Can Homeowners Insurance not pay on a claim because of the dirt our home was build on?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can Homeowners Insurance not pay on a claim because of the dirt our home was build on?

We had tenants that had showed us water pouring into the
basement. I went to the basement to check it out and saw a
BIG crack going all the way down the concrete wall on the
inside of the home and the outside. I called the Insurance
Company to file a claim. They sent over a company not to
help us out with our problem, but to prove the damage was
there before the policy was in effect.They did a stress test
on the Concrete. Here is where it gets interesting the
Company they sent to my home stated the damage was done
after the policy was good, But this fracture on the wall was
made by the dirt the home was built on. So the insurance
Company said they are not liable because the dirt that made
the fracture was not covered.Plz Help

Asked on March 26, 2017 under Insurance Law, New Hampshire


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Generally, insurance covers claims caused by sudden events--e.g. an explosion nearby causing cracks; a vehicle hitting the house--and not claims resulting from the action of the environment over time (e.g.the dirt around/under the house). So it would be common for this to not be covered. That said, every policy is governed by its own exact terms or language, like any other contract (an insurance policy is a contract, after all). Review the coverage and the exclusions: if after doing so, you believe that under the terms of the policy, the insurer should have covered this, consult with an attorney about possibly suing your  insurer for "breach of contract."

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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