Homeowner’s insurance policies can cover a variety of things and possible scenarios that can happen with your home. Unfortunately, foundation repair is not one of those items that are typically covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy. But, there are exceptions which we will cover in this article.
Now before we dive too deep into this rabbit hole and you start to approve a foundation repair contract, please review your policy to confirm that you are indeed covered with these scenarios. We all know that insurance policies have a lot of fine print and loopholes around every corner.
Let’s dive into the exception(s) to this age old question.
The ONLY exception on when a homeowner’s insurance policy has paid out is when there has been a confirmed and validated pressurized water leak. Not only does there have to be proof that there has been a pressurized water leak, but you also have to have proof that you did not have a foundation settlement issue prior to the water leak.
A pressurized water leak can only come from a water line that has continuous water and pressure present. This would be a line coming off of your main water line that runs to a bathroom or the kitchen. These lines are ran underneath of the existing home and typically go unnoticed until you start to get spikes in your water bill.
If you think you may have a higher than normal water bill, you can do a quick home test.
First – Turn off all of the faucets and any water supplied valves within your home.
Second – Go out side and find your water meter. This is usually located out by the sidewalk at the front of your home. You may need to clear some vegetation or dirt to find it! 😉
Third – Open the top of the water meter and you will notice a few pipes, a valve, and a meter in the box. That meter should not be spinning or adding gallons of water use if you have all of the items listed in step one shut off. If you do, you may have a leak occurring somewhere within your pressurized plumbing system. The fun part is finding it!
If you do see continued water usage with everything shut off you should call a licensed plumber immediately. Inform them what you are experiencing and they should be able to set up an inspection to come out and confirm and locate the possible leak. Make sure you get a complete inspection report for their findings. If there is a leak, you will need this when you start the process of submitting your claim to your homeowner’s insurance company.
Once the claim has been submitted and it is not rejected, the insurance company will have steps on have experts validate the claim. Each insurance company has their own steps, but the most common experts are Geotechnical Engineers, Structural Engineers, Foundation Repair Specialists, and General Contractors.
The Geotechnical Engineer will validate if the soils have been compromised due to the leak. They will take numerous borings or test pits to gather information for them to compile their soil analysis report.
The Structural Engineer will review any damage that has occurred in the home and make a recommendation based upon his findings.
The Foundation Repair Specialist will focus solely on the foundation and slab/floor of your home. They will conduct a floor elevation survey and will be able to supply you with those results as well as recommendations on repairs and costs associated with those recommendations.
The General Contractor will assess any additional damages throughout the house that may have been impacted by the movement caused by the water leak. They would take notes and compile a cost associated with any repairs that maybe needed. This could include adjusting windows and doors, to patching and painting drywall and stucco cracks.
These 4 people/companies are the ones that will be able to provide you with a clear assessment of the pressurized water line leak. Make sure you have to opportunity to bring in your own experts if you are unclear or if you don’t think there was enough information provided to you or to the insurance company to come up with a solution to the problem.
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If you still have questions, feel free to reach out to us and we would be glad to answer any questions or schedule you with a free inspection.