Septic tank collapse-Homeowner's Insurance claim?

roguebabeMarch 13, 2007

After a 10 inch snowfall the ground collapsed above our septic tank. The septic tank has also collapsed, though we currently are not having problems inside the house. (Knock on wood.) We have been told that this may be something that our Homeowner's Insurance would cover. Anyone had any experience filing a claim with their Homeowner's Insurance for a septic tank collapse? My insurance agent was not at all familiar with septic tanks and made calls to more experienced agents. They said to file a claim, so we have. Our insurance company is sub-contracting the claim out to another company. This company is scheduled to come out late this week. Anyone have any experience with this or thoughts on how we should handle the claims adjuster?

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10 inches of snow did not collapse your septic tank. you had problems before that were weakening it.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 1:49PM
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i agree with xracer its doubtful snow caused the collapsed. the adjuster will most likely send an expert out to examine how the septic collapsed. insurance usually covers accidents which are sudden an unexpected. this sounds like a maintenance/wear&tear issue which is not covered.

good luck

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 2:56PM
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Hi - my septic tanks collapsed but due to poor backfill from the excavator, not snow. Your excavator should warrant his work for at least a year. Your tanks should have a 5 year warranty. Good luck

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 7:26PM
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Let's see now. This is the third post about this same tank.

Seems to me that this is a very old tank and the tile field also needs replacing, correct?

If that's true, then why do you think that your insurance company should buy you a new tank? All things wear out, including septic tanks and tile fields. if your roof starts to leak due to shingles that are bad due to old age, should your insurance company pay to re-shingle your roof? What about your car? When you have put 200,000 miles on it and the engine hasn't enough compression to start, should the insurance company buy you a brand new car?

You want to know how to handle the adjuster? Take a chair outside so he has something to fall into while laughing his butt off at your uadacity in thinking you have a legitimate claim.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:05PM
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I had frost push a foundation wall in years back. I got the same answer that MNK posted..."had to be sudden and unexpected." Frost took a week or two to push in the wall and that wasn't sudden enough for the inusurance company.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:24PM
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As a thought...we had dozens of barn and house roofs fall in this year in Vermont from snow loads. As I understand it, insurance companies are covering some of these.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2007 at 11:27PM
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Any septic tank that cannot withstand the weight of even four feet of snow on top of it would not be approved in the first place. Secondly, the OP has never revealed as to whether this is a concrete tank or a steel tank or how old the tank actually is.

Snow loads that exceed the tables in the local building code would be considered a peril within the spirit of insurance. However, adjusters are going to be looking very closely at some of those barns to see if they were well-maintained or not. Wood supports that were rotted out will likely cut back the amount the insurance company will pay.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 8:42AM
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I would suspect that there was frost in the ground long before they got the 2' snow fall. When the ground is frozen you can barely crack through it with a backhoe..I don't believe it would even be possible to break through with snow load.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 2:19PM
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My experience has been that there is enough heat generated inside a properly working septic tank to prevent any frost from forming in the area immediately above and around the tank. Between the warmth of incoming water from showers, cooking and laundry plus the heat from the natural digestive process of the waste in the tank, frost is usually a non-issue.

Regardless of frost or no frost.... I'm not buying into 10 inches of snow as being the fault of this tank failing.

    Bookmark   March 14, 2007 at 6:13PM
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wait until next month when your insurances cancels you and you go on the Choicepoint blacklist for frivolous claims. you won't be able to find affordable HOI and will wish you had just paid to fix it.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2007 at 9:44AM
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You can search the Public Adjuster in your local area in this website. By entering your city name, you can get the details.

Here is a link that might be useful: PublicAdjusterSearch

    Bookmark   December 29, 2008 at 12:06PM
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I don't know why your septic tank collapsed, but it wasn't because of snow. Is it possible your car drove over it? I do see vehicles crush them pretty often. Vehicle damage is generally covered under homeowners policy, subject to your deductible.

    Bookmark   February 15, 2011 at 8:26PM
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