Recently, Connecticut has had an increase in insurance claims for crumbling foundations due to faulty foundations poured in the 1980s and 1990s. Some foundations poured during this time frame contained a mineral, pyrrhotite, which can cause cracking when it reacts with oxygen and water. It is estimated nearly 20,000 foundations poured contain the mineral.
Continue Reading Crumbling Foundation and the Collapse Provision in a Homeowners Policy

In California, if a property insurance policy does not specifically require a collapse to be complete or actual falling down to trigger coverage, then an imminent (i.e., impending) collapse will probably trigger coverage.1

However, on the flipside, if a policy does specifically require a collapse to be “complete” or “actual” falling down, then an imminent collapse is not sufficient.2


Continue Reading Do All Insurance Policies Require a Total Collapse to Trigger Collapse Coverage?

The meaning of the term “collapse” in a first-party property insurance policy may often be litigated. My colleague, Nicole Vinson has written previous blogs specific to the topic of collapse coverage. In Experts and Photos – Clearing Up Collapse Coverage, Part V, she explained the two different doctrines involving collapse coverage:

The traditional view holds collapse is covered when there is either a falling down or a caving-in – into a flattened form of rubble. But the liberal view holds a collapse happens when there is a substantial impairment of structural integrity, without an actual collapse of the building or part thereof being necessary.


Continue Reading Court Defines “Collapse”

“Chance favours the prepared mind.”
― Louis Pasteur

You better have an expert for a collapse case.

One thing is for sure, collapse coverage claims are fact specific and the exact language within the policy is crucial in determining whether the damage at the building will be covered. Counsel also needs to be very familiar with court decisions of a particular jurisdiction to understand how the courts decide these cases. My prior posts have explained the evolution and two main views of the coverage. The traditional view holds collapse is covered when there is either a falling down or a caving-in – into a flattened form of rubble. But the liberal view holds a collapse happens when there is a substantial impairment of structural integrity, without an actual collapse of the building or part thereof being necessary.


Continue Reading Experts and Photos – Clearing Up Collapse Coverage, Part V

A devastating property loss and a warning of collapse danger both made headlines recently. One of the news resources that those of us in the property insurance industry turn to is the Claims Journal. I have the Claims Journal app on my iPhone and check it frequently, but I was surprised when two stories in the same feed were reporting on collapse issues in two different parts of the country.


Continue Reading Collapse Claims Make National Headlines – Clearing Up Collapse Coverage, Part IV

It’s the last Saturday in January, and that means pirates invade Tampa Bay this weekend. Not familiar with Gasparilla? Here is a little on the Legend. While the name may sound like a rare tropical flower or an exotic drink, to Tampa, Gasparilla means boats, pirates, parades, and merriment and it is important to know that this invasion is just steps away from our office on Harbour Island in Tampa!

Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part III – on Gasparilla Saturday

Is my collapse claim covered? Can my insurance company deny the claim, my balcony just collapsed? My porch is hanging by a thread… am I covered?

Looking for an answer to questions about collapse coverage? You have come to the right firm’s blog. This series is intended to give the basics on collapse coverage, the history and background, plus explore how different courts have handled different collapse provisions. As I mentioned in part one, it is imperative that readers understand that the reason collapse can be a frustrating issue is in part because of the variations in the policy language from policy to policy, and state to state. This is an important topic for policyholders, public adjusters, and counsel but while the topic isn’t scorching hot, seeking coverage can be very controversial.


Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part II

Property insurance coverage dealing with collapse claims has long been a battle for policyholders. This is one of those perils (or exclusion, depending on the policy) that is fair to classify as one that gives practitioners on both sides of the claim indigestion. So take out the antacid, because its time to delve into the history and evolution of collapse coverage under a property insurance policy. This is an important topic for policyholders, public adjusters, and counsel but because the material can be dry, we recommend playing a good game of Jenga after you finish this post to see a collapse in action.

If you found this blog because you were looking for articles on Florida’s catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage, click here.


Continue Reading Clearing up Collapse Coverage, Part I