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Protecting Your Home From Leaks: Will Home Insurance Help?

Basement leaks covered by home insurance

The myths about the cost of basement repair have kept many a homeowner from draining their basements when they should have. While these myths are unfounded, more often than not, you may still be concerned about the price you’ll have to pay to retake your home.

That’s where home insurance comes into play. While homeowner’s insurance won’t cover every disaster, it can protect you from internal leaks. Let’s dive into the details to see if there’s a way you can overcome the cost of your next repair.

What Causes a Basement Leak?

Basement leaks don’t tend to form after a single traumatic event but rather will appear once your foundation or walls have cracked under stress. The most common causes of basement leaks include:

  • Cracks in your walls
  • Unstable foundation
  • Poor grading
  • Leaking pipes
  • Clogged drains 

What Leaks Are Covered By Your Home Insurance?

Insurance is a tricky business. You’ll find a lot of legal-ese in your policy, even if your provider has the best of intentions. With that in mind, what kind of leaks, generally, should your home insurance be able to protect you from?

Some of the most common leaks you can file a claim for include:

  • Leaking water heaters – If you’ve had a physical malfunction with your water heater and the damage is spreading throughout your basement, your insurance provider may be able to help you cover any replacement and maintenance costs.
  • Broken or burst pipes – Broken pipes are tricky to deal with, and not just because they cause a mess. Some insurance providers might argue that homes that are inadequately heated cannot be covered by existing policies. Others may argue that burst pipes are a result of the weather, a force outside the homeowner’s control, and thereby not within their jurisdiction to cover. That said, most home insurance providers should be able to take on a claim regarding a broken or burst pipe. You’ll need to hammer out the details with your provider, but don’t be afraid to go to bat if it seems like your provider is splitting hairs.
  • Piping problems – Similarly, if the contractor who built your home installed faulty pipes, and you’re facing down an internal leak, reach out to your insurance provider. So long as the contractor you end up working with accepts this form of payment, you should be able to issue a claim and mitigate some of your costs.
  • Large appliance malfunctions – Finally, if your refrigerator, dishwasher or other large appliance malfunctions, you have two replacement options. If the appliance was still under warranty, you can have the whole of it replaced free of charge or at a reduced rate. However, these warranties may not cover any damage done to your home. For that, you’re going to have to go to your insurance provider. Even if your appliance is out of warranty, your home insurance provider should be able to provide you with the funds to get a new appliance of the same or lesser caliber and repair the damage done by the appliance to your home. 

What Leaks Aren’t Covered By Your Home Insurance?

Unfortunately, there are a number of leaks your home insurance may not cover, including:

  • Environmental leaks – Unfortunately, if Charlotte, NC, comes under threat of a serious rainstorm or hurricane, most home insurance providers may not be able to provide you with compensation for a leaking basement. The same goes for a leaking foundation. That said, be sure to talk to your local insurance provider about property damage coverage to see just what your policy entails.
  • Weather-related leaks – Similarly, most home insurance providers might not be able to take on a claim regarding water damage that’s come as a result of the local weather.
  • Seepage – Even if the weather’s been fair, you can still find water damage in your basement. Why? The soil around your home may be shifting or the groundwater in the area may be reaching unstable levels. Either way, most home insurance providers may still be unable to provide you with the funds you might need to reach out to a local contractor for guidance. 

Even though most home insurance providers might not be able to provide much financial help during these times, there’s no need to panic. Most basement repair contractors in Charlotte, NC, are willing to provide you with an initial inspection free of charge. If you work with a contractor from a smaller business, you may even be able to set up a payment plan for the work you eventually take on.

Breaking into your repair fund is usually a painful process. If you’re lucky, your local insurance provider could help you mitigate some of the repair costs you’ll need to restore the value of your home. If you’re not, however, be sure to make your financial needs known to the contractor you’re interested in working with. Above all else, don’t let the leak in your basement get worse. The longer your leak goes without treatment, the worse it’s going to get – and the more expensive it’s going to be to fix.

Whether your provider can help with your costs or not, reach out and touch base with your local basement repair contractor ASAP. 

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