My Property Is Sinking & the Walls Are Cracking: Is This Covered by Homeowner's Insurance?

Dec - 26

My Property Is Sinking & the Walls Are Cracking: Is This Covered by Homeowner's Insurance?

Owning a home is likely to be one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your life. Besides a mortgage loan, a common expense is a homeowners insurance policy. Normally, policies are designed to protect you and your home against various types of loss, including fire, burglary and personal injury liability. Regrettably, there are some difficulties with houses that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover, including a home sinking or its base cracking.

Homeowners Insurance and Foundations

Homeowners insurance policies in states like California cover dwellings against loss like fire. But most policies exclude coverage for issues like foundation cracking or your home sinking or subsiding. Typically, the only instances when homeowners insurance insures a home’s base is if it was damaged by other issues like broken plumbing. As an example, your homeowners insurance may cover your property’s base if water leakage from broken plumbing caused cracking and sinking.

Additional Homeowners Insurance Coverages

If you are experiencing difficulties with your house’s base, like if it is breaking or in case your home is sinking or subsiding, review your homeowners insurance policy. Some homeowners take additional earthquake or flood coverage in their policies, which might cover your house’s base if it is damaged under these conditions. Although, unless they’re required to, comparatively few homeowners purchase earthquake-specific or even flood-specific homeowners insurance.

Home Foundation Cracks

If your house’s base suffers from cracks wider than 1/4 inch or displays stair-step cracks, then it may require repair, commonly through injected epoxy resin. However, injecting epoxy or repairing cracks in a home’s base only addresses the cracks themselves, not the underlying issues. Typically, cracks at a home’s base are brought on by excess water in the surrounding soil. If the soil surrounding your house’s base suffers from excessive water levels, it may need to be professionally emptied or treated to decrease wetness.

Sinking or Subsiding Homes

In many cases, drought-like conditions cause the supporting soil around a home to wash out, with sinking or subsidence a possible end result. A home that’s sinking presents a potentially significant problem over time for a homeowner. If your home is sinking or subsiding, stabilizing and supporting its base with steel or concrete piers can stop its motion. The cost of home foundation repair work, including repairing cracks, draining water in neighboring soil and installing piers varies across the nation.

See related