Does Home Insurance Cover Cracked Walls?
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Cracks. If you're lucky, they'll start small and stay that way. But cracks have a tendency to get bigger and multiply. If you're noticing cracks on your walls, they could signify structural damage.
Although a few cracks here are there rarely signify a house on the verge of collapse, it's wise to get the structural integrity of your home inspected to make sure you don't have any foundation issues.
But what is the recourse for wall cracks? Will your home insurance policy cover cracked walls? Here's what you need to know.
What causes cracks?
Before you try making a claim, you need to determine what is causing the cracks in your walls. Here are a few potential culprits:
- Wet soil
- Dry soil
- Faulty construction
- Tree roots
- Plumbing leaks
- Earth movement
If you want to pinpoint the source of your foundation problem, you'll need to hire a professional to inspect your home and make an assessment. While this will come at a cost, it will be your best tool to know whether you can get your insurance company to cover the repair or replacement cost. If it is indeed something they will cover, the report might also help you during the claims process.
When will my insurance company cover cracked walls?
The odds of your homeowners insurance coverage paying out for cracked walls is slim, but not impossible. If the damage to your walls was caused by a covered peril on your homeowners insurance policy, it would be covered. However, it is important to note that covered perils are limited to unexpected and unavoidable occurrences, namely, fires, inclement weather, and criminal activity.
When will my insurance company not cover cracked walls?
Although your insurance policy's listed perils are reserved for unexpected and unpreventable occurrences, that does not mean it covers every unexpected and unpreventable occurrence. In fact, most standard homeowners policies do not cover damages caused by earthquakes or floods, some of the most likely perils to damage your home's foundation and cause wall cracks. Therefore, if you want protection from these perils, you'll have to buy additional coverage.
Homeowners insurance rarely pays for foundation repair because most foundation damage is due to gradual wear and the foundation shifting over time. Homeowners insurance does not cover maintenance costs or damages due to neglect or age. It is the homeowner's responsibility to keep an eye on the condition of their foundation and execute the proper maintenance to prevent major damage from occurring.
How much does a foundation problem cost to repair?
The costs of fixing a foundation problem can vary depending on severity. The prices can start as low as $500 for minor patching and crack repairs but can go as high as tens of thousands of dollars for major structural and underpinning repairs.
How can I avoid foundation problems?
While it can be impossible to prevent the ground from shifting, you can reduce your risk of suffering a foundation problem by getting a home inspection before moving into a new home. This is a crucial step to ensure the foundation of the house is in good shape.
And last but not least, you should address cracks as soon as possible. The longer a potential foundation problem goes unchecked, the more severe it can become.