What are the causes of foundation damage?
Damage to the foundation of your home usually happens after the soil around it changes. This process typically occurs over the course of years, but can happen suddenly after an earthquake or flood.
During these events, the soil can either erode or expand. Soil erosion around your house causes the foundation to sink, while soil expansion can push your foundation up higher than it previously sat. Both of these situations can cause the structure of your foundation to change, which can result in structural damage like cracks in the drywall, brick lining, windows, and doors of your home.
Foundation cracks weaken the integrity and structure of your home and can eventually lead to a collapse, so it’s important not to overlook this concern. Horizontal cracks in particular should be attended to as soon as possible as they could indicate serious foundation issues.
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What are your insurance options?
Most homeowners insurance policies come with personal liability coverage, which protects you from being sued for the cost of medical bills if someone is injured on your property. Your policy might also contain personal property coverage, which protects you from theft. The dwelling coverage on your policy insures the structure of your home, but that doesn’t mean damage to foundations is always covered by the standard homeowners insurance policy.
Insuring the foundation of a home leaves insurance companies open to big risks and financial losses. Paying out on a claim for foundation damage is very expensive, so they try to avoid doing this. You do have other options available to you.
Does homeowners insurance cover water damage? It depends on the cause and the type of insurance policy you have. A standard homeowners policy will not cover all instances of water damage, but many insurance providers will offer a “dwelling foundation” rider on your home insurance policy for an added cost. This supplemental coverage may cover structural problems, like broken water pipes, but is unlikely to provide coverage for problems like flood damage and damage from earthquakes. Talk to an insurance agent to get details about what riders are available to you to cover repair costs for incidents like these.
You can purchase separate policies for flood insurance and earthquake insurance to help cover the cost of repairing your foundation. Ground cover collapse coverage is available in some locations, especially if your home is located in an area susceptible to sink holes.
It’s important to set aside money for potential foundational issues down the road and to do routine checks and maintenance as often as possible. Be sure to do repairs at the first signs of foundation damage, otherwise it could turn into a larger problem (and larger expense).
Whether you are unhappy with your current home insurance policy or you need a policy with more comprehensive coverage, helpful agents are just a call away. They can help you find a homeowners insurance company with the coverage you need at a price you can afford.