Filing a Sinkhole Claim
Time is of the essence if you suspect a sinkhole forming on your property. The sooner a claim is filed the quicker compensation is there to make repairs. As with any property damage claim, it is best to have the help of a complex litigation attorney. There are certain steps you should perform after noticing a sinkhole developing on your property.
The first thing you should do is to secure your property. Protect yourself and other from possible harm. Then, review your insurance policy for sinkhole coverage. In Florida and Tennessee, if you have sinkhole insurance coverage, your insurance company is required by law to cover damage related to sinkhole activity.
Sinkhole Claim Process
After you call the insurance company and tell them about the sinkhole damage. They will collect information related to your claim. Then, they will send anngineer or geologist to survey the damage and to conduct sinkhole testing. Initial testing for sinkhole activity may consist of ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity studies. These tests are used to detect anomalies underground.
Another test that may be conducted is called standard penetration testing, where a drilling rig is used to bore a hole into the earth. Sinkhole testing usually takes several days but may be spread out over the course of several weeks depending on the type of test(s) conducted.
If sinkhole activity is detected, your insurance company will request repair estimates. These should only come from licensed contractors. If the engineer doesn’t find any sinkhole activity, your insurance company will most likely deny your claim.
Whether you have sinkhole coverage or not, an experienced attorney will defend your claim and help prove that the damage your home sustained should either be covered under your separate sinkhole policy. Also, the damage could have been caused by catastrophic ground cover collapse, not a sinkhole. This should be covered under your regular homeowner’s insurance policy. Contact us today for more information.