you will need to pay for everything yourself.
Vermin and termite damage: As a responsible homeowner, you should make sure insects, rodents, and other vermin cannot infest your home. Keep in mind that insurance companies consider pest control a part of the regular home maintenance process, so you won’t get a penny from them.
Floods: If the flood was caused by a broken washing machine hose or broken pipes, you will get the money from the insurance. However, if the flood was caused by rain or overflowing rivers, you are not covered.
When it comes to the dilemma of whether your insurance will cover the cost of repairs, you should rely on this rule: If you could have prevented it, you won’t get the money. In other words, if the damage is a result of poor maintenance, the insurance company won’t cover the costs. It is your responsibility as a homeowner to keep your house in the best possible shape or to thoroughly inspect a house before buying a property.
What Can I Do If My Insurance Company Won’t Grant Me Money for the Repairs?
Unfortunately, there aren’t many things you can do if the insurance company has denied covering the costs of repairs. You can come to terms with the situation and just pay for the repairs yourself, or you can call professional contractors to inspect the damage and determine the exact cause of the problem. If what they discover is listed in your insurance policy, you are in luck. On the other hand, if it is not listed, you could pay the contractor to repair the damage. However, don’t forget to consult them about payment options and financing plans you can take advantage of.
To make a long story short, anything that counts as a poor maintenance issue and is preventable won’t be covered by the insurance policy. On the other hand, your home will be covered in case there is unexpected damage after events such as burst pipes or fires.
If you have noticed cracks in the foundation but the insurance company won’t provide money for repairs, don’t put off fixing the problem. Things will only get worse in time, so call professional contractors serving your area ASAP. If you are not sure which steps to take, contact us and find out what options you have at your disposal.