Does Insurance Cover Foundation Cracks?
Foundation cracks are a common problem for homeowners, especially in older houses. They can cause structural damage, water leakage, pest infestation and lower property value. But does insurance cover foundation cracks? The answer depends on the cause and extent of the damage, as well as the type of policy you have.
does insurance cover foundation cracks
What causes foundation cracks?
Foundation cracks can have various causes, such as:
Soil moisture: Too much or too little moisture in the soil can cause it to expand or contract, putting pressure on the foundation and creating cracks.
Earth movement: Natural events like earthquakes, landslides, sinkholes and volcanic eruptions can shift the ground and damage the foundation.
Tree roots: Tree roots can grow under or near the foundation and push against it, causing cracks or displacement.
Poor construction: Faulty design, low-quality materials, improper drainage or inadequate soil preparation can result in a weak foundation that is prone to cracking.
Normal wear and tear: Over time, concrete can shrink, bulge, expand or crack due to temperature changes, aging or settling.
When does insurance cover foundation cracks?
Insurance covers foundation cracks when they are caused by a covered peril, such as fire, lightning, windstorm, hail, explosion, vandalism or vehicle collision. These are sudden and accidental events that are beyond your control. For example, if a tornado damages your foundation, your insurance will pay for the repairs.
However, insurance does not cover foundation cracks when they are caused by excluded perils, such as flooding, earthquake, tree root pressure or normal wear and tear. These are gradual or predictable events that are considered part of regular home maintenance or prevention. For example, if your foundation cracks due to soil settling, your insurance will not pay for the repairs.
How much does insurance pay for foundation repairs?
The amount of insurance payout for foundation repairs depends on several factors, such as:
The extent of the damage: The more severe the damage, the higher the cost of repairs.
The type of repair: Different methods of repair have different costs. For example, epoxy injection is cheaper than piering or slabjacking.
The deductible: The deductible is the amount you have to pay out of pocket before your insurance kicks in. The higher the deductible, the lower the payout.
The coverage limit: The coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurance will pay for a claim. The lower the limit, the lower the payout.
The average cost of foundation repair ranges from $1,800 to $6,500, according to HomeAdvisor. However, some cases may require more extensive work that can cost up to $40,000 or more. You should check your policy details and consult with your insurance agent to determine how much coverage you have for foundation repairs.
How to prevent foundation cracks?
The best way to avoid foundation cracks is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you protect your foundation:
Maintain proper drainage: Make sure water flows away from your house and does not pool around your foundation. Install gutters and downspouts to divert rainwater and keep your soil moist but not saturated.
Avoid planting large trees near your house: Tree roots can damage your foundation by pushing against it or absorbing water from the soil. If you have existing trees near your house, prune them regularly and install root barriers to prevent them from growing under your foundation.
Inspect your foundation regularly: Look for signs of cracking, shifting or sinking in your foundation and walls. If you notice any problems, contact a professional foundation contractor as soon as possible to fix them before they worsen.
Review your insurance policy: Make sure you understand what perils are covered and excluded by your insurance policy. Consider adding supplemental coverage or endorsements for perils that are not covered by your standard policy, such as flood or earthquake insurance.