How to Deal with a Claim that a Property Collapsed or Collapse was Imminent

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A collapse is a sudden or relatively abrupt occurrence causing serious structural damage, and not a gradual occurrence over a period of time.

The Washington state Supreme Court, answering an inquiry from a U.S. District Court, concluded that rather than adopt a fixed definition of “collapse” for all insurance contracts, it would apply Washington law to interpret the ambiguous term “collapse” in the insurance contract before the Ninth Circuit. The Supreme Court concluded “that in the insurance contract, ‘collapse’ means ‘substantial impairment of structural integrity. [Certification from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Queen Anne Park Homeowners Ass’n v. State Farm Fire & Cas. Co., 183 Wash.2d 485, 352 P.3d 790 (Wash., 2015)]