Will my home insurance policy cover damage done to my foundation by soil expansion?

UPDATED: Dec 3, 2012

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UPDATED: Dec 3, 2012Fact Checked

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Asked December 3, 2012

1 Answer

Some types of home damage can only be covered with special homeowners insurance policies or riders, typically because such damages cannot realistically be anticipated or guarded against. One such peril for home owners is when your foundation cracks or settles, because soil expansion is considered to be a movement of the earth, much like an earthquake.

Insurance companies do not insure against soil expansion because there is no way to accurately predict where or when such expansion will occur. Just as there is no way to predict when an earthquake will strike, there is no method for the insurance company to calculate the potential for soil expansion or settling. Even heavy rains can have a deleterious effect on your home's foundation, and that puts the potential risk higher than traditional insurance companies can afford to cover.

If your foundation has already cracked, there is very little that your insurance company can do for you unless you have protection against movements of the earth. Such coverage is not usually available through traditional insurers, but can be purchased as a rider for your homeowner's policy. You may have to purchase the rider from a high risk insurer, and the cost of such coverage is going to be determined by the age, size, and location of the home, along with other factors.

The main problem here is that the foundation of a home can crack for many different reasons, any one of which could cost the insurance company a great deal of money. In order to keep such costs to a minimum, coverage for a cracked foundation is usually excluded. Refer to your policy for the specific details of what is and is not included, and contact your insurance company to fill any gaps in coverage, where coverage is available at all.

Answered December 3, 2012 by Anonymous

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