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In June of 2017, the Supreme Court of Kentucky affirmed the decision of the appellate court and determined that the mere presence of hidden insects did not constitute a collapse as defined in the homeowners policy that was in place at the time. The case is Thiele v. Ky. Growers Ins. Co., 552 S.W.3d 198 (Ky. 2017).

In 2004 Hiram Campbell purchased a homeowners insurance policy through Kentucky Growers Insurance Company (Ky. Growers). The policy was self-renewing and continued after Hiram’s death in 2005. His daughter, Wanda Thiele, moved into the insured home after he passed away. She was also the executrix of his estate. Six years later, Thiele moved the refrigerator and discovered a termite infestation. An inspection of the house determined that there was more termite damage including damage to wall paneling and flooring. Thiele contacted Ky. Growers to make a claim under the homeowners policy that was in place. The provision under which she made her claim was the provision covering collapse, which stated “’we’ pay for direct physical loss. . . involving the collapse of a building or part of a building caused by only the following: . . . (b) hidden insect or vermin decay”. Under the policy, collapse does not mean settling, cracking, bulging, or expanding.

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