Does Home Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?
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Does Home Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?
Homeowners insurance is designed to protect homeowners against a variety of different perils. But many things that can cause foundation damage—like natural settling, soil changes and tree roots—are not covered by home insurance policies.
Luckily, there are a few strategies that can help you get foundation repair covered by your home insurance policy. For example, you can purchase specialized policy riders and supplemental home insurance coverage.
What Is Covered
Homeowners insurance protects your investment in the event of a catastrophic loss, and if you have the right policy and adequate coverage, your foundation repair expenses may be covered. Standard homeowners policies generally offer protection under Coverage A: Dwelling. However, you’ll need to add Foundation coverage to your policy for it to apply.
In order for a foundation issue to be covered, it needs to fall under the category of “covered perils.” These include sudden and accidental events like tornadoes, fire, lightning strikes, vehicles crashing into your house, etc.
Other common issues like sagging floors and a cracking foundation are generally not covered. These are the result of negligence or lack of maintenance, and are typically considered to be the responsibility of the homeowner. Checking soil moisture levels and addressing any imbalances can help prevent these issues. Additionally, having a regular home inspection from an inspector can help detect problems early on. These tips can make it easier for you to file a successful claim.
What Is Not Covered
There are a number of things that will typically not be covered by home insurance for foundation damage, including flood damage (you’ll need to buy separate flood insurance), earthquake damage (you’ll need to buy a separate earthquake policy) and damage caused by poor construction. If the problem is related to poor construction it’s a good idea to bring in a team of foundation specialists who can help determine the root cause, how extensive the damage is and what it would cost to fix it.
Similarly, cracks due to natural settling and aging are usually not covered by home insurance as they are considered part of normal wear and tear. However, if the cracks are a result of contractor negligence then homeowners may be able to file a claim against the builder for damages. Lastly, sinkhole damage is generally not covered by standard home insurance policies, but you can purchase supplemental sinkhole coverage.
How to File a Claim
Your insurer will send you forms to complete detailing the damage. Return them promptly to keep the process moving. After that, the insurance company may send an adjuster to survey the damage and offer a sum to cover repairs. Review the offers carefully to ensure that they match repair quotes from contractors. If you are unhappy with the results of the adjuster's evaluation, consider hiring a public adjuster to negotiate with the insurer on your behalf for a fee.
Before making any major decisions about filing a claim, call your home insurer and ask for more information about the process. They should tell you whether the loss is covered, how long it might take to get a check and if the total value of your property exceeds your deductible. You should also ask them for a list of contractors to choose from to complete the work. If you make temporary repairs to prevent further damage, save receipts for those expenses.
What to Expect
Homeowners insurance coverage for foundation repair typically depends on the cause. If the issue stems from something a home insurance policy covers (like a fire or a storm), then it'll probably be covered once your deductible is met. However, if the issue is caused by a non-natural peril (like a vehicle hitting your home), then it's more likely to be your responsibility to cover the costs.
General wear and tear of a foundation isn't usually covered, either. Over time, it's common for a house to settle slightly and develop cracks in the foundation from the shifting materials. It's a cost that comes with owning a house and homeowners should plan for it on their own or purchase supplemental insurance policies to protect against earthquakes and floods if they live in an area prone to them. Homeowners can also prevent issues with their foundation from occurring by regularly watering the soil around their house and keeping trees far enough away so they don't put pressure on the structure.
ITZ Construction will work with you AND your insurance company to make needed repairs.
Does Home Insurance Cover Foundation Repair? Homeowners insurance is designed to protect homeowners against a variety of different perils. But many things that can cause foundation damage—like natural settling, soil changes and tree roots—are not covered by home insurance policies. Luckily, there are a few strategies that can help you get foundation repair covered by…