Types of Loss: Sinkholes

Any type of property damage can result in devastating losses that take months and sometimes even years to repair.  These natural disasters can really occur at the worst possible times and interfere with one’s ability to live their life and/or run their business.  One less common type of loss that is less populated across the nation is sinkholes.  Living in Florida, there is an increased number of sinkholes all across the state.  It is imperative as a home owner or a business owner that you protect yourself against these types of disasters and be alert for any sign that a sinkhole a sinkhole is on or near your property. 

Sinkholes occur as a natural disaster.  They are a slow, evolving process that results from underground erosion.  Sinkholes are holes that are formed under pressure from extreme weather conditions such as droughts or floods.  Florida is one of the states that has a signifiant amount of limestone rock within the earth’s surface.  Florida is the state that actually leads the nation in sinkholes.  Therefore, if you are a resident of florida or a business owner within this state, it is even more important that you protect yourself from this type of loss by insuring your property.  

Florida law requires that insurance companies who sell property insurance must provide coverage for “catastrophic ground cover collapse.”  This may or may not include actual sinkhole damage under your individual policy.  Florida state law defines a sinkhole as the following, “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 dissolve.”

When purchasing “catastrophic ground cover collapse” in regards to a sinkhole, the following conditions must be met.  There must be abrupt collapse of the ground cover.  There must be a depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye.  There must be structural damage to the building including the foundation.  Finally, the structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the governmental agency authorized to do so.  

Sinkholes are a catastrophic event that in many cases cannot be prevented.  You must get coverage so that you will not suffer the losses associated with this devastating natural occurring event.  If you suffer from this type of loss, contact us at Coffey McPharlin so that we can help file the insurance claim and get you the settlement you deserve.  You deserve to rebuild your life in an environment that is safe for you and your family.  Contact us and we will help you get that reimbursement so that the disruption to your life will only be temporary.