Driveway Insurance: What Is It and Do You Need It?


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: OCTOBER 21, 2022 | 1 MIN READ

Driveway insurance is typically included as part of your home insurance policy. Depending on your policy, it’s either included as part of your dwelling coverage or other structures coverage. However, this doesn’t mean your driveway is covered completely. Whether your insurance company covers driveway damage depends on how it was damaged in the first place.

Driveway Insurance Quicklinks

Common Causes of Driveway Damage

Many different reasons can cause damage to your driveway.

Poor installation

One of the most common causes of driveway damage is improper installation. Poor installation may lead to various problems like cracks in the surface or uneven pavement, which can result in water pooling and puddles forming.

Heavy loads

Driveways are also vulnerable to heavy loads. These heavy loads can be anything from snowplows, lawnmowers, or other vehicles that may be used for work or play on the property. 

Vehicles loaded with heavy materials can cause the driveway pavement to crack over time as it expands and contracts with temperature changes.

Weather conditions

Weather conditions such as rain, snow, ice, or hail can cause damage by freezing certain parts of your driveway or making it too slippery to use safely. In the winter, snow can quickly turn into ice, making it difficult to drive on your driveway.

Soil movement

Soil movements constitute a significant cause of driveway damage. This is because the ground underneath the driveway is typically loose and is not compacted. So when a heavy rainstorm or another type of event causes the earth to move, it could cause significant damage to your driveway.

Tree root growth

Tree roots can grow through cracks in a driveway, causing them to crack and break apart over time. One way to prevent this type of damage is by installing a root barrier around the perimeter of your driveway. This will help prevent trees from getting into the cracks and growing in your driveway.

Studded tires

Studded tires are another common cause of driveways getting damaged. When studded tires are driven on paved surfaces like driveways, they create holes that may not be visible and cause significant damage over time.

Shoveling

Shoveling snow and ice can be very hard on the driveway’s surface. This is because it breaks up the surface, leading to cracks and potholes. This will eventually lead to more serious problems in your driveway, like a collapsed foundation or even a sinkhole!

To avoid these problems, you should make sure that you are using a good snow shovel. A good snow shovel will have a sharp edge to cut through the ice without breaking up the ground underneath.

Rock salt and ice melters

Rock salt is used to melt ice and snow on the roads, but it can also cause damage to your driveway. Salt can be harmful because it is corrosive and can eat away at concrete.

Water

Another major cause of driveway damage is water, which can result from various sources. The most common source is precipitation, which can be either rain or snow. However, water damage can also be caused by sprinkler systems and leaky pipes.

Does Your Home Insurance Policy cover your Driveway?

A driveway is a common area of concern for homeowners who are looking to insure their property. Home insurance policies vary in what they will cover in terms of driveways. 

Typically, a home insurance policy provides coverage for hazards such as falling objects, fire, theft, and vandalism. Other policies may only provide coverage if the driveway is attached to the home or if it’s used as a parking area for cars. 

Policies that do not provide coverage for your driveway may require an endorsement from your agent – which would be an additional cost on top of your monthly premium.

When Won’t Your Home Insurance Policy Cover Your Driveway?

Occasionally, your home insurance policy won’t cover your driveway.

Detached garages

If you have a detached garage and are looking for home insurance, you might be in for a surprise. Your home insurance policy may not cover a detached garage, so you’ll need to purchase an additional policy for this part of your property.

New driveways

Suppose you’re considering adding a new driveway to your property and want to ensure that you’re covered. In that case, it’s important to ask your agent if their policy provides homeowner coverage for what you’re planning on doing. 

Most homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for driveway repairs and replacements. Some policies may cover only the cost of materials, while others may cover labor to the extent of your policy limits. 

A few policies may not cover either, but you’ll want to check with your agent to make sure.

Condos

If you live in a condo, there may be an option to purchase coverage for your driveway through the condo association. You will have to check with your condo association on their specific rules for this type of insurance coverage. You can also check with your local insurance agent to see if they offer this type of coverage. 

If your driveway is on public property, you may want to check with your local municipality to see if they have any policies or rules for parking areas.

FAQs

What are three things that aren’t covered by home insurance?

Typically, home insurance will not cover general wear and tear, damage caused by pests, or damage caused by negligence.

What covers driveway damage?

In most cases, home insurance policies cover driveway damage. It falls under either your policy’s dwelling coverage section or its additional structures section.

Do all concrete driveways crack?

Not all concrete driveways crack, but it does happen. The most common cause is the expansion and contraction of the material, especially in extreme weather conditions. Cracks can also be caused by physical damage to the surface or by uneven ground settling underneath.

Should I fill in cracks in my driveway?

It is vital to fill in cracks in your driveway as soon as you see them. If you don’t, water will seep into the cracks and could cause more damage to the concrete.

What’s the cheapest way to resurface a driveway?

The cheapest way to resurface a driveway is by using a sealer and then applying an overlay coat. There are many ways to resurface a driveway, but most homeowners choose concrete overlay because it’s affordable, durable, and easy to install.

Driveway, Insurance, and Finding Good Options

Unfortunately, your driveway is an integral part of your home that can get damaged by various causes. It is likely to be covered under your home insurance policy, but it’s always best to check what your policy covers and get home insurance quotes from other companies to ensure you’re getting a good rate.