When it comes to the care and keeping of your home, you want to make sure that you can afford the repairs that keep it livable. What are you supposed to do, though, if your basement starts to leak?
The good news is that there are some leaks homeowner’s insurance should cover. Let’s dive into the details so you can see what’ll be covered, what won’t be, and whether or not you can save money on your next repair job.
The Causes Behind Basement Leaks
Your basement can start leaking for a number of reasons. Most leaks, however, lead back to one culprit: hydrostatic pressure. Hydrostatic pressure builds up in your home when water can readily access your structural supports. Water and moisture make it more difficult for your supports to stay at a consistent temperature. After their exposure, they’ll expand and contract on a molecular level in response to the rapid changes.
If you leave your supports unprotected for too long, those rapid expansions and contractors can cause your basement walls or floor to crack. With that crack comes more opportunity for water to damage your home.
That said, there are other reasons your basement may begin to leak. These include:
- Unstable foundation
- Poor grading
- Leaking pipes
- Clogged drains
What Basement Leaks Will Home Insurance Cover?
Insurance providers like nothing better than predictability. When it comes to leaks, it’s difficult to know when something’s at risk and when it’s working as it should. To mitigate their risks, however, most insurance providers limit their coverage to the following types of leaks.
- Leaking water heaters
- Broken or burst pipes
- Piping problems
- Large appliance malfunctions
When it comes to appliance-based leaks, insurance can get tricky. If the appliance that’s caused the leak is still under warranty, most insurance providers will want you to consult the manufacturer to see if you can get a replacement and financial compensation. However, if the appliance’s warranty has expired, most providers should be able to cover your damages and have your appliance replaced as well.
What Leaks Won’t Home Insurance Cover?
All that said, there are some leaks that insurance providers may not cover. As you might have guessed, insurance companies prefer to work within predictable boundaries. While each company’s policies will vary, there are some leak claims that are consistently denied. More often than not, these claims involve leaks caused by natural disasters or weather-related events.
If you have any of the following leaks, you may have a difficult time getting your insurance company to provide you with the financial support you need:
- Environmental Leaks: While St. Cloud, MN, isn’t prone to too many natural disasters, the area can still flood during a wet spring. If your basement starts to leak as a result of this kind of natural disaster, then you may not be able to file a claim to have it repaired. On one hand, you can talk to your provider about disaster insurance. On the other, it’ll be especially important to have a basement repair fund in place if you live in a valley or low area.
- Weather-Related Leaks: Similarly, home insurance providers can be reluctant to take on claims involving weather-related leaks. These leaks tend to pop up in the late winter or early spring as a result of significant snow run-off. However, especially heavy rains can also cause your basement to crack like an egg. Unfortunately, because no one can predict what amount of rain will compromise the structural integrity of your basement, many insurance companies may pass on claims citing the weather as the cause of any home damage.
- Seepage: What’s the difference between seepage and a leak? Seepage is less destructive than a leak, but it’s no less bothersome. When your home goes without rain for an extended period of time, the soil molecules will start to shrink. The next time it rains, these molecules won’t be able to absorb as much water as they would otherwise. As a result, more water reaches your home, and your basement is exposed to more hydrostatic pressure. However, again, because this is a natural event, most insurance companies won’t be able to provide you with the coverage you need to repair seepage damage.
If you’re looking to save money on eventual repairs but don’t think your insurance company will honor your claim, consider investing in waterproofing solutions before your basement starts to leak. For a free inspection and repair estimate, or to learn more about potential repairs, get in touch with the professional basement repair contractors operating in your area.