FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

I had a sinkhole claim and my house was repaired but I am noticing new or continued damage. What am I supposed to do?

If the repair was made within the past 5 years, you may have some recourse.  Prior to contacting your Insurer, you may wish to consult with your Agent or an Attorney who specifically handles Property Insurance Claims.  There are many pitfalls and hazards for Insureds making claims these days and you should be aware of your rights prior to making another claim.

Chances are that you do not currently have sinkhole coverage because it was either not offered to you or the cost was prohibitive if it was even available.

If you followed all requirements of your insurer during the repair, you may be able to reopen the claim as a failed or insufficient repair.  Each claim is fact specific so it is important to speak with a professional before proceeding with any action unless the damage is catastrophic.

If a hole opens up or another catastrophic event occurs, get your family to safety and contact authorities and your insurance company.  Even if you do not have sinkhole insurance currently, you may have coverage under specific language in the “catastrophic ground cover collapse” coverage included in most policies.

When repairs are completed for a sinkhole loss, it is important to pay close attention to any new damage which may occur.  If you notice cracking or other signs within 5 years of the repair, you may have coverage.

 

Did You Know about types of property Insurers?

Did you Know? There are different types of insurers writing policies in Florida.

There are admitted carriers which are regulated by the State for premium rates and are backed by FIGA which is the Florida Insurance Guarantee association. FIGA is a fund which is paid for by a portion of your premium to pay for covered claims in the event that your Insurance carrier cannot pay all of its claims.

Unadmitted carriers also write policies but they are generally more limited in their coverage, can be more expensive and are not backed by FIGA. Make sure you know what you are buying.

Did You Know: Sinkhole Reoccurence

Did you know? In Florida, even if a sinkhole repair is completed based upon an Engineers recommendation, there is a chance the damage can continue or reoccur.

This situation may occur immediately or years after the repair is completed. You may want to regularly inspect your home for any damage and address it promptly. Finally, make sure you keep all of your claim documents as you will need them in the future if you have a problem or if you ever sell the house.

Did You Know: Sinkhole Engineers

This is a continued explanation of sinkhole loss coverage in Florida.

As mentioned in a previous video, if structural damage to the house is observed, then the insurer may hire engineers to determine if sinkhole activity can be ruled out as a cause of the structural damage.  If either of these 2 parts (structural damage and Sinkhole activity) are not found, then there is likely no coverage.    Make sure you understand the coverage before you may need it.

Did you know? Sinkhole Structural

Did You know? This is a continued explanation of sinkhole loss coverage in Florida.

As mentioned in a previous video, if structural damage to the house is observed, then the insurer may hire engineers to determine if sinkhole activity can be ruled out as a cause of the structural damage.  If either of these 2 parts (structural damage and Sinkhole activity) are not found, then there is likely no coverage.    Make sure you understand the coverage before you may need it.

Did you know? In Florida, Sinkhole loss coverage consists of two parts.

In order for the damage to your home to be covered under this portion of the policy, the house must have suffered structural damage as defined very specifically by the policy.

If it is determined that the home has not suffered structural damage, the Insurer is not obligated to do further testing unless requested. In that event, you may be responsible for up to $2500 of the cost for testing.

Did you know Law and Ordinance coverage?

Have you ever heard of Law and Ordinance coverage?

This coverage provides additional insurance benefits if the home is damaged and you need to update the home to comply with current building codes.  Even homes which are a couple years old may need to be upgraded at some point since the building codes change often and become stricter with each update.  This coverage is usually optional or you may be offer different amounts of coverage.  Make sure you speak with your agent to ensure your home is properly insured.

Did You Know? Sinkhole loss coverage – property insurance

Sinkhole loss coverage in Florida is now almost always a separate coverage and expensive if you can get the coverage at all.

If you do have the coverage, you may wish to speak with your agent or another professional to fully understand what that coverage provides. In 2011, the Florida Legislature significantly changed the definitions of terms applicable to Sinkhole losses which makes the coverage very specific as to what it covers.

Did you Know? Pool Cages and Enclosures – Home Owners Insurance Q & A

Many homes have large structures over their pools which were very expensive to build. Older homes with a pool cage may need to be upgraded to comply with current building codes if damages. In either event, make sure you have coverage or possibly purchase additional coverage for this expensive part of your home.

Did you know – Sinkhole Damage?
Did You Know: “Unoccupied” – McMenamin Law Florida
Did You Know: “Unoccupied” – McMenamin Law Florida
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