File A Sinkhole Claim
To file a claim, check your insurance policy for sinkhole coverage. If you have sinkhole insurance coverage in Florida, your insurer is obligated by law to pay damage caused by sinkhole activity (up to the limits of your policy). You may next phone your insurance company or agent on your own to alert them of the situation and offer some basic information so that they can begin the claims procedure.
An engineer or geologist will usually be dispatched by your insurance company to inspect the damage and conduct sinkhole testing. Ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity investigations may be used as part of the first investigation for sinkhole activity. These tests are used to discover abnormalities under the earth’s surface. Another test that may be done is traditional penetration testing, which involves boring a hole into the ground with a drilling rig.
Sinkhole testing normally takes several days, however depending on the sort of test(s) performed, it might take several weeks. If sinkhole activity is discovered, your insurance carrier will request repair bids from licensed contractors only. Your insurance provider will most likely dismiss your claim if sinkhole test findings are negative (no sinkhole activity is identified).
Sinkhole damage extends beyond the cost of repairing or rebuilding structures damaged by ground cover collapse. Property owners should additionally discuss the following extra potential damages with their insurance professionals:
There will be a pause in business. You won’t be able to collect rent if you have to evacuate your whole structure. Will you be able to meet your monthly responsibilities if you don’t have any rental income?
Disruption of utility services. What if a sinkhole doesn’t cause any structural harm to the building? It wouldn’t qualify as a sinkhole in Florida under the state’s legal definition, which requires that the structure be destroyed. You still have an issue if it ruptures a gas or water main or ruins your septic or sewage system. Consider the financial impact of a prolonged absence of communication, water, sewage, gas, and power.
SINKHOLE CLAIM File Step by Step
• Take care of your property. Pictures will almost certainly be taken, and you want to seem responsible in case you wind yourself in court.
• Plan out what you’re going to say. Don’t talk too much. The insurance company, not you, employs the adjuster. It is their responsibility to ensure that the insurance company does not pay out excessively. Answer the question with facts you already know and as few words as possible.
• Don’t make educated guesses. Simply state that you do not know the answer. If you’re not sure, just admit you’re not sure. There’s nothing wrong with forgetting things.
• It’s crucial to stick to deadlines. Say something if you discovered the fractures in your wall three weeks ago. If you tell the adjuster you don’t know how long they’ve been there or that they’ve been there since you bought the property, they may refuse your claim due to the likelihood of pre-existing damage.
By law, your insurance carrier must have a testing company validate or deny that sinkhole activity is causing property damage. Your adjuster will most likely notify you that a testing business has been assigned, and the testing company will contact you to set a time for their visit. A thorough investigation of your land will be conducted, followed by various geophysical tests such as radar and drilling.
Your insurance company will send you a lengthy report a few weeks following the tests. These are normally basic reports that have been significantly adjusted to fit your needs.
You will be told of the insurance company’s decision shortly after receiving the report. This should be completed in a reasonable amount of time. If you haven’t gotten the report in weeks or months, you should speak with an attorney.