Does my home insurance cover foundation damage?

24 Aug
Homeowner looks at cracks in foundation and repair and looks for home insurance coverage.

Foundation issues can be frustrating and expensive to repair. While some foundation problems can be a quick fix that doesn’t break the bank, other repairs can be very serious and cost thousands of dollars. 

Luckily, in many cases, your homeowners insurance will step up and help pay for foundation damage. However, there are exclusions when it comes to foundation coverage and general wear and tear is never covered. Keep reading to learn what types of foundation damage are covered and what damage you may have to cover out of pocket. 

Does home insurance cover foundation damage?

While homeowners insurance will often cover foundation damage, it depends on what caused the damage in the first place. Damaged caused by severe weather incidents such as flooding, or earthquakes will not be covered unless you are carrying flood and earthquake coverage as flood and earthquake damage is always excluded from a standard homeowners policy

While flooding and earthquake damage is obvious, there are plenty of other foundation damage that is not as apparent. A few common causes of foundation problems:

  • Too much or too little moisture in your soil
  • Water pooling in your yard
  • Natural disasters 
  • Faulty construction 
  • Tree roots
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Earth movement

Foundation damage that should be covered by your insurance

The dwelling portion of your homeowners insurance policy covers the physical structure of your home including the foundation. Most homeowner insurance policies will cover foundation repairs due to damage from the following:

  • Fire
  • A vehicle crashing into your home
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Water damage from A/C, heating, or plumbing system
  • Windstorms
  • Explosions

While most of these perils are covered by a standard policy, there can be exceptions that are specific to your policy which is why it is important to read your entire policy and note any exclusions. 

Foundation damage that is usually excluded

While foundation damage is covered in many cases, there are exclusions that relate to foundations:

  • Flood or Earthquake damage: Standard homeowner policies almost always exclude damage caused by flooding or earthquakes. If you live in an area where flooding or earthquakes are a risk, you will need to carry separate coverage for those perils. 
  • Normal wear and tear: Like all parts of a house, normal wear and tear will take its toll on the foundation of a home. If your foundation is cracking or looking damaged, you should have it repaired as it could be an issue if you have to make an insurance claim in the future. Owners are responsible for properly maintaining their home. 

Settling, shifting and cracking foundations can be the result of a wide variety of factors including temperature issues, soil fluctuations, earth movement and even tree root growth. If you fail to repair minor damage, your insurer will most likely deny your claim. 

  • Faulty construction: If your foundation is damaged due to faulty construction, your insurer will most likely deny any claims associated with your foundation. 

Ways to prevent foundation damage

While it is not always possible to prevent foundation damage, there are a few things you can do to help keep your foundation solid. Here are a few tips:

Get a home inspection: Avoid future issues by making sure the foundation is solid when you purchase a home. Have an inspection done before buying a home to make sure the foundation and the rest of the house is solid and not hiding any future issues.

Soil maintenance: Soil that is too wet or too dry can be an issue for foundations. Check your local conditions and water the area around you foundation if it is super dry or if the area bumping up against your foundation is too wet, take the time to make sure the water drains away from your home properly. 

Proper grading: This can a major issue when it comes to foundation damage. If water is not draining away from your home after a rain, it can pool around the foundation causing damage to the foundation. 

Maintain your trees: If there are trees close to your foundation, it pays to keep a close eye on the roots. If you see roots spreading into your foundation you may need to replant or simply remove the tree. The roots of a tree can do major damage to foundation so any damage should be addressed quickly. 

Keep your gutters clean: Clogged gutters leak or overflow and all of that water ends up pooling around the foundation. Keep your gutters clean and consider installing leaf guards to keep them clean. 

Address issues quickly: If you notice cracking in your foundation or other issues, you should have them repaired as soon as possible. This will ensure your insurer will be unable to deny your claim for negligence if you have to file a claim on your policy in the future. 

Tags: , ,