There are many things that may happen when you find your dream home and go under contract, but when that perfect place comes with a cracked foundation, there are things that you can do to protect your interests. In many instances, damage to the structure of the home will not be covered by the general provisions of a homeowners’ policy.
When your home has had structural damage as the result of cracks or a break in the foundation of your home, there may be challenges to the payment of your claim, even if you have an insurance rider. The skilled and dedicated South Florida homeowners’ insurance attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano, who have more than 120 years of collective experience, will provide you with a thorough case evaluation and will work hard to find you the legal solutions that you need.
The work that is required to stabilize or correct the defects in a foundation may be very expensive. The cost to replace the foundation or utilize steel or concrete supports to shore up the strength of the foundation may cost $30,000 or more. Additional costs associated with the foundation work also can rise into the tens of thousands of dollars. Further, when there is damage to the foundation, the long-term structural integrity may be compromised and lead to more repairs down the road.
If you do want to move forward with the home, there are some things that you can do to protect your interests in the future, which include:
• Bring in an expert – it is always a good idea to have a structural engineer review the extent of the damage and the potential for future problems in order to know what might happen;
• Get a handle on the repairs that may be necessary – some cracks in the foundation are merely the result of settling and should not ruin an otherwise good deal, but you want to have real numbers of the repairs costs with one or more estimates. As part of the purchase of the house, the seller should complete the repairs before closing. A seller who refuses to undertake the work is a good reason to walk away from the contract;
• Research your home insurance options – there are different types of policies that you can obtain and choosing the right type of coverage can make all the difference in the world. Although finding a policy that covers damage to the foundation may not be possible, there are some policies that will cover “ensuing loss”;
• Buy additional protection – even after repairs have been made to the foundation, other events could lead to more damage. Riders that cover the movement of earth may protect a homeowner if there is an earthquake or if a severe storm leads to the liquefaction of the soil. In addition, riders for flood damage and sinkhole coverage can protect the value of the property;
• Get the right legal help – if you face a denial of coverage, it is critical to contact attorneys who are experienced in homeowners’ insurance claim denials.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano Advocates for Property Owners
When the decision to buy the house in which you intend to spend many years leads to serious financial harm when an insurance claim is denied, it is crucial to get experienced attorneys on your side as soon as possible. With more three decades spent fighting for the rights of home owners, the Miami homeowners’ insurance law firm of Greenberg Stone and Urbano is ready to work hard to get the coverage that you deserve. Our efforts on behalf of our clients has resulted in an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and an invitation to join the prestigious legal society Primerus. In addition, the Miami Herald has voted us one of South Florida’s top-rated firms. To schedule an appointment to learn about your legal rights, please call us (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website.