Is sinkhole damage covered by my insurance policy?

Only by reading your insurance policy can we determine whether sinkhole damage is covered by your policy, but a recent change in Florida law requires all authorized insurance companies doing business in Florida to cover for "catastrophic ground cover collapse," but damage caused by a sinkhole may not be covered by your policy. Florida law defines catastrophic ground cover collapse differently from sinkholes.

Under Florida law "catastrophic ground cover collapse" is defined as geological activity that results in all of the following:

1) The abrupt collapse of the ground cover

2) A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye

3) Structural damage to the building including the foundation; and

4) The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the government agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.

This means that if your home is damaged by sinkhole activity, but does not meet all four criteria for catastrophic ground cover collapse, for instance, you may have foundation cracks, but the home is still livable, your insurance company may not pay for the damages sustained if you do not have sinkhole coverage.

All insurance companies licensed to do business in Florida must offer sinkhole coverage, usually as an addendum or rider to an existing policy, and for an additional premium charge.

If you feel you have sustained sinkhole damage, contact our office for a free consultation with insurance claims attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo.