Sinkhole Claims in St Petersburg Florida
If you own a home in Florida, in addition to hurricanes damaging your property, you also have to worry about damage to your property due to sinkholes. Sinkholes activity in Florida exceeds every other state in USA. When filing a sinkhole claim, it is best to hire a sinkhole claims attorney St Petersburg.
Typically, when you imagine a sinkhole, you picture news broadcasts where a long stretch of road collapses and swallows an unfortunate car or two. Unfortunately, sinkholes are not limited to roads. They occur when the underlying soil is exposed to water frequently and the soil is composed of evaporate or carbonate classes of rock such as salt, gypsum, limestone, dolomite or soft minerals. If the bedrock or underlying soil beneath your property is composed of these materials, a sinkhole can occur under your house or in your backyard. While the chances of your property receiving damage due to a sinkhole formation may seem slim, in Florida it is not impossible.
As a Florida home owner with insurance, your property is safeguarded from any catastrophic ground cover collapse by law (Florida Statute 627.706). However, it covers only the following criteria:
- If the ground cover collapses abruptly because of a catastrophic ground cover collapse.
- If a depression occurs in the ground cover, which is clearly visible.
- If there is any structural damage including foundation to the building due to catastrophic ground cover collapse.
- If an insured structure is condemned by an authorized governmental agency due to catastrophic ground cover collapse.
However, this coverage may or may not include sinkhole damage due to the Florida sinkhole definition.
How does Florida Law define sinkholes?
A sinkhole according to Florida law is landform or subterranean voids that occurs when the underlying soil strata is dissolved by groundwater. This collapse or dissolution only occurs if the underlying soil is composed of sediment or rocks such as limestone or dolostone.
Are you protected from sinkhole damage?
While insurance companies in Florida are required to offer sinkhole coverage, sinkhole coverage is not automatically a part of home owner insurance. Sometimes it’s best to consult a sinkhole claims attorney St Petersburg. Sinkhole coverage is added to the home owner insurance policy as an addendum or rider.
You will pay a higher premium for a policy with a sinkhole coverage addendum or rider.
What happens if you don’t have sinkhole coverage?
If you don’t have sinkhole coverage, but your claim meets all of the criteria of a catastrophic ground cover collapse, you will still be able to make an insurance claim. However, if even one criterion is not applicable the insurance company can legally refuse to pay the claim.
In short, if you live in Florida, read your insurance policy carefully to ensure that you and your property are safeguarded against any damage a sinkhole may cause.
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a sinkhole claims attorney St Petersburg, but in the event that you do, please give Hoag Law Firm a call at or complete your online Free Case Evaluation. A free consultation can help you understand your rights. With honest advice and an experienced attorney at your side, you can recover the largest possible settlement and get back to living your life.