What is Sinkhole Insurance and What Does it Cover for Your Florida Home?
Sinkhole Insurance in Florida
Florida experiences more sinkhole activity than any other state. There is a Florida Statute that requires every insurer to also provide coverage for catastrophic ground collapse. However, this may not cover sinkhole damage. The law defines sinkhole damage differently than catastrophic ground collapse.
The law defines a sinkhole as “a landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. A sinkhole may form by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved.”
Florida law defines catastrophic ground cover collapse as “geological activity that results in all the following:
- The abrupt collapse of the ground cover;
- A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye;
- Structural damage to the building, including the foundation; and
- The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the governmental agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.
What Does Insurance Cover?
If your home is damaged due to a sinkhole, your claim must meet all of the four criteria for catastrophic ground collapse. If the damage does not, then your insurance company can legally refuse to pay the claim. All insurance companies in Florida are required to offer coverage for sinkhole damage. This is usually a rider on your homeowner’s policy. This requires you to pay a higher premium on your homeowner’s policy.
If you are buying a home in Florida, make sure that property and structure are insurable and that sinkhole coverage is included in the homeowner’s policy. Also, it is important to have an experts inspect your property and see if there are any signs of sinkhole activity such as:
- Driveway cracks
- Ceiling cracks
- Leaning fence
- Sloping floors
- Floor cracks
- Dead spots on the ground surface
- Windows and doors that stick
- Wall cracks
The experts at Foundation Professionals of Florida can come and inspect your home and see if there is sinkhole activity and if there is, we offer compaction grouting that is injected into the loose soil to strengthen it and prevent a sinkhole from forming.
Don’t be caught off guard, make sure that you have the proper insurance for sinkholes.