Florida Sinkhole Damage Claims
The Sunshine State is home to numerous sinkholes. The reason for this is that in a lot of areas in North and Central Florida, the rock, sediment, and soil near the ground surface rests on a substrate that consists of semi-porous material like limestone. This substrate is vulnerable to gradual dissolution and develops voids as groundwater levels increase each year.
Once the substrate becomes incapable of supporting the weight of the surface material over it, it will eventually fracture, causing the soil above to sink or subside into the void below, forming a sinkhole. Normally, the extent and size of the void will determine how deep and wide the sinkhole will be and how quickly it forms.
Unfortunately for homeowners, not all homeowners’ insurance policies offer coverage for property damage that resulted from a sinkhole. But Florida law requires insurance providers to provide coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse (CGCC). This means that if an insurance provider agrees to insure your property, your policy must have CGCC coverage.
If your insurer underpaid or denied your sinkhole damage claim, get in touch with the Florida sinkhole damage claims attorneys of Tragos, Sartes & Tragos right away to secure the compensation you are entitled to.
What to Do If You Spot a Sinkhole on Your Property
To protect your insurance claim for sinkhole damage, here are some steps you can take if you see a sinkhole on your property or if an area of your property has sunk or shifted because of CGCC:
- Ensure your safety and evacuate the premises if needed.
- Remove or secure your belongings if safety is not an immediate concern.
- Inform your insurance agent about the sinkhole damage. If you have the necessary coverage, your insurer will conduct a geological test to determine the cause of the property damage. If their test confirms that the structural damage to your property resulted from a sinkhole, your insurance provider must pay for all the tests and repairs, minus applicable deductibles.
- Make sure to mark your property or the sinkhole with rope, tape, or fencing to alert others of the hazard. Keep in mind that you could be held responsible if an individual gets hurt on your property.
- Notify your county or city building inspection department.
- If your insurance provider denies your claim, is offering an amount that will not suffice to cover the sinkhole damage, or you don’t agree with the repairs they recommended, consult with a Florida sinkhole damage claims attorney right away.
Reach Out to Our Sinkhole Damage Claims Attorney Serving Tampa, St. Pete, and Clearwater
Insurance claims based on sinkhole damage can be very confusing and complicated. Some insurers require the presence of physical damage resulting from a sinkhole, while others require structural damage to your property. If your insurance provider is not playing fair and refusing to compensate you fairly for your sinkhole damage claim, give Tragos, Sartes & Tragos a call at 727-441-9030 or contact us online to set up your free consultation.
Our Florida sinkhole damage claims attorneys can review your claim and insurance policy and secure the best possible results for your case.