Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Slab Leak Repair? A Detailed Guide

Living in New Jersey has several perks, but one of the biggest are lower-than-average homeowner’s insurance rates. Garden State residents pay¬†about $965 annually for their policies, well below the $1,820 national average.

But does homeowners insurance cover slab leak repair in NJ?

Read on to answer this question and learn how to save money when fixing structural issues in your house.

What Are Slab Leaks?

Slab leaks are a type of foundational issue in your home. The term refers to cracks in a slab, a concrete foundation that sits against the soil underneath your home. A slab is an alternative to a crawlspace or basement that sits underground and is found in some homes.

Slabs are about two or three feet thick. This means they’re susceptible to breaking and cracking under too much pressure. Leaks usually happen when groundwater or fluid from plumbing moves through and penetrates the concrete.

Earthquakes, pipe corrosion, frequent ground freezing and thawing, and old water lines are common causes. Ground shifting is the root reason behind slab leakage.

Damp spots or mold on your flooring are core signs of slab leakage. Low water pressure and resulting high water bills also mean that you should investigate a slab leak. If you notice soggy soil near the foundation of your home, it’s also time to look into whether there are foundational issues with your home’s slab.

The Cost of Slab Leak Repairs

Foundation repairs cost an average of $5,000. This is what you can expect to pay for an average slab leak repair job.

Sometimes, it will cost as low as $2,160, while other times, it may be as high as $7790. The price fluctuates and varies depending on the severity of the leak, your home’s location, the slab concrete’s thickness, and the issues it is causing.

You may also need to pay more to repair other problems that the slab leak causes. Moisture inside your floors can lead to water damage repairs, and mold growth means high cleaning fees and probable flooring replacement.

This is, unfortunately, a regular occurrence because it can take people months or even years to realize that there’s a slab leak issue.

Luckily, there are ways that you can minimize the out-of-pocket impact with homeowner’s insurance.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Slab Leak Repair?

The answer to this question depends on the insurance policy that you have. If you have an HO-1 or DP-1 Basic Form type of coverage, you likely will not be covered for slab leaks. These basic plans only offer protection right after disasters like hurricanes and fires.

However, if you have an HO-3 Special Form policy, you will likely be covered for slab leak repair!

These policies cover almost all incidents not explicitly marked as excluded under your policy. Water damage is almost always covered, so you likely can recover compensation for any leak-related issues that your foundational cracks cause.

Some other policy types will also cover slab leak repair in certain instances. If you want to find a policy that will protect your home in NJ, PA, or DE, talk with a professional about your specific needs. They’ll¬†point you toward¬†policies that cover slab leak damage and similar foundational issues.

Does this Mean No Out-of-Pocket Costs?

No. Even those with a HO-3 Special Form policy will likely have some out-of-pocket costs.

When your insurance covers the slab leak, it will only cover damage caused directly by the leak. This includes water spots on the floor or issues with the soil under your home. Sagging floors and receding foundations may be covered if they directly impact the leak.

However, some damage related to slab leaks is unequivocally not caused by the leak. Usually, these things are the root causes of the leak.

Your insurance policy won’t always cover a burst pipe or plumbing issue. You may need to pay out of pocket to resolve issues with old piping or broken water systems (unless your policy specifically covers them as well).

Most homeowners insurance policies won’t cover routine maintenance, either. It may impact your coverage if you have not had someone look at your home in a long time. This is not always the case; an expert can help you navigate potential issues that may limit insurance payments.

Types of Coverage You Should Know

Coverage A, dwelling coverage, is a part of a policy that covers the structure of your home. To be fully covered, your dwelling coverage maximum must be the same value as your home. If it’s lower, you still may be partially insured.

This is one of the most essential types of coverage for slab leaks, but you may also get some compensation if you have personal property coverage. If your insurer accepts your claim, you may get some coverage for property damaged by water related to the slab leak. This is protected under Coverage C, but not everything is eligible for coverage.

You also may be able to recover some funds if the slab leak reaches a point where you have to leave your home temporarily. Loss of use coverage can compensate you if you need to move while your home is being repaired. It may pay for renting an equal-value property, hotel fees, pet boarding, and even takeout meals if you don’t have access to your kitchen.

None of this coverage is a guarantee. Your plan will determine what you can get. You can maximize your chances of coverage by monitoring your home with smart appliances and choosing an appropriate insurance plan for your needs.

Get a Quality Homeowners Insurance Policy

So, does homeowners insurance cover slab leak repair?

The answer to this question is often “yes,” but your exact coverage will depend on your specific insurance policy. Now that you know the ins and outs of coverage types and compensation, it’s time to select a quality policy that meets your needs.