If the previous homeowners hid a crack in the foundation beneath carpeting, will my insurance company pay for the repairs?

UPDATED: Jul 6, 2015

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UPDATED: Jul 6, 2015Fact Checked

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Asked July 6, 2015

1 Answer

During the initial home inspection, the inspector will look for signs of a damaged foundation, damaged roof, and attempt to verify the worthiness of load-bearing walls. Once that inspection is complete, the insurance company will act under the assumption that the home is sound, and calculate your rates accordingly. If you later find a cracked foundation hidden under carpet, trying to get the insurance company to approve the claim may be a difficult task.

Whether you can prove the damage was there when you bought the home or not, very few home insurance policies cover the foundation. Since the foundation will only crack if the ground it sits on changes, the foundation is generally excluded under a clause which pertains to settling of the earth. The idea is that the home, not the ground it sits on, is insured, and that changes in the ground fall under an act of God.

It is not unusual for a concrete foundation to crack if it was not installed with expansion joints, either physical or cut into the slab. Cracks of this type may occur any time after the slab is poured, and typically have little or no long term effect on the foundation. The cracks you have discovered may have actually been there since the home was built, and would not have been discovered until the carpet was removed or the crack extended to the outer edge of the foundation.

The fact is, the age of the crack has no bearing on whether the crack is insured. You could attempt to file a claim, but it will almost certainly be denied. If the crack had been caused by some covered event such as a tree falling on the home, it would be included in the total cost of repairs, otherwise the responsibility will rest with you to get the damages fixed.

Answered July 11, 2015 by Anonymous

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