Connecticut homeowners who have crumbling foundations will soon be able to apply for reimbursement through a new state-sponsored fund. The specialty insurance company set up to process claims launched a website Monday that gives guidelines on who will be eligible, what documentation they will need, and what will be covered.
Connecticut is borrowing money to fund the reimbursements; the state says it intends to set aside some $100 million over the next five years. More funding will come through a surcharge of $12 on everyone’s homeowners insurance policy.
A single quarry in Willington has been identified as the source of faulty concrete used to build potentially thousands of homes where foundations are now failing. The concrete contains a corrosive mineral called pyrrhotite. This can swell and cause cracking when it's in contact with water.
Steve Werbner is the town manager of Tolland, one of the towns at the epicenter of the problem, and also the president of the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company.
He told Connecticut Public Radio there’s no good estimate for how many claims they may receive.
“We know there have been some 600 people who have registered with the Department of Consumer Protection," said Werbner. "We know in Tolland we have had well over 125 people apply for reduced assessments. But we also know there have been a number of people who have been unwilling to identify their homes as having a problem until there was a possibility that they could get some financial assistance.”
Regular homeowners' policies have so far refused to pay out for the costly repairs, which have left some people with hundreds of thousands of dollars of out-of-pocket costs. Werbner said the expenditures which could be covered by the new fund include raising the house and repairing the foundation, up to a maximum of $175,000 per property.
The company will take public comment on the guidelines for the next 30 days, and will begin accepting claims in mid-November.