claim was denied

bought a home a year ago. The foundation is crumbling away. Insurance company
won’t cover it under sinking, shrinking clause, leaving me to foot the bill. Home
is 60 years old.

Asked on April 1, 2017 under Real Estate Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Most likely the insurer does not need to pay out on this claim: generally, insurance is for sudden events causing damage (like a nearby explosion or collision, the force of which damaged the foundation), not for the incremental effects of subsidience, wear and tear, erosision, shifting soil, etc. over years. While you could bring the policy to an attorney to review your exact coverage and exclusions with you, it is very likely this is not covered.
If the seller knew of the problem but hid it from you (you'd have to be able to show in court that he did know or logically, given the facts, *must* have known) AND the problem was not one you or a home inspector could have reasonably seem for yourself prior to closing (since you cannot rely on--and therefore hold someone accountable for--misrepresentations if you could see the true state of affairs or facts for yourself), then he may have committed fraud. If he committed fraud by not disclosing a material important condition known to him, you may be able to sue for compensation, such as the cost to repair. If you feel this could be the case, consult with an attorney to explore your options.


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