Tampa Sinkhole Claims
If your property is affected by a sinkhole, you should seriously consider hiring a lawyer. Brian Hoag specializes in Tampa sinkhole claims and in dealing with insurance companies. Your insurance company will have experts on its side. You should have experts on your side.
What to Do
If you think you have a Tampa sinkhole developing, you should talk to a professional. Small sinkholes can often be filled. Others can be like the catastrophic ones that make the news in Sinkhole Alley (particularly Pasco, Hernando and Hillsborough counties).
If you suspect sinkhole damage, contact utility companies if your utility lines are damaged. Then contact your insurance agent. Damage can include cracked foundation, ceilings, walls or floors, or a big hole in your yard. Next, call an attorney like Brian Hoag.
Florida Sinkhole law requires all property insurers to cover catastrophic ground cover collapse, with a few exceptions. You may have additional premiums. There may be restrictions on types of buildings. Sinkhole insurance does not cover normal settling or cracking of a foundation or structure.
Catastrophic ground cover collapse is geological activity that leads to:
- Abrupt ground cover collapse
- A ground cover depression clearly visible to the naked eye
- Structural damage including a cracked foundation
- The condemnation by the government of an insured structure due to ground cover collapse
Filing Your Tampa Sinkhole Claims
Your insurance adjuster must inspect and document the damage. They will also send a professional geologist or geo-technical engineer to conduct tests. The State of Florida must recognize and license this professional. It may take several weeks to conduct the tests. Once the tests are complete, the insurance company will request repair estimates. At that point, your claim will be confirmed or denied.
You may run into issues because sinkhole claims are potentially very expensive for the insurance company. Some insurance companies may conduct “drive-by tests.” These are not legal under Florida law. Your claim must be tested by industry-proven geophysical testing techniques. A drive-by test is a breach of policy.
Insurance companies pay their professionals, whether geologists, engineers or contractors. As a result, some professionals will minimize the claim.
If your sinkhole claim has been denied, contact Brian Hoag. He will help you work with your insurance company to get the best possible settlement. If you have just found a sinkhole, he can help you file the paperwork and deal with the insurer. The initial consultation is always free.
About Brian Hoag
Hopefully, you will never be in a position in which you need the legal services of a Tampa personal injury lawyer that specializes in insurance claims, but if 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. You’ll love getting back to living your life.