Homeowners insurance does not always cover the damages your home faces. Sometimes, the most costly problems receive not attention from your insurance provider. It is a good idea to know what your policy offers and what it does not offer prior to agreeing to the terms. When it comes to your home’s foundation, there may be no other portion of the home more important to maintain. What happens if the soil expansion occurring near the foundation becomes too much for the walls and this leads to the development of cracks?
It Depends on your Policy
Every homeowner’s policy is different and ultimately you and your insurance agent need to determine if such a problem is covered. In most policies, general maintenance is not considered a covered expense. It is up to your insurance company to determine if soil expansion is in fact a type of maintenance. This is often a loose definition, which means you could be in for a fact-finding process to determine the cause of the problem.
In general, it is considered maintenance if your foundation is damaged from soil expansion. Most of the time, soil expansion occurs because of moisture within the soil (such as from rain or snow) getting into the soil and freezing. As it freezes, it causes the soil and space to expand. If this occurs, it can cause cracks in the foundation walls especially in severe situations. Most types of water damage are not covered under homeowner’s insurance policies because maintaining the foundation is the homeowner’s responsibility.
In other cases, it may be. If you have an all-risk policy and it does not have any exclusion for foundation problems, your insurance company may be responsible for this repair. Additionally, if your foundation damage occurred because of a pipe bursting which lead to the soil expansion (due to the freezing of the water) this may lead to a covered incident.
Unfortunately, it is up to you to maintain your home’s foundation. If you fail to do so and it is due to poor maintenance that the cracks occurred, your agent may be unable to help you. However, there is no reason not to contact the company and to determine if this type of occurrence is covered. If this is a big problem where you live, ensure your all-risk policy includes foundation protection from such incidents.