Foundation repairs can be expensive and obviously can affect the value and safety of your home. So it is natural to assume that home insurance covers foundation repairs. It just seems to make common sense.
I answer these questions a LOT during my foundation assessments and bid appointments – “How do I submit this to my insurance company to have them cover it?” “Does insurance cover both waterproofing and structural repairs?” “Do you work with insurance companies?”
It all leads to a very disappointing answer that seems unbelievable to most people, even me.
FOUNDATION REPAIRS ARE HARDLY EVER COVERED BY INSURANCE
In the last two years, we have had hundreds of customers and only ONE was covered by insurance.
I’ll let the shock of that answer soak in for a minute…because I know what you’re thinking – “What??? How can that be? How can insurance companies justify that?” In the last two years, we have had hundreds of customers and only ONE repair was covered by insurance.
The short answer is that insurance companies can exclude anything that they want to. Foundation repairs are oftentimes expensive, sometimes very very expensive. So they don’t cover it because it is too risky.
This is often followed by an often-insulting response from them that most foundation repairs could have been avoided and are the result of homeowner neglect. This can be true to a certain degree in most areas that do not have the soil/water/weather conditions that we do here in the Saint Louis and Saint Charles region. And many foundation problems CAN be avoided or lessened by proper homeowner maintenance (see my post on this here). However, I have seen many many homes experience foundation issues that have no evidence of homeowner neglect and just…happened.
They will cover repairs under certain conditions – tornado damage, riots/vandalism, volcanoes, lightening. The one customer we’ve had in the past two years that was able to have their insurance paid for was due to a vehicle hitting the foundation.
Basically, insurance covers the events that are uncommon and hardly ever happen. But soil pressure laterally deflecting a foundation wall inward several inches – no coverage. A 7″ rain in two hours – again, the answer is most often NO. Vertical differential settlement caused by highly plastic soils – no.
Here is a link to an article that covers exactly what I’m discussing here and correlates to what my experience has been with insurance coverage.
I obviously disagree with the lack of coverage, but unfortunately I do not get to make the rules that home insurance companies abide by. Both my life and the lives of my customers would be far easier if insurance covered it. I encourage you to call your own home insurance agent in order to verify the details of your coverage.
Regardless of whether insurance covers the cost of repairs or not, it is important to diagnose the problem correctly. In fact, because insurance rarely covers the cost, it is vital to apply the correct fix and to use a reputable company that has a history of quality (eh hem – Acculift). Please contact us to set up an appointment for an evaluation. Upon request, we provide whiskey and Kleenex at our appointments (kidding, kidding…sort of).