Some of the thousands of homeowners with crumbling foundations pleaded with lawmakers to try to stop something like the current crisis from happening again.
They’re pushing for the state to mandate that all homeowners’ insurance policies coverage the kind of collapses and damage that are linked to the issues across Eastern Connecticut.
“We’re basically paying twice for our homes in order to fix them,” said Linda Tofolowsky, who was the first owner to file a lawsuit over the issue and to bring the problem to the attention of lawmakers and state officials. “Nobody, nobody should have to pay twice for their home.”
The proposed legislation would mandate all insurers in Connecticut cover the kind of catastrophic damage and collapse found in the homes with crumbling foundations. Advocates like Tofolowsky say they want the insurance industry to be a partner, not an adversary.
“Insurance companies need to buck up and help pay for this. I don’t want total payment from insurance companies. I want some help,” she said.
Eric George, the President of the Insurance Association of Connecticut, says the costs to consumers could be astronomical if insurers have to cover all previous and future crumbling foundation issues.
“What we’re trying to do is protect the homeowners in the rest of the state of Connecticut from skyrocketing premium increases,” George said. He would not comment on specific rate increases, but multiple political insiders confirmed to NBC Connecticut that the premium increases could be in the range of two hundred percent in some cases.
George said, “You’re looking at a new mandated coverage, a very expensive mandated coverage that every renter, homeowner, and condo owner is going to have to pay through their premiums.”
Some lawmakers are not sure they believe those assessments, saying they sound like hyperbole.
Rep. Tom Delnicki is one of them, saying, “Where is the proof? I’ve yet to see a memo in writing from an insurance company stating that our rates are going to be going up by x amount.”
The bill is currently before the General Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and could see a vote within the week.