Why isn’t my home’s foundation covered by most homeowners insurance companies?

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Asked October 15, 2012

1 Answer

Before you completely write off your insurance policy, have the damage assessed by a licensed contractor. If the damage is caused by a covered peril, you should still be able to file a claim and have it honored. Earth movements are the most common problem with a foundation, but they are far from the only dangers it will face.

The foundation of any building is expected to move somewhat over time. Even though modern construction practices include building on a pad that is compacted to prevent erosion and compression, there is no way to completely avoid the settling that happens as a home or other structure ages. This means that even though the foundation is an integral part of the home, it is also one of the least stable areas for an insurance company to protect.

In some cases, such as erosion caused by unusually hard rain or damage caused by a tree, your insurance will pay for repair of the foundation. The circumstance where this is possible is limited, though, and most foundation problems are not covered under traditional homeowners policies. If your foundation is damaged by work performed on the property by a contractor, your repairs may be covered under the contractor's insurance.

In a vast majority of cases where the foundation of a building is damaged, the insurance will only pay for repairs if you have purchased specific coverage for movements of the earth. This coverage is not part of any standard policy because it includes such things as earthquakes, but you may be able to purchase a rider from your insurance company that can be added to your existing home insurance policy.

Answered October 15, 2012 by Anonymous

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