Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Structural Damage?

Structural damage to a home is serious, but in some cases, homeowners insurance policies can cover your losses. Find out about insurance coverage for termites, water damage, and other forms.

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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Structural Damage?  

You’ve just learned you have structural damage to your home and you’re not sure how you will get it repaired. Homeowners insurance provides coverage for accidental and unavoidable losses, though it may help for some types of structural damage. It is important to speak to your home insurance agent about your policy, but take into consideration these tips about structural damage and home insurance.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Coverage Include Structural Damage?

To file a homeowners insurance claim, you need to work with your agent to determine what the underlying cause of your structural damage is. Most home insurance policies are designed to cover accidental damage or unavoidable damage to the home. Yet, many types of structural damage are not covered simply because they occur over a period of time or are due to poor maintenance and upkeep. Your first step is to understand the cause of your structural damage before filing a claim.


Imagine having a fire within your home brought on by a lightning strike. Most policies will cover this type of loss. That includes repairing structural damage that occurs as a result of the fire itself, such as structural beams burning. It may even help cover damage from the water used to put out the fire, such as if that damages the home’s foundation.


Every case is treated on its own merit based on the underlying cause of the damage. In nearly all situations, your home insurance company will need to have a full inspection of the home completed to determine what the underlying cause of the damage is. If they can tie the damage to any type of covered peril or risk, you may have coverage.


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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Termite Damage?

One of the most common causes of structural damage is termites. Termite damage is considered a preventable type of loss. In nearly all situations, termite damage would occur as a result of an infestation that could have been detected and prevented with routine home maintenance. That is something the homeowner is responsible for in most cases. 


When the damage occurs, your home insurance policy may not provide you with financial means to treat the termites or to handle the structural damage. However, you can still work with your home insurance agent to determine if any solutions are available.

Will Your Home Insurance Policy Cover Damage from a Leaking Roof?

Roof maintenance is considered the responsibility of the homeowner as well. In most situations, a roof leak is not going to be covered by your home insurance policy. 


There are a few limits here. For example, if the roof damage is caused by hail from a storm, that could be considered a claim. In this situation, the home insurance policy would cover the repairs to the roof brought on by the hail damage. In some cases, especially if the roof is in very poor condition, it could include replacing the entire structure. 


More commonly, it would pay for the repairs to the damaged area and the leak. If that leak brought on structural damage to the home’s roof, it may also be repaired. However, most leaks are not able to be tied back to such claims, which can lead to limited coverage for your roof leak structural damage.


<twitter>In most situations, a roof leak is not going to be covered by your home insurance policy.</twitter>


Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Water damage is one of the most common concerns for homeowners, and it is one of the most complicated components of home insurance policies. Most home insurance policies do not cover floods. 


If it storms outside and your home floods, damaging the foundation of the home, you may not have available coverage to manage the repairs. That can be very difficult in some situations, which is why most agents recommend purchasing a separate flood insurance policy.


If the damage occurred as a result of a covered peril, then the policy will cover it. For example, the water heater leaks or frozen pipes explode, creating significant damage to the home’s foundation. This could be tied to the damage from the storm. However, such claims of structural damage may be hard to prove.

How to File a Claim for Home Insurance Coverage?

If you have a situation which you believe your home insurance policy should provide coverage, contact your agent. He or she will help you to determine what type of coverage may be available. To validate your home insurance coverage for the incident, you are likely to have a full inspection of the area. This third-party inspector will determine the cause of the damage. That determines if your policy will cover it.


Will homeowners insurance cover your structural damage? The answer to that really depends on what happened. That can make the biggest difference in the long term when it comes to repairing your home’s structural integrity.


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