PASCO COUNTY FLORIDA LAWYER
Pasco County Florida has been plagued with hundreds, if not thousands of Sinkhole problems and associated Insurance Claims, most during the past ten years. Sinkholes and sinkhole activity have been occurring in Pasco and several other areas in Florida well before recorded time. However the explosive growth over the past 20 years have placed homes in areas that are prone to sinkhole activity that would normally go unnoticed when the land was an orange grove or cow pasture. Pasco County Florida has experienced a lot of changes in recent years and so have the laws and Insurance policies related to sinkhole claims for damage to properties. The prior laws relating to insurance claims for sinkhole damage which were in place since approximately 1980 were first changed in 2005. One of the most significant changes allowed the Insurer to withhold the payment for subsurface repair until a contract with a vendor was signed by the homeowner to complete the repairs recommended by The Insurers Engineer. Many Insurers chose this option which ultimately led to more and more homes being repaired. Nonetheless, claim volumes reportedly soared as of 2009 and 2010. As a result, the Florida Legislature again took on a major overhaul of Sinkhole Insurance Laws in 2011. These changes were intended to reduce claims for sinkhole damage. A particularly important change required the building upon which a claim was filed to have “structural Damage” which was defined in a five part definition. No longer would minor cracking or the beginning stages of potentially more serious damage would not be covered and the Insurer may not have an obligation to test for sinkhole activity. This firm welcomes the opportunity to review previously submitted claims and Engineering reports where the Insurer denies coverage because no “structural Damage” was present during the investigation.
These 2011 law changes combined with the Insurers ability to remove sinkhole coverage from a policy or the ability to charge very costly premiums brings us to today whereas sinkhole coverage has all but disappeared from most policies.
If you have submitted a claim within the past five years and would like a review of the claim denial, or if you are dealing with any type of property Insurance claim, I invite you to call for a free lawyer consultation (727) 372-7595.