8 Home Exterior Repairs That Should Be Covered by Your Insurance

All homeowners know that any household issue can affect their budget and savings. However, some people don’t know that their home insurance and other policies could cover many exterior repairs. Let’s find out what your coverage will pay for so you can plan what to do next or take advantage of your current policy to the maximum.

1. Septic Tank Damage

The last thing any homeowner wants is to have problems with their waste management system. It’s one of the biggest headaches because humans produce waste constantly, and having a way to discard that is essential. Fixing any damage to your septic tank system can be complicated and take a long time. However, the worst part is that it’ll be expensive. You must determine if your home insurance will pay for these exterior repairs. According to Bankrate, septic tanks normally fall under the structure’s coverage of homeowners’ insurance policies.

This part of your plan will cover damage to things in your home that aren’t attached to the main building. In case of damage due to a natural disaster, another part of your policy may pay for the full replacement. Your insurance will approve a claim if perils, like vandalism, hail, lightning strikes, explosions, etc., ruin your tank. Some aspects may be subject to revision due to the circumstances, as the company has to determine that the damage wasn’t intentionally caused.

It has to be a dire situation. Insurance may not cover septic system pumping if it’s not urgent or unexpected. It won’t cover damage that came from poor or lack of maintenance. It won’t pay if a tree’s root gets into the tank or if you continuously flush strange things down the toilet. Interestingly, most home insurance policies also have an exception for floods and earthquakes. Therefore, you have to get a particular contract for that.

2. Home Structure Damage

Your home is made from resistant materials, but they’re not infallible. They can break down over time and due to unforeseen circumstances. Most people do not know what kind of structural damage their policy covers. Each person has to thoroughly examine their contract to determine what exterior repairs are covered, but it’s easy to get a general idea. In several cases, it won’t cover the cost of maintenance, so if you want a different doorway, you have to pay for the door business yourself. However, you may be entitled to compensation if the door was damaged due to a great storm.

Structural damage in a home includes ceiling problems, cracked chimneys, dented flooring, sagging walls, missing features, etc., but the damage has to be significant. Normally, this type of coverage is called dwelling protection on your contract, and it’s different from personal property protection or liability protection. Your insurance company will consider a few things before approving your coverage. First, they will ask what caused the structural problem and then require documents proving the amount of damage caused.

As mentioned, most policies won’t cover damage due to floods, earthquakes, or wear and tear. They will cover other kinds of surprising events, such as a car driving and striking your house. You can get paid after an accidental explosion and fire. However, you must check the fine print to ensure you understand your coverage. Don’t wait until something happens to discover that your insurance won’t pay for some exterior repairs.

3. Electrical Wiring Damage

Not all electrical wiring runs inside your home. A homeowner may have running wires and cables in several areas of their property. Fortunately, you may be covered for wiring outside as it would be considered exterior repairs, but some issues are exceptions. For example, your policy won’t help if the damage was caused by faulty work by an electrical contractor, whether the issue came from the beginning or was due to bad maintenance. Meanwhile, if your home has had previous wiring issues, you may get rejected from even buying a policy in the first place.

Another exception is knob-and-tube wiring, which was a popular way of running wires through a property years ago. It’s no longer used in modern constructions, but people with older homes need to know what they’ll be entitled to if something happens. You may be able to find a policy that covers the work, but it’s not easy. This is because this type of electrical cable has a bigger risk of causing fires, particularly due to its closeness to the insulation materials.

Some companies offer it, but their premiums are much larger due to the high risk. You have to weigh your options and get the best overall plan for your house. Aluminum wiring is another risky setup because it’s less durable than other materials like copper, so you’ll have to be smarter while choosing between insurances. Many homeowners decide to get a home warranty plan to protect from wear and tear, and that coverage extends to lighting fixtures, electrical panels, ceiling fans, fuses, switches, etc.

4. Roofing Damage

One of the main reasons why people get insurance for exterior repairs is their roofs. If you’re on all-perils homeowners insurance, you can call local roofers and start getting it fixed or replaced. However, you must remember that it’s only covered when acts of nature or accidents occur. Problems that arise due to wear and tear or if a roof is too old won’t fall under this protection. According to Progressive, roofs over 20 years old have limited or no coverage. That’s because these exterior repairs are considered maintenance, which is the homeowner’s responsibility.

To make a claim, you’ll need to keep records of all repairs, photos, and inspection findings. You also have to notify your insurance of damage as soon as it happens, usually before starting any repairs. Most roof insurance will take into account the location of your home. In the Northern part of the country, you’ll see protection against snow, hail, and ice storms.

You can get coverage for tornados and cyclones in many Midwest states, and in Florida, you’ll see wind mitigation. You can file a claim if the wind causes a tree to fall into your roof. Wildfires count, too. Some people have had planes crashing into their properties, and insurance must cover that. You will usually pay for a deductible, which will vary depending on the situation and your location. Sometimes, getting a particular coverage extension is even better than paying a high deductible later.

5. Driveway Issues

Problems with your driveway may not seem urgent, but a tiny crack can mess with your curb appeal and damage your cars. That’s why all homeowners need to consider driveway sealing when necessary. Maintenance is extremely necessary, especially if you want to avoid exterior repairs not covered by homeowner’s insurance. As explained, your coverage may protect your home structure, including secondary parts like decks and driveways. However, you’ll be covered from perils, not wear and tear.

Accidental damage to your driveway, like a crack caused by a fallen tree after a big storm, can be covered. Insurance will pay for the repairs or the replacement. Fires, tornadoes, windstorms, etc., also fall under most policies. You have to check the exceptions and exclusions. Aside from the abovementioned options, neglect is also not covered under insurance. Damage from wild animals is not on most policies either. Naturally, anything caused intentionally is not protected at all, which is one of the reasons why homeowners need evidence of the damage.

Once you’ve established that everything was accidental and caused by nature, you can make a claim. Your insurance should also cover picking up debris, old asphalt or cement pieces, trees, etc. You may have to pay for a dump trailer rental and get reimbursed later. However, be careful because insurance may only pay the real cash value of any repairs or replacement, not the actual cost.

6. Foundation Problems

Foundation issues can happen to any homeowner, and there are certain things your insurance policy won’t cover. Cracks and settling are not protected unless emergencies like the ones mentioned above cause them. Anything that falls under routine home maintenance won’t be part of your policy. Therefore, you need to ensure that the local home builders you hire for your house project are some of the best in the business.

You won’t have to worry for decades as long as the foundation is appropriately placed. Other issues with the foundation include movement or sagging floors. These may happen due to rotting floors, which aren’t covered under any policy. Remember that most insurance doesn’t cover floods or earthquakes, and it’s the same in this case. You’d have to get separate coverage to be protected against those kinds of perils.

It’s always a good idea to take pictures whenever you start noticing problems with your home structure. Foundation issues may be detected early because of cracks in your walls or when doors don’t close correctly. You may have seen slanted flooring or noticed too much moisture in the basement. Call an inspector immediately if you notice these issues. Don’t wait until something terrible happens.

7. Landscaping Damage

Most homeowners end up losing money on several gardening and hardscaping projects because they don’t realize that their homeowner insurance could cover many of their issues. The exceptions are similar to the ones mentioned above. You’ll have to pay for everything if you hire tree services because you want to get rid of a plant for personal reasons. However, if there’s damage or the plants in your yard cause damage to your property, you may get coverage. It also works if something or someone else ruins your expensive garden. You may be able to repurchase some plants and be reimbursed by insurance.

The usual perils that fall under your protection include fire, lightning, vandalism, and theft. If your bushes and other parts of your yard were stolen, your insurance could pay you back. It may also cover the costs if the damage was caused by a vehicle not operated by a person in your household. However, some insurance companies will only pay to eliminate the issue from your property; they’ll reimburse you for stump removal services if necessary. They may not pay for a replacement.

Normally, homeowners protection covers fallen trees from a storm or strong wind. You can file a claim if it damages other parts of your property. However, you won’t be able to claim much if the tree fell because it was sick. That’s maintenance-related and one of the reasons why homeowners must have an arborist they can call when they suspect something is wrong. You may also wonder about garden walls and yard erosion, which are usually outside any policy. However, the insurance company may offer extra coverage to their clients. You just need to ask.

8. Gutter Damage

You have already discovered many exterior repairs that are covered by homeowner’s insurance and the many caveats that come with that. The same can be said about gutter damage. Usually, this part of your house’s structure can be ruined the same way roofs are, i.e., fallen trees, hail, wind, etc. You’ll need to check what your insurance excludes from their contract because not all gutter repairs or replacements will fall under their policies.

Furthermore, a company considers several factors before denying a claim. Unexpected situations are usually covered, but things like a stuck animal or deterioration due to neglect are your responsibility. It’s also important to note that many insurances won’t cover certain types of gutter materials. Be sure to check those restrictions before starting any work. Intentional acts of vandalism are not covered. Like roofs, older gutters aren’t protected.

Furthermore, some policies have a cap on how much they’ll pay. For example, they could agree to $2,000. If it costs more, you’ll need to pay for the rest of the repairs or replacements. Remember always to take pictures of the damage and get an inspector to make a report for the insurance claim. After filing, you must be patient because the company may take time to approve your claim. Tip: keep all your receipts and invoices from the exterior repairs. Be as detailed as possible in your forms, especially about the damage. Get several estimates from different services to negotiate with the insurance business.

Now that you understand the exterior repairs that are covered by your insurance, it’s time to take advantage. Remember, you’re paying them money each month in case of emergencies and other situations, so you’re entitled to fix what’s needed. Otherwise, you have to look for a better policy.

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