Florida Statute § 627.706 defines a sinkhole as “a landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater”. This type of damage occurs when a structure collapses into subterranean voids by dissolution of the underlying rock material such as limestone.
The statute further defines various terms related to sinkhole insurance claims. “Sinkhole activity” is statutorily defined as the weakening of a building’s underlying geological support as a result of water damage over time or because of an occurrence in nature.
This statute also explains how an insured can obtain sinkhole coverage in the following manner:
“The insurer shall make available, for an appropriate additional premium, coverage for sinkhole losses on any structure, including the contents of personal property contained therein, to the extent provided in the form to which the coverage attaches”.
Under § 627.706(5)(3), insurers are required to explicitly state in the policy documents using specific language in bold text if sinkhole loss coverage is excluded. The explicit disclaimer must be written in the following form:
“YOUR POLICY PROVIDES COVERAGE FOR A CATASTROPHIC GROUND COVER COLLAPSE THAT RESULTS IN THE PROPERTY BEING CONDEMNED AND UNINHABITABLE. OTHERWISE, YOUR POLICY DOES NOT PROVIDE COVERAGE FOR SINKHOLE LOSSES. YOU MAY PURCHASE ADDITIONAL COVERAGE FOR SINKHOLE LOSSES FOR AN ADDITIONAL PREMIUM.”
You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].