Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?

August 26, 2019

Your home depends on a solid foundation, so what happens when it falters and needs repair? Does your homeowner’s insurance cover it or are you on your own?

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Each insurance policy differs, so the answer won’t be the same for everyone. We always recommend that you read the fine print on your policy to know exactly what it covers. Below, we’ll discuss what happens in most cases, though.

What’s the Reason for the Foundation Repair?

The first step is figuring out why you need foundation repair. If it falls under a covered incident, your insurance may cover it. This is when it helps to know what your homeowner’s insurance covers. For example, does it cover:

  • Fire
  • Tornadoes
  • Hurricanes
  • Plumbing leaks

These are just a few examples. But if your foundation issues are a result of one of these covered issues, then the insurance company will likely cover the cost to repair the foundation.

If the reason the foundation requires repairs is because of a non-covered incident, though, you may not be so lucky. For the most part, homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover floods, so if the foundation cracks or needs repairs due to a flood and you don’t have flood insurance, you could be on your own. Another common incident that homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cover is earthquakes. You need a special policy to cover damage from an earthquake. If you don’t have the special rider, you may be without coverage for its damages.

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Standard Ground Shifting Isn’t Covered

Unfortunately, most homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover ground shifting and it’s a normal part of the process. As the air gets warmer and colder, foundations naturally shrink and expand, which causes cracking. Since the cracking isn’t due to an unforeseen circumstance, such as a fire or tornado, insurance companies typically don’t cover it. But there’s a way around it.

Figuring Out if the Foundation Repairs are Covered

Before you assume your foundation repairs don’t fall under the covered incidents on your insurance policy, we recommend that you hire a professional inspector. Even though you may not be able to pinpoint the reason your foundation needs repairs, an inspector may have better insight.

The inspector can look into the reason the cracking occurred. He may ask you questions or do his own research to determine if there was a burst pipe at any time in the home’s history that may have caused the crack. While you may not have seen the cracks at the time of the burst pipe, the damages could occur slowly as the soil expanded, causing the foundation to expand and crack.

It can get expensive to repair a foundation. Knowing if your insurance will help cover some of the cost can save you a significant amount of money. Talk with your insurance agent and/or an inspector to determine if your foundation repairs are a result of a covered incident, allowing you to get the help you need paying for the cost of foundation repairs.

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