Does your home insurance cover foundation damage?
We purchase home insurance to offset the costs of damage to our homes. On a standard home insurance, foundation damage is not automatically covered so we recommend you add foundation damage coverage on your policy
Foundation damage can result from a wild variety of factors, ranging from simple settling of the home to severe drought. And while some of these causes may qualify for coverage, others may not.
When your policy may help with foundation issues
Depending on how the damage comes about, there are several instances when a homeowners insurance policy could cover your foundation repairs.
For instance, if your property is destroyed by, say, a tornado and needs rebuilding, home foundation repairs could be part of the reconstruction process and thus included in your dwelling coverage.
Or if your foundation damage is a byproduct of another covered risk — such as a plumbing backup, explosion, or fire — your homeowners policy could reimburse you for the repairs if you have purchased the optional coverage. This damage is not automatically covered on a home insurance policy.
When you might not be covered
Most homeowners policies do not cover damage from flooding or earthquakes. You would need a separate policy for that.
Homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover general wear and tear. As time passes, foundations tend to shift ever so slightly, which can lead to cracks in your home's structure.
But like a home's slowly chipping paint job or fading hardwood floors, an aging foundation is something for the homeowner to address as part of the routine maintenance that goes along with buying property.
Consider consulting a qualified contractor or foundation specialist to help you take measures to avoid problems before they start.
Common Reasons for foundation damage
New (and even veteran) homeowners may not think about foundation damage until it's too late. But by knowing what risks tend to harm the interior structure of your home, you may be able to prevent this sort of costly damage in the first place.
We're probably not the first to tell you that savvy home shopping requires looking past the glossy façade of your potential house. But even if you've heard it before, we can't stress it enough. The inspection process is crucial, the time to either spot foundation problems before you buy (so you can find another house), or possibly resign yourself to years' of headaches.
Anything from a mammoth earthquake to a minor shift in just your yard could bring about foundation damage. Soil erosion under the home can be a factor too.
Water can wreak havoc on your foundation in many forms, including torrential downpours, flooding, plumbing backups and leaks, or even a lawn sprinkler left on for too long. An overabundance of water — no matter how you get it — causes soil to expand and your foundation to bulge. So watch your water usage closely and make sure your drainage is tip-top.
This one is practically impossible to spot beforehand (sorry), but it never hurts to be informed. If your home builder didn't let the soil fully settle before starting construction or used an inferior product, your foundation could be at risk.
The overly lush tops of your trees may be what your neighbors nitpick about, but it's what's happening at the bottom of the trunk that should interest you. A renegade tree root that intrudes on your foundation can be enough to crack your home's pipes, which is why it's wise to monitor any trees in your yard closely and never plant too close to the house.
We can help you obtain the optional Foundation damage coverage and discuss if you this is appropriate for you.
Suzanne Brown Insurance Agency
A Texas Independent Insurance Agency with over 100 insurance carriers