Florida is #1 for Sinkhole occurrences in the United States. Just to give you an idea, after Hurricane Irma hit Florida in 2017 there were over 300 sinkholes being reported over a year time frame.
Sinkhole Damage Claims are often denied. Why?
- Most people do not carry Sinkhole damage which costs extra. Like Flood Insurance your Homeowners policy probably not provide coverage for Sinkholes unless an extra premium is paid
- There is a portion of the policy that would afford coverage to something of similar nature, this coverage is called “Catastrophic ground cover collapse. Unfortunately, for coverage to be enforced there are certain conditions which need to be present, such as:
- Collapse needs to be abrupt
- A depression in the ground that is visible
- There is identifiable structural damage to the building and foundation
- A government agency would have to vacate the building and order it condemned
- Many times, the insurance company will hire a structural engineer and geologist to inspect the insured property once a claim is filed. Together with the insurance company adjuster they will determine if there is structural damage. More often that not, if a home is not destroyed, the insurance company will DENY, the claim stating there is no structural damage to the property. If you have a sinkhole damage claim in Florida, contact a public adjuster who handles sinkhole damage insurance claims. I’ve done about a dozen sinkhole claims so I am very familiar with what needs to be done to make sure the insurance company will pay you for ALL the damages to your home.
How can I help you with your Florida Sinkhole Claim?
NOTE: I will have 2 different plans depending on if you added Sinkhole Coverage to your policy. Some of the steps I list are general but would apply to either circumstance, i.e. whether you carry Sinkhole coverage or not
- I will visit the property, do a thorough investigation, take photos, videos, etc….
- Conduct a Sinkhole Forensic Analysis I will do a special computer-generated illustration of the building, elevation, survey of the land to get a better understanding of what we are dealing with
- Utilize one of my structural engineers so that we can work hand in hand building your case to show the insurance company that this loss should be covered
- Utilize a geologist to do a complete survey of the land, complete a report to have the ability to offset any expert the insurance company may hire.
- We would have to mark off the property so that nobody gets near it, injure themselves, and hold you liable.
- Once we have all the required documentation, we will demand payment in full for the POLICY LIMITS OF YOUR POLICY if applicable from the insurance company.
- If the insurance company denies the claim, there is a program operated by the State of Florida called the Neutral Evaluation operated by the Florida Department of Financial Services. In this situation, the program will provide a neutral, independent Engineer and/or Geologist. They will make a determination if a sinkhole exists and recommend certain methods of repairs to the property..
- We would also have other options available to us within your policy as well as legal options.