If your house is sinking, will homeowners' insurance cover it?


Sadly, homeowners insurance will rarely cover earth movements such as a sinking house, except for Texas or Florida, where earth movements coverage may be mandated.

In most states, they can even specify the extent that they won't cover damage from earth movement. A policy may even state that the swelling, sinking, cracking, settling, protrusions or expansion of walls, floors, fences, retaining walls, ceilings, driveways and curbs due to earth movement will not be considered payable under the policy.

Also, sinking or damage due to earthquakes will not be covered as homeowners insurance policies expressly exclude earthquakes in their cover.

There may be instances, however, where a sinking house can warrant payment from the insurance company. For instance, if the house is sinking due to the fact that a pipe or waterline has broken and that line is located under your house and the leak caused the sinking, this may be covered by some policies.

Also, if the sinking was caused by a third party and was due to their negligence, you can make a claim against that third party, but not from your insurance company. You can also sue for damages from a third party (such as a real estate broker or the former owners of the house) that failed to disclose the conditions of the property, i.e. they did not tell you that the house was sinking at the time you bought it.

Be sure to read the terms and conditions of your policy so that you know what your policy covers and what it doesn't.

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