Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repairs?

Homeowners insurance may cover foundation repairs damaged by covered perils, such as tornados or falling trees. Damage may be covered up to the limits of your dwelling coverage.

3 min to read

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What causes foundation damage?

Your home's foundation is one of the structure's most critical components and can suffer damage over time due to a variety of factors. Because your home's foundation sits in direct contact with the ground, many environmental factors can cause damage, including temperature changes, poor drainage, water buildup, tree roots, and inferior construction.

How does homeowners insurance cover foundation damage?

Dwelling coverage, or Coverage A on your homeowners insurance policy, will likely cover foundation damage caused by covered perils. If the foundation damage is due to negligence, your insurance won't cover the repair cost. It's your responsibility to take preventive measures to keep moisture from accumulating or tree roots from causing damage to the structure.

These covered perils include:

Your insurer may offer endorsements to your policy for damage caused by earthquakes and floods. If not, you may need separate policies to cover foundation damage from earthquakes or damage from flooding, as standard home policies typically won’t cover these incidents.

What is a slab or foundation leak?

A slab is essentially the concrete foundation of a house. A slab leak can result from the deterioration or breakage of these lines.

How to tell if you have a slab or foundation leak

Sometimes, slab leaks aren't always obvious. However, if you notice any signs, it can be a good idea to investigate further. Slab leaks can have a long-term, negative impact on your structure, finances, and peace of mind. While this may not be an inclusive list of signs of a slab leak, call an expert immediately if you recognize sounds of running water, notice any wet spots on along the houses exterior foundation, or signs that your water bill has increased without good reason.

Does home insurance cover foundation cracks or settling?

Generally, foundation cracks or settling aren’t covered by your homeowners policy. Your home's foundation is protected under your policy’s dwelling coverage, but only for certain perils/events. Most policies cover damage due to sudden and unexpected events like severe windstorms or fire, but won't cover damage that falls under the umbrella of routine home maintenance.

Does home insurance cover foundation movement or sagging floors?

Foundation damage caused by shifting or settling earth or sagging floors caused by rotting floor joists are typically not covered by homeowners insurance. If the damage is caused by flooding or an earthquake, you'll typically require separate coverage.

What are the signs of foundation damage?

There will be obvious signs if you have a foundation problem, including cracks in the basement walls and interior walls, doors that don't close properly, slanted floors, and moisture in the basement. If you spot any of these issues, it's recommended to have your home examined by an expert.

Repairing a foundation can be expensive, so it may be worth investing in annual or bi-annual inspections to catch issues before they become catastrophic events. To maintain optimal moisture levels around your home's foundation, follow these tips:

  1. Water the soil around your property, at dawn and dusk, for 30 minutes

  2. Check moisture levels using a gauge or meter to make sure the soil isn't too wet or dry

  3. Direct water away from the home with gutters, downspouts, and perimeter drains

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