Last week I introduced 5 things no home insurance policy covers. These are acts of war, nuclear meltdown, flood, earthquake, and sewage back up (see http://126.96.36.199/~wiseinsu/home-insurance-doesnt-cover/). It would be nice to think our home policies cover everything, but they don’t. In fact, last week’s list was only a partial list of what home insurance policies don’t cover. Here are three more items no Texas home insurance policy covers.
Foundation Damage: Many people mistakenly think foundation coverage is included on their home policy. This may be due in part to the way this option is worded on an insurance quote or policy where it’s referred to as foundation coverage. The way I explain this is that no home policy covers foundation damage, what it covers is:
- Foundation Access
- Foundation Egress
Much of Texas soil has high clay content. This means our soil shrinks and cracks when it gets dry and expands when it’s damp. No insurance company covers damage to the foundation if it’s damaged by soil movement or erosion. For more information on optional foundation coverage, read http://188.8.131.52/~wiseinsu/does-your-home-policy-cover-foundation-damage/.
What it covers is when a water leak occurs either in or beneath the slam (some policies only cover damage caused by leaks beneath the slam while other policies cover damage caused by leaks within and beneath the slab). Foundation coverage covers a plumber cutting through the slab to access the leak and repair it.
The home policy may or may not cover the actual repair of the leak as some policies do and other’s do not, but the cutting into the foundation and then later filling it back in is covered if the home owner has added this optional coverage. All foundation claims are subject to the policy deductibles.
Sinkholes: Sinkholes pop up on the national news scene from time to time, usually in Florida or Louisiana. In these cases, a sinkhole opens up beneath or near a house and it swallows the home. Sinkhole coverage is available in Florida and Louisiana, however, this coverage is not available on any Texas home insurance policy I’ve ever seen. The good news for Texans, is we don’t get too many sinkholes.
I did run into one occasion a year ago where a person was buying a home near Cedar Creek Lake near an area where sinkholes had been reported. The mortgage company loan officer called me to discuss whether the home buyer would be able to obtain a home insurance policy which would provide coverage for sinkholes. We could not help their buyer and the loan underwriters were left with a quandary on what to do since no policy offered this coverage.
Insect & Rodent Damage: Most home policies provide some coverage for damage to the home that’s caused by an animal. If you live in one of Texas’ metropolitan areas such as Dallas / Fort Worth, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, we really don’t have to worry too much about damage caused by a bear looking for food. There is the occasional wayward horse, deer, or neighbor’s pet.
Most Texas home policies exclude damage to the home caused by an owner’s own pet, rodents (rats, mice & squirrels), and insects including termites, spiders, and ants of any kind. Claims have been filed and paid on damage caused by wild animals other than rodents (raccoons, possums, etc.), and a neighbor’s pet. Animal damage claims are subject to the policy deductible, and any damage caused by insects or rodents, will be paid exclusively by the homeowner.
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