Conn. Lawmakers Write to Insurers About Crumbling Foundations - NBC Connecticut

Conn. Lawmakers Write to Insurers About Crumbling Foundations

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    Several members of Connecticut’s Congressional delegation have sent letters to Connecticut insurers regarding the proposal by the State of Connecticut to provide relief to homeowners with crumbling foundations in Hartford, Tolland and Windham Counties.

    In June, the Troubleshooters broke the story of the $52.5 million dollar insurance pool the State of Connecticut negotiated with several insurance companies, including Travelers and The Hartford.

    Representative Joe Courtney (CT-02), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), and Representative John Larson (CT-01) met last month with three of the largest insurers in the affected area, Liberty Mutual, State Farm and All State, to urge their participation in the program.

    In addition to sending a letter to these companies urging them join, the members sent letters to other insurers operating in the region that have not yet committed to the program.

    The members also sent a separate letter to the Hartford and Travelers thanking them for joining the effort.

    In their letters, the members state that: “The urgency of this problem is clear. Failure to enact a workable plan to provide relief will have a lasting impact not just on homeowners and communities, but on all those connected to the housing market, including insurers. We hope that your company will be a constructive and collaborative part of making this plan work in order to provide needed relief to your customers, their neighbors, and our communities.

    “We are deeply disappointed that other insurers operating in the region, including your company, have not yet committed to being a part of this plan” and that “given that this plan is so far the only realistic option put forward that provides relief outside of litigation, we urge to you take seriously the devastating consequences of allowing this effort to falter.”

    Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen said: "I'm grateful to our federal delegation members for their strong support and advocacy on behalf of this program. This problem goes beyond individual homeowners and represents a public policy problem for our state. This program obviously offers relief to families and communities, but it is also in the interests of insurance companies to participate.

    It offers them benefits and protections – including caps on financial exposure and release from the uncertainties of existing and potential litigation by homeowners who participate, as well from any claims the Department of Insurance may have for unfair insurance practices. I'm grateful to those few companies who have indicated their willingness as good corporate citizens to participate, but I would urge their peers to join in this effort to help Connecticut homeowners in desperate need of assistance."

    The Troubleshooters reached out to Liberty Mutual, State Farm and All State for comment about the insurance pool.

    Liberty Mutual responded:

    “We have thoughtfully considered the program and have decided not to participate. Liberty Mutual empathizes with everyone impacted by crumbling foundations due to defective concrete. We review and adjust each claim on its own merits.”

    Allstate responded with this statement:

    “Allstate provides Connecticut consumers access to a broad range of innovative insurance products. We remain committed to ensuring our ability to offer an affordable homeowners product to all of our customers, as well as our ability to fulfill our promise to help customers recover from unexpected losses. Covering losses for which there is no coverage under the policy and for which premium was not collected could create the need to increase premiums, which would impact all customers throughout the state. In light of the general belief that the issue with the concrete is due to defective concrete and/or the improper mixing and installation of the concrete, we believe that the focus should be on the concrete manufacturer and the contractors involved in its installation”

    State Farm chose not to comment.