Foundation Issues: Can You Claim Insurance Coverage?
Homeowners face a variety of issues throughout the lifetime of their home. One of the most significant problems that homeowners can face is foundation issues. Foundation issues can range from small cracks to major foundation shifts, and they can be expensive to repair. Many homeowners wonder if they can claim insurance coverage for foundation issues. In this article, we will explore the topic of foundation issues and whether or not insurance coverage is an option.
What Causes Foundation Issues?
Foundation issues can occur for a variety of reasons. The most common causes of foundation issues include:
- Soil movement
- Poor soil compaction
- Water damage
- Poor construction
Soil movement can occur due to changes in the water content of the soil. This can cause the soil to expand and contract, which can put pressure on the foundation. Poor soil compaction can also cause foundation issues. If the soil beneath the foundation was not properly compacted, the foundation can settle or sink over time. Water damage is another common cause of foundation issues. Water can cause the soil to shift and can also damage the foundation itself. Poor construction can also contribute to foundation issues. If the foundation was not properly designed or built, it can be prone to issues.
Signs of Foundation Issues
There are several signs that homeowners can look for to determine if they have foundation issues. These signs include:
- Cracks in the walls or floors
- Doors and windows that stick or do not close properly
- Uneven floors
- Visible foundation cracks
- Gaps around windows and doors
- Sloping floors
If homeowners notice any of these signs, they should have their foundation inspected by a professional.
Insurance Coverage for Foundation Issues
Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover foundation issues. However, some policies may offer coverage for specific types of foundation issues. It is important for homeowners to review their insurance policy to determine if they have coverage for foundation issues.
Types of Foundation Coverage
If homeowners do have coverage for foundation issues, it may be limited to certain types of foundation problems. For example, some policies may cover foundation issues that result from a sudden and unexpected event, such as a natural disaster. Other policies may only cover foundation issues that result from a covered peril, such as water damage. Homeowners should review their policy to determine what types of foundation coverage they have.
Exclusions to Foundation Coverage
Even if homeowners have coverage for foundation issues, there may be exclusions to the coverage. For example, many policies exclude coverage for foundation issues that result from poor maintenance or wear and tear. Homeowners should review their policy to determine what exclusions apply to their coverage.
Insurance Adjusters and Inspections
Insurance adjusters are responsible for inspecting the damage and determining whether or not it is covered by the insurance policy. When an adjuster arrives to inspect the foundation, homeowners should provide them with any documentation they have of the foundation issue, such as photos and repair estimates. It is important for homeowners to be present during the inspection so they can ask questions and make sure the adjuster is aware of all the issues.
Documenting Foundation Issues
It is important for homeowners to document any foundation issues they notice as soon as possible. This includes taking photos and videos of the damage and keeping any repair estimates or invoices. The more documentation homeowners have, the easier it will be to file a claim and prove that the damage is covered by their insurance policy.
Other Options for Foundation Repair
If homeowners do not have insurance coverage for their foundation issues, there are other options for repair. Homeowners can hire a foundation repair specialist to fix the issue. The cost of repair will depend on the severity of the damage and the type of repair needed. Some common foundation repairs include:
- Installing piers or underpinning
- Installing a drainage system
Homeowners should get multiple estimates before hiring a foundation repair specialist to ensure they are getting a fair price.
Preventative Measures for Foundation Issues
Preventing foundation issues is often easier than repairing them. Homeowners can take several steps to prevent foundation issues, including:
- Keeping the soil around the foundation at a consistent moisture level
- Properly grading the yard to direct water away from the foundation
- Ensuring proper drainage around the foundation
- Properly maintaining gutters and downspouts
- Not planting trees or shrubs too close to the foundation
By taking these preventative measures, homeowners can reduce their risk of foundation issues.
In conclusion, foundation issues can be a major concern for homeowners, and it’s essential to determine if insurance coverage is available for these issues. While most homeowners insurance policies do not cover foundation issues, some policies may offer coverage for specific types of damage. Homeowners should carefully review their policy to determine if they have coverage for foundation issues and what types of damage are covered.
If homeowners do have coverage, they should document any foundation issues they notice and file a claim with their insurance company. However, if they do not have coverage, they can seek help from a foundation repair specialist. Pinnacle Foundation Repair is a reputable foundation repair company that offers free inspections and can provide homeowners with a quote for any necessary repairs. By taking preventative measures and seeking professional help when necessary, homeowners can avoid costly foundation issues in the future.