Are Foundations Protected under Dwelling Coverage?
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Without its foundation, your home doesn't have a leg to stand on ... literally. That being said, along with the roof and walls, the foundation is one of your home's most basic components.
So, it’s important that you have coverage in the form of a homeowners insurance policy to protect it if something goes wrong.
But do you need specialized coverage for the foundation of your home? Or is it covered by the dwelling coverage component, or Coverage A, of your homeowners insurance policy? Here’s what you need to know.
Does homeowners insurance provide foundation coverage?
Yes, your foundation is an essential component of your dwelling so it is covered under the dwelling section of your homeowners insurance.
However, just because your home's foundation is covered in some circumstances does not mean it is covered in all circumstances.
To receive a payout from your insurance company, your foundation needs to be damaged by one of your policy's covered perils.
Some of the most common covered perils include:
- Lightning strikes
- Vandalism/malicious mischief
- Damage from an aircraft, car, or vehicle
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Water damage
And while most homeowners insurance policies are basically the same, you should check with your individual policy to see exactly what type of perils are covered, or, in the case of an HO-3 policy, find out which perils are excluded. Fortunately, even with exclusions, you can get additional specialized coverage to protect your home.
When will homeowners insurance not cover damage to the foundation of a home?
If foundation issues occurred because of neglect or your failure to maintain it properly, chances are your home insurance policy won’t cover any damage.
Some other causes of foundation damage not covered by your homeowners insurance include:
- Soil expansion/ contraction
- Construction defects
- Foundation settling
- Poor drainage/ soil erosion
- Damage from tree roots
- Wear and tear
What can you do to protect your home’s foundation?
Foundation problems can arise in many ways that the standard homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover. Enter, additional coverage. Here are some additional ways you can protect your property:
Earthquake and flood insurance: In many cases, you can get supplemental insurance to provide protection against uncovered perils. This includes earthquake and flood insurance, which are necessities if you live in regions prone to these events.
Foundation warranty: You can also buy an extended warranty to provide protection for your home’s foundation. Offered by foundation repair companies, these warranties usually offer lifetime protection.
Whether damage to your foundation is claimable or not, foundation damage could result in costly and extensive renovations that are disruptive to your everyday life. The best course of action is maintaining your foundation and nipping problems in the bud so they don't cause major issues down the road.