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Court to hear arguments over crumbling foundations insurance

HARTFORD –The Connecticut Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on whether homeowners’ insurance policies should cover repairs to thousands of homes with crumbling foundations caused by defective concrete.

Justices will hear arguments in three cases Tuesday.

An estimated 35,000 homes in Connecticut and Massachusetts are affected by disintegrating concrete containing pyrrhotite, an iron sulfide that reacts naturally with oxygen and water. Replacing a foundation can cost $100,000 to $200,000.

In one of many lawsuits against insurers for failing to cover the damage, a federal judge earlier this year asked the state high court to better define the word “collapse.”

Insurers argue that policies only cover fixing foundations if homes collapse. Homeowners argue that under a 1987 state Supreme Court ruling, “collapse” also can mean impairment in structural integrity.

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