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Property damage claim rejected after wall collapses

Florida homeowners may have confidence in their insurance providers, but they may be interested in a rejected claim in another state. A couple is considering legal action against several parties following the collapse of the two-story front wall of their house. In November of last year, a neighbor contracted a construction crew to perform excavation on his property. The homeowner claims that the large hole had been dug approximately two feet from his house. He says he anticipated property damage and warned the operator of the excavator not to come closer, and his wife sent the property owner an email expressing her concern about the proximity of the excavation to their home.

The entire two-story front wall of the house came crashing down a couple of hours later. The couple reported that their insurance company rejected the claim, stating that their policy does not cover earth movement. The incident is classified with other external forces such as earthquakes and landslides. The home is now unsafe, and the couple is not allowed to remove furniture until their house is stabilized.

A city engineer reportedly said that shoring and stabilizing of excavations on commercial excavations are the city’s concern, but not residential excavations. The young couple, whose first baby will be born soon, now has the added expense of an alternative rental property while they have to maintain mortgage payments on a home that may never be salvaged. For this reason, they are contemplating lawsuits against the insurance company, the neighbor and his contractor, along with the subcontractor and engineer.

Homeowners in Florida may be concerned about the financial consequences of such unexpected occurrences of property damage. Policyholders who pay their premiums expect to be compensated when they have legitimate claims. However, when coverage is denied, or inadequate compensation is paid for losses, it may be beneficial to retain an experienced attorney to protect their rights and work on obtaining fair compensation.

Source: kdvr.com, “Insurance won’t cover couple’s destructive wall collapse“, Rob Low, Jan. 22, 2015

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