Does Insurance Cover Sinkhole Damage?

Sinkholes are not covered by a conventional homeowners insurance policy since “earth movement” is excluded. That implies you won’t be compensated if a sinkhole causes damage to your home or personal property.

Sinkhole coverage is frequently available as an endorsement (sometimes known as a rider) to a homeowners insurance policy, depending on your insurance carrier.

Sinkhole insurance is required in some areas, such as Florida and Tennessee, and is available as an optional plan. Some insurance companies, however, provide sinkhole coverage in their policy. Sinkhole coverage is included in Erie insurance for clients in Tennessee, for example.

  • Alabama. Sinkhole coverage may be available at an added cost from homeowners’ insurers in Alabama.
  • Florida. Sinkhole coverage is required to be offered as an add-on by home insurance carriers in Florida. “Catastrophic ground cover collapse” must be covered by Florida homeowners’ insurance policies. (See below for more information.)
  • Kentucky. Sinkhole collapse coverage may be available as an optional coverage type for homeowners in Kentucky.
  • Missouri. Sinkhole collapse coverage may be available as an endorsement from homeowners’ insurance providers in Missouri. If your insurer is unable to provide coverage, you may be eligible to purchase a separate sinkhole policy through the Missouri FAIR plan.
  • Pennsylvania. Homeowners in Pennsylvania will have to pay an extra fee to their insurers for sinkhole coverage.
  • Tennessee. Sinkhole coverage is mandated by law in Tennessee for all home insurance companies.
  • Texas. Sinkhole coverage may be available as an endorsement to a homeowner’s insurance policy in Texas.

Is there insurance for sinkhole?

Sinkhole insurance is a type of insurance that protects your property and personal items from harm caused by sinkholes. Sinkhole insurance also pays to stabilize the earth around your house and covers the expense of foundation repair.

Many homeowners believe that their homeowners’ insurance covers sinkhole damage, however this is not always the case. Sinkhole coverage is rarely included in standard homes insurance plans, though it may be included in some open perils policies.

The physical structure of your home is covered by home insurance, but not the land on which it is built. Other structures, such as a detached garage, are usually insured as well. Sinkholes are technically a type of earth movement, which isn’t covered by most homeowner’s insurance plans. In terms of insurance coverage, sinkholes are treated similarly to earthquakes.

Sinkhole loss coverage and catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage are the two primary types of sinkhole insurance. The following are the coverage differences:

  • Sinkhole loss coverage is an insurance endorsement that typically covers man-made sinkholes, such as those associated with mining operations. It may or may not cover sinkholes that develop naturally.
  • Catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage protects your home in the event that it falls into a sinkhole and the foundation is damaged beyond repair. Your home must be condemned by a local government body in order to qualify for catastrophic ground collapse coverage.

What happens if your house is on a sinkhole?

2. If you fear a sinkhole is forming, contact your insurance carrier. An adjuster will be dispatched to assess whether the hole or depression requires further inquiry. If it does, your adjuster will dispatch a competent engineering firm to your property to begin the testing process.

3. If a small hole appears, cordon off the area to keep curious onlookers away, then contact your insurance provider and local emergency management. You might be able to fill it in with concrete and sand if it’s only 1 to 3 feet in diameter and depth.

What is sinkhole collapse coverage?

Sinkhole coverage is more extensive than Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse coverage. Sinkhole coverage will apply if the property suffers foundation fractures or other damage as a result of sinkhole activity, meaning it is still habitable but requires repairs.

Do I need sinkhole insurance in Florida?

The state of Florida has more sinkholes than any other in the country. Not all homeowner’s insurance policies cover damage to your home caused by sinkholes. Insurance companies are required by Florida law to cover “catastrophic ground cover collapse.”

Does progressive offer sinkhole coverage?

Earth movement, such as mudslides, earthquakes, and sinkholes, is often excluded from standard homeowners insurance plans. Sinkhole insurance may be available as an add-on to your homeowners policy. This is an endorsement or rider that may be added to your existing policy to cover damage caused by sinkholes. Personal belongings contained within your damaged dwelling at the time of the loss may be covered under your sinkhole policy.

Sinkhole coverage may pay for the repair or rebuilding of your house if it is damaged by a sinkhole, up to the amount of your coverage. To ensure that the sinkhole problem is fixed, you may need to restore your home’s foundation and stabilize the soil it stands on.

You must show that your home has suffered structural damage or is in danger of collapsing owing to a sinkhole in order to pursue a claim. Other constructions on your property may be covered as well.

How long does it take for a sinkhole to collapse?

“The earth collapses into an underground hollow when it enlarges to the point that its roof can no longer support the weight of overlaying sediments. In most cases, a circular hole appears and widens over a period of minutes to hours. It may take a day or more for the sediments to stop slumping along the sides of the sinkhole. The edge of the sinkhole may continue to erode for several days, and strong rains may delay the stabilization process. Sediments progressively settle into subsurface cavities in the bedrock in the less catastrophic cover subsidence kind of sinkhole. Over a longer length of time (possibly years), a bowl-shaped depression emerges on the surface.”

Can sinkholes swallow a house?

While DC Twitter has been giggling over the White House sinkhole, the situation has the potential to be disastrous. According to the USGS, sinkholes can range in size from a few feet in diameter to hundreds of acres. They have the ability to poison water, consume entire structures, and even kill people, as one man in Florida found out in 2013.

How do you tell if a sinkhole is forming in your yard?

Sinkholes rarely happen without some kind of warning in the environment or in a neighboring property. Here are several warning indicators that could suggest a problem:

There is some settling in every home.

Any of these symptoms could exist in the absence of a sinkhole; nonetheless, the existence of one or more of them necessitates closer scrutiny and extreme caution.