The broad meaning of collapse has been applied by courts in many states, triggering the question, “Does insurance cover structural collapse?” Most state courts, however, have held that collapse coverage is limited to the “imminent collapse” of the structure and is not sufficient to trigger coverage. In contrast, the recent Heintz v. United States Fidelity & Guaranty Co. case held that the mere possibility of collapse was not enough to trigger coverage, and that a policy holder had a duty to mitigate damages.
The question of whether insurance covers structural collapse remains a controversial topic in the insurance industry. Unfortunately, courts are still divided on the subject, and insurance companies may insert exclusionary language in their policies. However, there are ways to prove that an insurer didn’t cover collapse if the structure had been “in imminent danger of collapse.”
Insurance policies should specifically note this exclusion. Under the new insuring provisions adopted by the ISO in 2000, collapses are considered an “abrupt” event. Likewise, decay or insect infestation are excluded from coverage. For more information on this topic, visit the Insurance Coverage Law Center. This site contains objective legal analysis, practical insight, and news about insurance coverage. You may want to check out the HO 2000 edition of the ISO’s special homeowners form.
What’s the definition of structural collapse? In the traditional view, the term collapse must involve a sudden falling-in. This means that the building must have lost its shape or been at a serious risk of falling. However, in some cases, the term collapse is applied to a gradual occurrence. For example, in the Tomlin case, coverage was triggered when the brick walls started to crumble and pull away from the structure.
There are many ways in which a building may collapse, including bad design, faulty construction, or a bad foundation. It may also be caused by extraordinary loads or unexpected failure modes. In such cases, homeowners insurance policies cover the cost of foundation repair when the collapse is the result of a covered peril. Floods and earthquakes are examples of common causes. However, a policy holder may not cover structural collapse if it’s caused by a homeowner’s negligence.
Standard homeowner and business insurance policies do not cover the collapse of a building caused by hidden decay. However, some policies do include this coverage as a separate endorsement. Some policies also have clauses excluding collapse coverage. If you’re concerned that your policy does not cover structural collapse, contact your insurance agent. This will help you determine if your policy covers the damage. While there are many insurance coverages for a building collapse, they differ significantly in terms of coverage and exclusions.
A building collapse can be devastating for a building owner. Not only is the damage to the building a huge inconvenience, but also a stressful time for an insurance claim. An insurance claim expert can help you navigate the ever-changing collapse coverage landscape and assess the total damage. With the right insurance policy, you’ll be protected in the event of such an emergency.
The primary component of structural damage in a house is the foundation. Homeowners insurance policies generally cover this type of damage, but their coverage may vary by policy. While collapse is a typical occurrence, it is not always covered by standard homeowners insurance. The coverage you’re looking for depends on the type of collapse and the causes of the damage.