Homeowners insurance is an important aspect of property ownership that helps protect against financial losses due to a variety of risks. It is your safety net in cases of sudden disasters. Houses need a strong foundation to keep groundwater out, provide insulation, and protect against natural earth movement. That's why, as a homeowner, discovering a problem with your home’s foundation can be incredibly frustrating and challenging.
Will Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Issues?
Foundation issues can be caused by different factors, such as soil movement, water damage, and poor construction. These issues can cause cracks in the foundation, settling, and even collapse, all of which can result in significant repair costs.
As we already mentioned, repairs to foundation problems can be costly, and without insurance coverage, homeowners may be forced to pay these costs out of pocket. But the question most people frequently ask is: Does home insurance cover foundation repair?
The answer to this question is "It depends". The good news is that in many cases, homeowners insurance does cover foundation issues. However, coverage rests on the cause of the problem and the type of insurance policy a homeowner has. In essence, there are situations where foundation issues are not covered by home insurance.
But it is also important to note that some insurance companies may still look for ways to deny your claim even when it is covered by your home insurance policy. When that happens, know that our Texas attorneys at the Voss Law Firm are always ready to help.
When Is Foundation Repair Covered By Home Insurance?
Your homeowners insurance policy will cover the structure of your home, including the foundation. When it comes to your home’s foundation, the relevant part of your policy is the dwelling coverage, which is the portion of your policy that covers the physical structure of your home, attached structures, and your foundation. Foundation damage can be caused by various factors, including natural disasters, improper construction, and general wear and tear.
Unfortunately, standard homeowners insurance policies typically do not cover the cost of foundation repair unless the damage was caused by a covered peril, such as a natural disaster. In other words, if the damage to your foundation is due to normal wear and tear or poor construction, it is not likely to be covered by your insurance policy.
However, if your foundation damage is caused by a covered peril, such as an earthquake, flood, or wind, the cost of repair may be covered by your policy. It is crucial to keep in mind that each insurance policy is unique, and the coverage offered will depend on the specific terms and conditions of your policy. For example, some policies may exclude coverage for damage caused by earthquakes, while others may provide limited coverage for floods.
It's important to thoroughly review your insurance policy and understand what type of damages are covered. If you're unsure about your coverage, it's a good idea to speak with your insurance agent to determine what protection you have and what you may need to add to your policy.
Additionally, you can take steps to protect your home and prevent foundation damage by performing regular maintenance, such as checking for cracks or settling and addressing any issues promptly. Regular inspections by a professional can also help identify potential problems before they become serious and more costly to repair.
Having said that, let's take a look at situations where foundation issues can be covered by homeowners insurance:
Natural disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes, can cause significant damage to the foundation of a home. If the damage is covered under your policy, the cost of repair will be covered by your insurance company.
Sudden Accidental Damage
If your foundation is damaged suddenly and accidentally, such as by a falling tree or a vehicle crashing into your home, the cost of repair may be covered by your insurance company.
Water damage can cause significant foundation problems over time, and if the damage is caused by a covered peril, such as a sudden and accidental burst pipe, the cost of repair may be covered by your insurance policy.
Subsidence, or sinking of the ground under the foundation, can be caused by factors such as soil instability, changes in water levels, and natural settling. If the subsidence is sudden and accidental, it will be covered by your insurance policy.
Heave, or upward movement of the ground under the foundation, can be caused by factors such as changes in water levels or freezing and thawing of the soil. If the heave is sudden and accidental, it may be covered by your insurance policy.
When Is Foundation Repair Not Covered By Home Insurance?
Although home insurance does cover many sources of foundation damage, there are cases where your policy won’t cover repairs, even if the damage stems from a natural disaster and you aren’t at fault. Foundation repair will not be covered by homeowners insurance if the damage is due to normal wear and tear, poor construction, or inadequate maintenance.
In simple, clear terms, if the damage to your foundation is not caused by a covered peril, such as a natural disaster or a sudden and accidental event, it is not likely to be paid for by your insurance company. Here are a few specific situations where foundation repair may not be covered by homeowners insurance:
Over time, the ground under the foundation may settle, causing damage to the foundation. This type of damage is generally considered normal wear and tear and is not covered by insurance.
If the foundation was not constructed properly or was built on inadequate soil, any damage that occurs as a result may not be covered by insurance.
Lack Of Maintenance
If you neglect to maintain your foundation, such as by failing to address cracks or settling, any damage that occurs as a result may not be covered by insurance.
How To Prevent Foundation Damage
Preventing foundation damage can help you avoid costly repairs and maintain the value of your home. Here are some steps you can take to prevent foundation damage:
Ensure that the ground around your foundation slopes away from the house to prevent water from pooling near the foundation. Install gutters and downspouts to direct water away from the foundation and make sure they are free of clogs.
Maintain Trees And Shrubs
Large trees and shrubs can absorb moisture from the soil, causing it to dry out and shrink. This can result in settling and cracking of the foundation. Trim back trees and shrubs and make sure they are not planted too close to the foundation of your home.
Monitor For Leaks
Check for leaks in your plumbing and repair them promptly to prevent water damage to the foundation.
If you notice cracks in your foundation, have them inspected by a professional and repaired promptly.
Regularly inspect your foundation for signs of settling, cracking, or other damage, and have any issues repaired quickly.
We Help Clients Get Their Claims Paid
If your insurance company has delayed or underpaid your claim, you should speak to an insurance lawyer at the Voss Law Firm as soon as possible. Call us at 888-614-7730 or complete our contact form today to get answers to your questions, or start reading your copy of our free book, Tricks of the Trade: How Insurance Companies Deny, Delay, Confuse, and Refuse.