Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Structural Damage: Overview, Causes, Structural Damage, Coverage, Claims & Acquisition

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Structural Damage: Unveiling the Truth.!!!

An image illustration of a home that may experience a Structural Damage
Uncover the protection your homeowner’s insurance offers against structural damage.

Your home is your biggest asset, and you want to protect it from any possible damage.

But what if something happens to the structure of your home, such as the foundation, the walls, or the roof?

Will your homeowner’s insurance cover the cost of repairing or replacing them?

The answer depends on the cause and extent of the damage, as well as the terms and conditions of your policy.

In this blog post, we will explain what structural damage is, when it is covered by homeowners’ insurance, and when it is not.

We will also give you some tips on how to prevent and deal with structural damage, and where to buy the best homeowners insurance for your needs.

Understanding Structural Damage and its Causes

Structural damage encompasses any harm impacting your home’s integrity, stability, or safety.

It may stem from diverse factors like:

  • Natural disasters: Earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, landslides, or wildfires.
  • Weather events: Heavy rain, snow, ice, hail, wind, or lightning.
  • Accidents: Fires, explosions, vehicle impacts, or falling objects.
  • Malicious actions: Vandalism, theft, or mischief.
  • Wear and tear: Aging, corrosion, decay, or deterioration.
  • Defects: Poor design, construction, or materials.
  • Neglect: Lack of maintenance, inspection, or repair.

Structural damage can manifest in various areas of your home, impacting the foundation, walls, roof, floors, ceilings, and doors and windows.

The consequences of structural damage are far-reaching, affecting your home’s value, functionality, appearance, and posing risks of further deterioration, injuries, or liability concerns.

When Does Homeowners Insurance Kick in for Structural Damage?

Homeowners insurance aims to safeguard your home and possessions from unforeseen and accidental losses.

It typically covers structural damage caused by specified perils, outlined in your policy.

Common covered perils include:

  • Fire or smoke.
  • Lightning or thunderstorms.
  • Windstorms or hail.
  • Explosion.
  • Riot or civil commotion.
  • Aircraft or vehicle impacts.
  • Vandalism or malicious mischief.
  • Theft.
  • Falling objects.
  • Weight of ice, snow, or sleet.
  • Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam.
  • Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of heating, air conditioning, or plumbing systems.
  • Freezing of plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or sprinkler systems.
  • Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical currents.
  • Volcanic eruption.

Certain policies may extend coverage to structural damage from events like:

  • Collapse of a building or its parts.
  • Breakage of glass or safety glazing material.
  • Damage by wild animals or birds.

In instances where your home faces structural damage due to these covered perils, your homeowner’s insurance steps in to cover the expenses for repairing or replacing the affected parts, up to the limit specified in your dwelling coverage.

Dwelling coverage denotes the amount your policy allocates for rebuilding or restoring your home to its pre-loss state, generally based on the replacement cost at current market prices.

When Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Structural Damage

Your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover structural damage if it results from a peril excluded in your policy.

Excluded perils are causes not covered due to being deemed predictable, preventable, or uninsurable.

The primary excluded perils include:

  • Earth movement, like earthquakes, landslides, mudslides, or sinkholes.
  • Water damage, encompassing floods, sewer backups, or seepage.
  • Power failures.
  • Neglect, referring to failure in taking reasonable steps to protect your property.
  • War, nuclear hazard, or government actions.
  • Ordinance or law enforcement necessitating property repair, rebuild, or demolition.
  • Intentional loss, meaning any purposeful damage by you or those living with you.

Should your home face structural damage due to these excluded perils, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover the repair or replacement costs.

Unless you have a separate policy or endorsement specifically covering these perils, you’ll be footing the bill.

Certain policies may also exclude or limit coverage for structural damage from:

  • Wear and tear, deterioration, or hidden decay.
  • Rust, corrosion, or fungus.
  • Insects, rodents, or vermin.
  • Settling, shrinking, bulging, or expanding of foundation, walls, floors, or ceilings.
  • Faulty design, construction, or materials.

These exclusions are based on the idea that structural damage from these causes is gradual or expected, making it your responsibility to maintain your home and address avoidable damage.

Preventing and Addressing Structural Damage

Structural damage can be both expensive and perilous, underscoring the importance of prompt prevention and intervention. Here’s how you can tackle it:

  • Regularly inspect your home for signs like cracks, leaks, stains, or sagging, focusing on foundation, walls, roof, floors, ceilings, doors, and windows.
  • Maintain your home diligently, fixing minor issues before they escalate.
  • Engage professional contractors or engineers for assessments and repairs, avoiding DIY attempts that might worsen the situation.
  • Understand your homeowners insurance policy, clarifying doubts through your agent or company.
  • Consider additional coverage for excluded or limited perils, such as earthquake, flood, or sewer backup, tailoring it to your needs and budget.
  • Promptly file a claim if your home encounters structural damage from a covered peril, cooperating with adjusters and contractors.

Where to Acquire Homeowners Insurance

While homeowners’ insurance is essential, policies differ in coverage, price, service, and reputation.

Hence, it’s crucial to compare options before making a choice. Utilize online tools like Obrella or MoneyGeek for free quotes, ratings, and reviews.

Alternatively, consult independent agents or brokers for personalized assistance in finding the right policy for your needs and budget.

How to File a Claim for Structural Damage?

Initiating a claim for structural damage mirrors the process for other types of damage.

Follow these steps:

  1. Contact your homeowner’s insurance company promptly to report the damage. Share incident details like date, time, location, cause, and the extent of the damage.
  2. Document the damage with photos and videos. Collect receipts or invoices related to your home or property. Provide a list of damaged or lost items along with their values.
  3. Submit the claim form and supporting documents to your homeowners insurance company. Await their response as they assign an adjuster to inspect and determine the entitled compensation.
  4. Review the settlement offer. If dissatisfied, negotiate with your insurance company. You can also consider hiring a public adjuster or a lawyer for representation.
  5. Accept the settlement offer and sign the release form. Your homeowner’s insurance company will then disburse the agreed amount, whether in a lump sum or installments, based on your policy and preference.


Q: How much homeowners insurance is necessary for structural damage?

A: The required homeowners insurance for structural damage hinges on your home’s value and rebuilding cost.

Ideally, ensure sufficient dwelling coverage to handle the complete replacement cost of your home.

This is the sum required to rebuild your home with similar materials and quality at present prices.

Utilize online calculators like Homeowners Insurance Cover or consult your agent or company for a professional appraisal.


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