Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: SEPTEMBER 23, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

The foundation of a house is by far its most important component. It provides the base that keeps the house safe, and any damage to it–even minor–can have negative effects throughout the entire structure. When dealing with foundation repair, homeowners often look to their home insurance policy to help cover the costs. 

While a foundation may seem like the type of thing automatically covered under a home insurance policy, in many circumstances, it’s not. 

Here’s what you need to know about foundation damage and how your home insurance policy can help. 

What Causes Foundation Damage

Changes in moisture levels

If the soil surrounding the home undergoes extreme moisture fluctuations, the foundation is at risk of cracking and bulging. 

Tree roots

Some root systems are very strong and can penetrate home foundations. The problem is common with houses close to older, healthy trees. 

Shifting ground

Soil erosion due to heavy rains or seismic events like earthquakes affects how a foundation sits in the ground.  

Common Signs You Need Foundation Repair

Before calling your insurance company in a panic, be sure that the problems with your home result from foundation damage. Here’s what to look for: 

Indoor cracks

Look for cracks in the walls, especially when the wall meets the ceiling. If you have concrete floors in your home, look for cracks there, too. 

Foundation cracks

This is not necessarily a smoking gun of foundation damage, as some cracking is normal. Abnormal cracks include those that are larger than a quarter-inch, those which appear suddenly, and cracks that don’t close or become smaller in different seasons. 

Door and window problems

When foundation damage occurs, doors and windows that were once easy to open and close often seem stuck. 

Sinking

Sinking is a more extreme problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Early signs of sinking include porches or stoops that suddenly look lower. 

Will My Home Insurance Policy Cover Foundation Repair?

Homeowners insurance does not automatically cover foundation repairs. 

As with any other claim, the insurance company will look for the underlying reason for the damage. Here are some common reasons and how insurance companies react: 

Damaged from another covered risk

Burst pipes and fires are examples of incidents that can cause foundation damage and are also covered under a typical homeowners insurance policy. Insurance carriers will usually cover foundation repair under the umbrella of repairs for +330+3+3the overall incident. 

Natural disasters

Floods and earth0quakes can damage your foundation. However, these hazards are rarely covered under homeowners insurance policies. You must file claims with those carriers if you have special insurance for these events. 

Neglect

Insurance companies expect you to maintain your foundation like any other part of your house. If your carrier believes that you could have prevented the need for major repairs, they will reject your claim. This also includes damage from tree roots, which must be monitored like other parts of your property. 

Subpar construction

Insurance companies will also not cover foundation damage resulting from shoddy workmanship. While there’s not much you can do if you already own a home, pay special attention to foundation quality if you’re shopping for a new house. Repair may be something you can negotiate during the buying process. 

Although your insurance company may not cover foundation damage, they often direct you to pre-vetted contractors who can do the repairs.

This work often comes with warranties that are useful for future maintenance. If unsure where to turn, you can ask your insurance company for recommendations and guidance, even if they won’t cover your claim.

Preventing Foundation Damage

If you’ve had to deal with foundation damage in the past, you know you want to avoid that headache and expense in the future. Here’s what you can do to keep your home and foundation healthy: 

Don’t ignore cracking

As we mentioned earlier, interior and exterior cracks are common signs of damage. If you see them, contact a structural engineer or home building expert who can perform a professional inspection. 

Maintain consistent moisture around the foundation

Ensure that water drains far away from the house’s exterior, so there is no standing water. During drier parts of the year, consider watering the soil to prevent it from completely drying out.

Keep trees in check

If you’re unsure of the growth patterns of the trees on your property, hire a specialist to teach you more about them and provide guidance about possibly cutting some down. Also, ensure the trees are properly watered, so their roots don’t need to bore deeper into the ground. 

Maintain consistent home temperature

This can prevent the concrete slab under the home from expanding and contracting too much.

How to Get Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Foundation Repair

A home’s foundation is the most important element because it provides safety and security for the homeowner and their family. No matter how minor, damage to the foundation can cause significant problems throughout the house.

Homeowners should be proactive in checking their foundations by ensuring they have the correct homeowners coverage for foundation repairs. Call us, or complete our quote form to see rates in your area.