Insurance Coverage for Foundations: Everything You Need to Know

When it comes to your home’s foundation, it’s important to ensure its stability and integrity. However, even the most well-maintained, solid foundation can experience unexpected incidents causing serious damage. It’s when these accidents arise that your homeowners insurance can come into play.

As a leading foundation repair company, we’ve seen our fair share of foundation problems throughout the years. We also know how beneficial homeowners insurance can be, especially in covering foundation repairs. So, if you have any questions about homeowners insurance coverage for your foundation issues, we’ve got you covered! We’re happy to walk you through all the things you need to know and consider.

Let’s get started!

What Is a House Foundation?

First things first—what is a house foundation? Think of it as your home’s base upon which your property is built. It supports the rest of your home’s structure, making sure that it stays firmly upright and steady through the years, preventing it from sinking into the ground. There are several kinds of house foundations such as slab-on-grade, crawl space, basement, pier and beam, strip, and T-shaped foundations. Depending on your home’s location, environmental characteristics, and soil type, some types of foundations may be more suitable than others for your property.

a house foundation under construction

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Foundation Repair?

Standard homeowners insurance usually only covers sudden and accidental loss or direct physical loss. Damages that are typically covered by homeowners insurance include:

  • Destruction caused by interior or exterior explosions and fire
  • Specific natural disasters like heavy storms and wildfires
  • Sudden plumbing failures such as leaks and a burst pipe
  • Damage from a vehicle crashing into your property
  • Damage from falling objects like trees
  • Sudden intentional destruction of your foundation or vandalism

While homeowners insurance covers these damages, remember to regularly inspect your foundation and perform necessary maintenance for a safe and stable home.

people discussing homeowners insurance policy
discussing the foundation repair coverage of insurance

When Does a Standard Home Insurance Policy Not Cover Foundation Repairs and Damage?

Homeowners insurance usually doesn’t cover foundation damage such as:

  • Foundation issues caused by faulty construction or poor maintenance
  • Crumbling or cracked foundation due to natural settling or shifting soil
  • Damage from a natural disaster like flooding and earthquakes
  • Damage from normal wear and tear
  • Damage from tree roots impacting the foundation
  • Damage from pests and small creatures
  • Damage from soil erosion or other geological factors

While most home insurance policies don’t cover these instances, you may purchase extra coverage like earthquake and flood insurance.

How to File a Homeowners Insurance Claim for Foundation Repairs With Your Insurance Company

If you’re dealing with foundation issues and believe your insurance covers it, you need to file a homeowners insurance claim. To help you get your claims process started, we’ve put together a guide that can help you from start to finish:

Step 1: Assess and Record the Damage

Snap some pictures and record videos of your foundation problems from different angles. Keep them for documentation and for future reference.

Step 2: Review Your Insurance Policy

Review your paperwork and focus on details about foundation damage and covered perils. Doing so will give you an idea of what may or may not be covered by your specific insurance.

Step 3: Contact Your Insurance Company or Agent

For more clarification, you can contact your insurance company or agent and ask them about your specific situation. Let them know that you wish to file a claim for foundation repair.

Step 4: Schedule an Adjuster Visit

discussing the foundation repair coverage of homeowners insurance

Your insurance provider will send a claims adjuster to your home to take a look at your foundation damage. They will thoroughly evaluate the situation and try to pinpoint the cause of the issues. Be sure to be available and present during this inspection so you can answer any questions they may have.

Step 5: Review the Settlement Offer

Your insurance company will eventually provide a settlement offer. This proposal will tell you how much the company is willing to pay to cover the damages you’ve specified in your claim. Take some time to read it carefully and determine whether you’re happy with the offer.

Step 6: Schedule the Repairs and Hire a Contractor

Once everything’s settled, you can go ahead and look for a trusted foundation repair specialist in your area. Make sure the work is done to your satisfaction and keep all receipts and records.

Early Signs Your Foundation Has Problems

For your insurance to cover foundation repair services, it has to count as sudden and accidental damage. This means that any foundation damage that isn’t a covered peril by your home insurance is solely your responsibility to address. Acting fast when you notice any of these warning signs can help you avoid costly repairs and keep foundation issues from worsening over time.

a cracked brick wall due to foundation damage

1. Cracks On The Walls

Major cracks in your brick wall can indicate an underlying foundation problem such as settling, soil movement, and poor drainage.

misaligned window

2. Misaligned Doors and Windows

Window frames and door frames can become misaligned due to foundation concerns, making them difficult to open and close. In other cases, they also stick and drag during usage.

garage wall leaning

3. Leaning Garage Walls, Support Posts, and Chimney

When your foundation cracks or experiences any form of weakness and instability, it can manifest in places like your garage wall, support posts, chimneys, and attached structures like porches. An unstable foundation leaves the rest of your structure vulnerable, which can easily be seen in specific parts of your home.

damaged and uneven floors

4. Uneven and Sagging Floors

Uneven floors and sloping floors are other symptoms of a problematic foundation. This can be caused by a number of foundation concerns, including shifting and settling.

brick molding separating

5. Brick Molding Separating

Another sign of a failing foundation is brick molding separation. This separation can be a result of shifting or settling, which leads to misalignments in your structure. Expansive soils that swell and contract with inconsistent moisture levels, poor drainage, and temperature changes can all contribute to this issue.

Common Causes of Foundation Problems

Homeowners deal with many headaches when it comes to maintaining their property, but foundation problems can be a different kind of nightmare. This is because foundation issues can affect the structural integrity of your property, making it prone to further damage. The first step to preventing foundation issues is familiarizing yourself with the common causes of foundation problems that lurk beneath the surface.

  • Poor, Faulty Construction: Foundation damage can result from faulty construction and installation. When your structure’s foundation isn’t properly fortified from the beginning, it’s more likely to develop problems.
  • Expansive Clay Soils: When the soil underneath and around your foundation is improperly compacted or not pressed down firmly enough, they can compress under the weight of the structure it’s holding up. This can lead to foundation settling, cracks, and other structural issues.
powerlift foundation repair crew
  • Weather Cycles: Climate and temperature changes can affect the stability of your foundation and cause foundation damage. Dry months often lead to soil shrinkage while cool, wet seasons make the soil swell; both cases lead to foundation movement which can result in complications.
  • Large Tree Roots: Tree roots grow under your home and could impact your foundation, leading to extensive damage. To prevent this, avoid planting trees—especially large trees—near your foundation, or consider installing root barriers underground.
  • Poor Drainage, Leaks, and Water Accumulation: When your drainage system fails to properly divert water away from your foundation, it can lead to soil erosion, create hydrostatic pressure against the foundation walls, and lead to soil swelling. As a result, cracks, bowing, water damage, and foundation settling can arise. By improving your drainage system, addressing leaks, and adding gutters and downspouts, you can protect your foundation from damage.
  • Burrowing Animals and Other Pests: When these critters dig tunnels underground, they can disturb the soil surrounding your foundation, making it prone to damage and instability. They can also create gaps and pathways for water to seep into, leading to water damage and moisture issues.

Tips to Prevent Foundation Damage

a couple standing before a house

Many homeowners can achieve a stable home by keeping their foundation in great shape. To avoid major structural problems, it’s best to have a regular home inspection so you can catch any issues early on and address them promptly. Even though your home insurance company may not cover all of your foundation repair needs, you can still save on repair costs by taking proactive measures to maintain your foundation’s health.

Powerlift Foundation Repair Can Help You Protect Your Home’s Foundation

free estimate with powerlift foundation repair

Powerlift has over 30 years of experience in the structural repair industry. Recommended by homeowners, engineers, architects, and real estate management professionals, we offer the most effective services in the industry, executed by only the most seasoned professionals.

Give us a call at 800-562-5438 for a free estimate and discover why we’re the leading foundation repair company in the United States!