Insurers: Homes must fall down to be eligible for coverage

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HARTFORD — Connecticut residents whose home foundations are crumbling are facing a perplexing problem with their insurance policies: The damage won’t be covered unless their homes collapse.

More than two dozen insurance companies being sued in federal court by 40 homeowners recently filed court documents that say the plaintiffs are only covered if their houses fall down.

The homeowners’ lawyer, Ryan Barry, argues that a 1987 state Supreme Court ruling said collapse can also mean impairment in structural integrity. He said insurance companies later changed the meaning of collapse, but didn’t properly notify homeowners, which the insurers deny.

State officials say 30,000 or more homes in central and northeastern Connecticut could be affected by the problem, which has been linked to a mineral in the concrete that causes cracking and crumbling.