Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Damage?

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Damage?
Every part of your home is covered in one way or another and to one degree or another by a standard homeowners insurance policy, but not every cause of damage is included. This applies to foundation damage as well.
Needless to say, when your foundation or slab sustains serious damage, it jeopardizes the structural integrity of your entire building. Foundation repair can be expensive, so it’s important to understand whether or not it will be covered by your home insurance in each particular circumstance.

When DOES Your Homeowners Insurance Cover Your Foundation?
Technically, your foundation is covered unless there is an exclusion. But most insurers exclude the most ordinary, common causes of damage to foundations (foundation cracking due to ordinary, predictable wear and tear over the years).

In general, it’s damage from unexpected, unpredictable events that is covered. However, even this is not a hard and fast rule. You have to get down to the individual causes to see what is and is not covered.

Foundation damage due to a house fire, lightning strike, wind storm, tornado, explosion, riot, airplane crash, collision with a vehicle, vandalism, a falling object, volcano, or collapse due to the weight of snow/ice is usually covered.

Also, if a burst water pipe causes water damage to your foundation, that will also be covered by most policies. And if water from an HVAC unit (such as air conditioning overflow) damages your foundation, insurers also generally take care of it.

When DOESN’T Home Insurance Apply To Foundation Damage?
A specific exclusion has to be made in order for a part of your main dwelling not to be covered due to specific types of damage. But there are many exclusions because otherwise it would make damage too likely and be too risky to insurers.

Some of the major exclusions for foundation damage include damage caused by earthquakes, floods, tree roots, poor construction, water seepage (of rain water), or foundation settling.

Foundation settling is where the foundation sinks down, shrinks, cracks, bulges out, or expands due to the movement of the soil. That is, the soil will expand or contract as ground temperatures change seasonally. This is normal, and small fissures are not necessarily a cause for alarm – especially in an older home. But when cracks are too large or too frequent, a repair may be necessary.

How Can You Get Extra Protection For Your Home’s Foundation?
Typical coverage for foundations may be adequate, but if you feel you need additional protection, many insurers allow you to add an endorsement (rider) to extend coverage to other areas. Not every exclusion can be eliminated by an endorsement, but you could add coverage for, say, foundation damage caused by sewer/drain backup and some other things.

Homes in some areas of the country would benefit from flood insurance or earthquake insurance. This may even be required by mortgage lenders. It will add protection to your foundation and to your whole property.

To find out more about when foundation damage is or is not covered, or to customize your homeowners insurance policy in regard to foundation protection and other vital coverage areas, contact the experts at Flagler County Insurance Agency today!