If you're on a Galaxy Fold, consider unfolding your phone or viewing it in full screen to best optimize your experience.
Homeowners insurance protects against many problems that can develop with a property. But does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair? This guide will explain when problems with a foundation are covered so homeowners can be prepared.
Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair? It depends on the cause of the damage to the property's foundation. Here are some examples of situations where the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues, is yes.
Homeowners policies usually cover damage resulting from:
In some parts of the country, damage from windstorms is also covered. If a covered cause results in foundation damage, then insurance will pay for necessary repairs. So in determining, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues, the big question is what the cause of the issue is.
If a tree falls on a property and damages the foundation, the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, is likely yes. However, in many cases, damage from tree roots is excluded. So when asking, does home insurance cover foundation problems related to trees, it's important to be specific about the cause.
Does home insurance cover foundation repair due to water damage? It depends. Standard home insurance policies exclude flood coverage. So, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair after a flood? Not unless the property owner has a separate flood insurance policy.
Water damage, however, can be covered if it occurs as a result of a plumbing or HVAC system leak.
Most homeowners policies cover damage due to riots or civil disturbances. Many also cover damage resulting from aircraft accidents. Vandalism may be a covered peril as well. As long as a policy doesn't exclude a man-made cause, any resulting damage to the foundation should be covered.
This is a complicated question. In some cases, a policy will cover this type of loss. But in others, it won't. It will cover a foundation leak only if the leak occurred due to a covered cause.
For example, if the plumbing in the soil surrounding the home leaks and cracks the foundation, the underlying cause is a covered plumbing issue. The foundation leak would be covered. While homeowners insurance wouldn't usually pay for any damaged pipes in this situation, it would pay for water damage resulting from the foundation leak as well as repairs to the damaged foundation itself.
However, foundation leaks resulting from earth movements, flooding, or other excluded causes will not be covered.
Foundation damage is not covered if it occurs due to certain excluded causes. Here are some examples of situations where the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, is no.
Homes can settle over time. This can cause cracks in the foundation. Home insurance will not cover repairs resulting from natural settling of a house.
Sometimes, foundations simply get old. When normal wear and tear causes foundation problems, it's typically not covered.
Floods are excluded from coverage with standard insurance policies. If a flood occurs and damages the foundation, it will not be covered.
Sinkholes are also excluded from standard home insurance coverage. Policyholders can choose to buy separate sinkhole protection. When sinkholes cause damage to foundation, standard insurance policies will not pay for repairs.
Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair necessitated by pests such as vermin or termites. The answer is no. Unfortunately, any pest-related damage to a home's foundation is not paid for by home insurance.
If a builder or contractor fails to construct the home's foundation properly, this can result in serious issues. Home insurance does not cover this type of problem.
But while the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues caused by contractor negligence is no, homeowners may have some recourse. They could potentially make a claim against the builder.
When choosing a home insurance policy, property owners should make sure they are fully covered. This may mean buying additional protection beyond standard homeowners insurance coverage. For example, someone who lives in a sinkhole or flood prone area may want supplementary sinkhole coverage or flood insurance.
Buying extra protection can raise the average price of homeowners insurance. But it may be well worth it to avoid having to pay for costly foundation damage out of pocket.
Common signs of foundation damage include:
Steps to prevent damage to a home's foundation include:
By avoiding damage, property owners should hopefully never need to ask, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair?
Insurers lay out the claims process within insurance policies. Generally, policyholders must contact an insurer within a limited period of time after damage occurs. Depending on the insurer, they may be able to file a claim online or via phone.
Homeowners should provide documentation of damages resulting from a covered cause. An insurance adjuster will evaluate whether the claim is covered and how much compensation the property owner should receive. Always make sure to ask, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, before spending time making a claim.
The cost of foundation repair varies depending on the extent of the damage. HomeGuide indicates the average cost to repair foundation problems ranges from $2,318 to $6,750. This is a big expense.
The best way to find out if a home has a good foundation is to hire a licensed inspector. The inspector can check for signs of foundation problems such as stuck doors; bowing walls; or water intrusion.
Home insurance may cover structural problems if they have a covered cause. For example, if a pipe bursts surrounding the home and the resulting water damage affects the foundation, a home insurance policy might cover the structure damage that occurred due to the incident.
Whether it is possible to live in a home where the foundation is being repaired depends on the extent of the damage and the nature of repairs.
For more minor repairs, it is possible to remain in the home. If the repairs will jeopardize the structural integrity of the home, relocation may be needed. Additional living expense provisions of a homeowners insurance policy may cover extra costs incurred during the time that living in the home is not possible.
Home warranties typically exclude structural issues. This can include foundation cracks. However, it is important to read the fine print on a warranty carefully to determine what coverage exists, if any.
Our Insurance Expert
We're firm believers in the Golden Rule, which is why editorial opinions are ours alone and have not been previously reviewed, approved, or endorsed by included advertisers. The Ascent does not cover all offers on the market. Editorial content from The Ascent is separate from The Motley Fool editorial content and is created by a different analyst team.
The Ascent is a Motley Fool service that rates and reviews essential products for your everyday money matters.
Copyright © 2018 - 2023 The Ascent. All rights reserved.