Can our homeowner's insurer not pay on a claim because of the dirt our home was build on?
Question Details: 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, however 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.
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."