Our house collapsed and insurance denied coverage

Three weeks ago on Saturday night, we were in our bedroom getting ready for bed.   With no warning of any kind, the back wall of our brick house came crashing down.   Within moments, one entire side of our house was exposed to the snow, wind, and the freezing temperatures of a Denver winter.  A gaping hole left the kitchen fully exposed to the outside and, terrifyingly, left my son’s bedroom upstairs unsupported. 

 We were evacuated that night by the fire department to a hotel with only a few changes of clothes and our cats.  We were not able to grab any other belongings before we left.  We have not been allowed in since.  The fire department put caution tape across the exposed back of the house, and the City boarded up the front door.

 We immediately went to our insurance company for help, assuming such a situation would be covered by our homeowners’ policy.  But, yesterday, after more than two weeks of waiting, our insurance company called me to say the claim was denied and we were on our own.  In the meantime, while waiting to tell us they would not cover the damage,  the insurance company did nothing to help with the destroyed wall.  It will not pay to cover the exposed part of the house.  It will not pay for the demolition or clean-up of the fallen walls.  It will not pay to shore up the remaining structure to protect what we have left and to make the building safe.  And it won’t pay to rebuild the damaged portion of the house or to address any of the damage to our belongings.  We don’t even know yet if the house can be repaired and we still don’t have the report the insurance company relied upon to deny coverage.

 We no longer have a place to live and are struggling to figure out what to do next.  The only information we have so far is an estimate of $37,000 just to get the house into a condition where we can protect it from falling down on itself. 

 This is a horrible time for our family.  We are overwhelmed.  We have no resources and don’t know how we move forward.  I am very thankful for the concern and support of the people around us and extremely grateful that no one was hurt.  I can still hug my family at night.  I hope we can find some way to recover from this devastating experience.  We appreciate any help you can give in our time of desperation.



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Shannon Swanson Stanley Walters 
Denver, CO
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