As a homeowner, you may find yourself wondering if homeowners insurance covers foundation repair. Unfortunately, one of the worst repair nightmares you’ll ever face is damage to your home’s foundation. Usually, it can be challenging to find the specific cause for a foundation problem. Even worse, the cost can be exceptionally high, or your policy may not even cover it. Whether or not a homeowner’s insurance policy covers foundation repairs mostly depends on the cause for the damage. Here are some of the top causes of foundation damage, along with what is typically covered and what isn’t.
Flooding or Water Leakage
In most cases, a homeowner’s policy doesn’t include coverage for damage due to flooding from an overflow of water from sources, such as rivers, ponds or creeks. Another flooding situation typically not covered by home insurance is flooding from a water main break or a sewer that backs up.
On the other hand, most policies do include coverage for water damage due to broken water pipes running through homes. They also generally cover foundation damage caused by broken washing machine hoses, besides broken ice maker hoses. To be sure what’s covered and what isn’t, read everything in your policy, including the fine print.
Mudslides, earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes and other kinds of earth movements can significantly compromise the foundation of your home. But most home insurance policies exclude earth movements from coverage. Even though it can be hard to find coverage for mudslides, some flood policies consider them flood-based damage, so they cover them.
Damage from Soil Expansion and Contraction
As a general rule, foundation damage from soil that expands or contracts isn’t covered in a home insurance policy. This is because most insurance providers consider that these problems could have been prevented by regular home maintenance. Again, check the fine print of your policy to know the specific hazards listed.
Poor Foundation Construction
If your builder didn’t do a decent job in constructing your foundation, most likely, your policy won’t cover costs for damages. The standard policy generally doesn’t cover inferior workmanship or won’t reimburse you for low-quality materials used by a builder. When this occurs, your best option is getting a reimbursement from a warranty, provided it hasn’t expired. Therefore, ask your builder for a warranty because a homeowner’s policy isn’t much help.
Other Considerations and Warnings
- How much it costs to repair a foundation can depend on where you live. The average cost runs from $5,000 to $7,000.
- You can get flood insurance through FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). It also covers damage to foundation walls, anchors and basement stairs.
- Most homeowner’s policies don’t provide coverage for wear and tear on a foundation.
- However, damage caused by sudden incidents are normally covered, such as a pipe that suddenly bursts.
- Others sudden events covered by a homeowner’s policy include those as lightening, fire, windstorm, volcanic eruptions, explosions, falling objects, damage from vehicles or an aircraft, vandalism and civil disruptions, such as riots.
- Consider adding supplement coverage. For example, if you live in an area prone to earthquakes, it could a good idea to buy supplement insurance.
- Some policies cover foundation damage caused by sinkholes in areas where this problem is common, such as in Florida.
- Most homeowner’s policies don’t provide coverage for foundation damage that’s the result of pressure from tree roots.
The Bottom Line:
- The reason for the damage is often a more important factor than what was damaged as to whether or not a homeowner’s policy covers repair costs.
- Call a foundation specialist or contractor for assessing the amount of damage as well as for determining the cause.
- Once you know the cause for the damage, you can decide if your claim provides coverage.
- Just about everything depends on your particular policy and insurer.
Are you in the market for the best insurance policies at the best rates? You can depend on the insurance pros at Insurance Connection USA to help you make the right choice. Please contact us for a free, instant home insurance quote.