Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair?

Most homeowners are terrified of foundation problems. A solid foundation is essential for your home and the comfort you have built. Although it may seem daunting to have a foundation problem, it could be anything from a minor issue that can cost only a few hundred dollars to resolve to a more serious problem that can cost upwards of $10,000.

There are situations where your home insurance policy may be able to pick up the bill. What does homeowners insurance cover for structural damage? It depends. It all depends on what caused the foundation damage.

Is your home insurance able to cover foundation repairs?

You will need to identify the cause of the problem in order to determine if your homeowner’s insurance policy covers it. It may be obvious in some cases like earthquake damage or tornado damage.

Sometimes, the root cause of your foundation problem may not be obvious. It is a good idea to have a foundation specialist come to your home to diagnose the problem. They will help you to understand the cause of the problem and give you an estimate on how much work will be required. You can also use their report to support your claim for home insurance.

The most common reasons for foundation problems are:

  • Too much or too few moisture levels in your soil
  • Natural disasters such as earthquakes and mudslides
  • Poor construction, such as improperly compacted soil beneath your foundation.
  • Tree root growth
  • Plumbing leaks
  • Earth movement

Also, homeowners insurance covers foundation damage. Let’s take another look.

Your insurance policy may cover foundation damage

The coverage section of your home insurance policy covers the structure of your house, including your foundation. Your policy will only cover the perils that are specifically listed in the ISO Broad Form (HO-2). Your insurer will most likely pay the cost of repairs if your foundation problem was caused by something in your policy. You’ll be on your own if it isn’t.

Many home insurance policies cover foundation repair after coverage for:

  • Fire
  • A vehicle or an aircraft entering your home
  • Vandalism
  • Falling objects
  • Water damage caused by an overflowing heating, plumbing or A/C system
  • Windstorms
  • Explosions

To find out what covered perils are in your policy, read through it. You have a good chance of filing a home insurance claim if any of these things caused your foundation damage.

Your policy may not cover foundation damage

Many people believe that their insurance covers homeowners foundation damage. This is not true. Almost all home policies exclude floods and earthquakes from coverage. To protect your foundation and your entire home, if you live in an area that is susceptible to either one of these disasters, consider purchasing separate earthquake or flooding insurance policy.

Home policies do not offer foundation repair coverage if the foundation problem is caused by normal wear and tear. Most policies Insuring Agreements do not provide coverage for foundation damage. This is because they only cover “sudden, accidental loss” or “direct physical loss.” The latter refers to damage that results from an accident or another fortuitous event. Insurers claim that homeowners are responsible for maintaining their home. Many foundation problems can be attributed to negligence.

Your insurer may deny coverage for foundation cracking, shifting, or settling due to temperature fluctuations, earth movement, tree root growth, and soil fluctuations. They will almost certainly tell you that these losses are not accidental and prevent you from taking responsibility for them as homeowner.

If your foundation is damaged or if you have a homeowners policy, foundation insurance will not be provided. This will help you avoid the potential out-of-pocket costs and prevent you from buying a house without an inspection.

What to do when you have foundation damage

First, contact your insurer immediately after an event that is covered. Most insurance companies only provide coverage for a certain period after an event.

Ask your insurer for evidence to support the claim process. An appraiser may be sent by your provider to inspect the property. It may be worth hiring your own foundation specialist to assess your property and provide a report that you can use in your claim.

As with any other insurance claim you file, a homeowners foundation claim must be filed in accordance with your insurer’s requirements. If you have any questions about the process, don’t be afraid to ask your insurer.

Many insurance companies have a list of recommended contractors to help you through the process. Some even offer workmanship guarantees for a specified time if you choose one their contractors. The cost of homeowner’s insurance varies by state. This service is offered by some insurers, including:

How to prevent foundation damage

Your home policy may offer foundation insurance. However, it is much easier to prevent an issue from ever happening. These are our top tips to prevent homeowners foundation problems:

  • Have a home inspection done before you move in: Don’t forget the inspection if you are considering buying a house. This inspection will let you know if the foundation of the house is sound and can help you avoid future foundation problems.
  • Keep your soil in good condition A foundation that is too dry or too moist can cause problems. Be aware of your climate and take the appropriate actions. If you live in an area that is susceptible to drought, it might be a good idea to water your soil regularly. If you live in an area with a lot of moisture, ensure that the soil around your house drains away water from your foundation.
  • Make sure your grading is correct Water should drain from your home when it rains. Aim to have at least 6 inches of grading from your home in the ten foot surrounding it.
  • Watch out for trees. You want to make sure roots don’t spread into your foundation. If necessary, move trees and ensure that there is enough space around your foundation. Allow one foot for every inch of tree trunk thickness.
  • Clear your gutters Although it seems easy, clogged gutters can cause water to spill over the edge and onto your foundation.
  • Spread mulch around your home: Mulch can be used to maintain the soil’s temperature and moisture, while minimizing pressure on the foundation.
  • Get a professional out to evaluate the extent of foundation problems. It is possible to minimize damage and repair costs by acting quickly.

Warning signs for foundation damage

These warning signs could be a sign that your foundation is damaged and you should have it checked to prevent further damage to your home.

  • Cracks. Cracks in the exterior sheetrock, tile, and chimney of a home can indicate that the foundation has cracked. Cracks that grow or become larger could indicate foundation cracks.
  • A moist crawl space: This could be a sign of a cracked or crumbling foundation. Water can enter a crawl space if it is easily floodable or if the pier and beam foundation are not properly sealed. This could cause water damage to a house. A cracked foundation can lead to further damage to the foundation.
  • Foundation cracking: This could indicate a gradual deterioration and eventual foundation failure. You may see a rusty residue or white powder.
  • Shifting If walls or floors, ceilings, or support posts appear to be wavy or languid, you can use an leveling device. Doors and windows that don’t fit correctly may also be an indication. They might stick to your hands when you open them or not latch properly anymore. The foundation may be sinking or settling, concrete may be flaking or chipping around the perimeter, counters and cabinets could separate from the wall, or nails might pop out of thedrywall.
  • Bugs Any sightings of insects could indicate cracks or gaps in the foundation that allow the insects to enter the house.

It is better to repair a foundation as soon as it cracks. Foundation repairs are much easier when there is only one crack.

Foundation problems are easy to overlook and can cause major structural problems in your home. Sagging floors can be dangerous. To repair foundations, flooring must be removed in order for a technician to reach underneath the flooring. The more cracks you have, the more expensive and difficult it will be to repair. The more you ignore the problem, the worse it will get.

Questions frequently asked

What is the cost of foundation repair?

It all depends on how severe the foundation problem is. While minor foundation issues are usually relatively inexpensive to fix, stabilizing a foundation that is not working properly can cost up to $12,000. This is why homeowners benefit from addressing foundation issues early. You’ll save money if you find the problem early enough to prevent it from growing.

Does homeowner insurance cover foundation problems?

Some cases. In some cases, it may be possible.

How can I determine if a house has a solid foundation?

A professional home inspector should be performed on any home you are considering buying if you’re looking for a home. The inspector will inspect the foundation of your home and inform you if you need to take action.