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Did you know that an entire car was swallowed by a sinkhole at a busy road in Louisiana’s Bossier City on October 10?  Fortunately, the two people who were in the car at the time of the accident did not receive any serious injuries.

But sometimes, these sinkholes can prove to be deadly and can cause extensive damage. It is therefore important to understand what sinkholes are what measures you can take to remain safe.

For more information on sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida please call us at 407-344-1228 or email us at [email protected].

Understanding the Sinkhole

The incidents of sinkhole collapse are increasing and pose a constant, unseen threat to the lives of the pedestrians and homeowners. The threat requires that we acquire full knowledge about them to spot the problem when it happens.

A sinkhole, often known as a swallow-hole, appears on the ground as a result of some form of collapse of the surface. Sinkholes are particularly dangerous due to the fact that they remain hidden from the eye until they have developed to a dangerous point.

When pressure is applied on the surface, the sinkhole may suddenly appear and ‘swallow’ a person, vehicle or a part of the property, sometimes causing irreparable damage.

While you may mostly hear in the news about a sinkhole appearing on a busy road, these can also suddenly appear in your property for any given reason. In 1993, a 7-year-old New Jersey boy died after he fell into a sinkhole outside an apartment complex.

Types of Sinkholes

There are basically three types of sinkholes and we should make ourselves aware of every single one to be able to avoid the potential hazard.

1.   Dissolution Sinkholes

These sinkholes are mostly found in areas that have thin soil on the surface layer, which allows the bedrock to be exposed to erosion. The water then percolates and creates a hollow gap which is filled by other particles.

Over the passage of time, the constant pressure causes a small depression or hole to appear. The dissolution hole may be smaller in size at first, but at other times these may just collapse all of a sudden and cause substantial damage. Sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida will provide you the safest cover even if such an incident takes place.

2.   Cover Subsidence Sinkholes

These sinkholes may only take place gradually when the sediments on the surface become permeable as they comprise mostly sand. While this type of sinkhole is not that common and it is also smaller, it is indeed dangerous because it remains unnoticed over a long period of time.

Once the sand finds its way to the bedrock, it starts to accumulate in the hollow spaces and eventually forms a cavity. The resulting surface depressions may be one inch to several feet deep and have approximately the same diameter.

3.   Cover Collapse Sinkholes

This type of sinkholes are perhaps the most dangerous as these may appear over a very short period of time. They may abruptly develop in just a few hours and cause damage over a large area. These may appear in places that have a large quantity of clay. The three contributing elements, namely drainage, erosion and sediment deposition cause a sudden collapse and form a shallow bowl-shaped hole into the ground.

What Causes Sinkholes?

It is evident from the above information that sinkholes don’t happen overnight, except for the cover collapse sinkholes. Interestingly, sinkholes can be both natural and man-made, which suggests that the latter can be avoided somehow. Let’s have a brief look at the two causes of sinkholes.

1.   Natural Sinkholes

Natural calamities are not just catastrophic when they happen, but they also leave behind other dangers. Earthquakes, erosion and excess groundwater are one of the major causes of natural sinkholes. Other than earthquakes, torrential rains and flashfloods may also form sinkholes in the ground.

2.   Man-made Sinkholes

Sinkholes can be a result of what we do as they appear due to improper land-use practices, including groundwater pumping, construction or other forms of development on the land. These practices include drilling, mining and even excessive traffic and they cause a change in the existing patterns of water drainage and diversion. Industrial or storage ponds are another cause of sinkholes.

In both the above cases, the wise thing to do is to get sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida.

How Can You Spot a Sinkhole

With several incidents of sinkholes, it best to be equipped with the knowledge to detect the problem in time and keep your property safe. Let’s find out how you can spot a sinkhole and take the right step before it happens.

Warning Signs of a Sinkhole

If you have an underlying sinkhole, then you may notice cracks developing around your doors and windows. You can also spot the problem by noticing whether your doors and windows have become too hard to open or move.

Another way to detect a sinkhole is to notice whether there are hollow spaces in your backyard or in outer areas of your property. You may also notice deep cracks in the driveway or in any other wall in the house for unexplained reasons. As a more visible sign, an unusual quantity of sediment in the water may also be an indication of a developing sinkhole.

You can also spot the problem by noticing whether the ground in any part of your house has become uneven. The presence of sinkholes may also become evident if the structure or the building starts to lean on one of its sides. Moreover, you can also spot a sinkhole by observing whether the water levels in the well have dropped for no reason.

Another way to detect a sinkhole is to notice if rainwater is disappearing too quickly in an opening in the ground. You can also come across the sinkhole if you notice that one or more trees or your fence is slumping or falling. Sometimes, sinkholes may also be caused by a leak in the drainage or the sewer system.

What Happens When Sinkholes Appear?

Again, sinkholes can suddenly appear on a property or in the middle of the road, sometimes causing considerable damage. Other effects of sinkholes depend on where and how they appear, as these can develop on the land and in the ocean.

If these are formed on the land, they can divert the flow of the underground water. If these appear beneath a building, these can cause the toxic substance to pollute the groundwater.

Which Areas Are More Prone?

Florida is at the highest risk of developing sinkholes due to underground voids and carbonated rocks near the drainage system. Other cities prone to sinkholes are Alabama, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Texas, and Tennessee and Kentucky. But this doesn’t mean that the sinkholes cannot appear in other areas even in case of excessive construction or groundwork. Furthermore, areas that have originally been built on coalmines are more prone to developing sinkholes.

It is always a good idea to do a review and case study of your property before you start with any construction work that involves drilling or other heavy mechanical work.

Is it Necessary to Sign an Insurance Plan?

If you live in one of the aforementioned states, especially Florida, then it is absolutely important to sign an insurance plan. Sinkholes develop silently and it is often too late by the time they are noticed. Sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida is always advisable to avoid any losses. Hence, it is best to get your property as well as your vehicle insured.

What Does the Insurance Cover?

Sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida compensates for any damage to your property or personal belongings that get damaged as a result of the collapse. Be certain to choose from the right insurance plan as a good plan will also allow you to take preventive measures against any potential collapse.

If you live in a place that’s been built on or near coalmines, remember to sign for that additional clause too when getting the insurance.


The best thing to do here is to never ignore how much damage a sinkhole can cause to your house, car or other belongings. Like the famous saying goes, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Remember that even a small sinkhole can cause a shift in the structure of your entire house. Likewise, a major sinkhole in any building can cause the entire structure to collapse. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary to get the required protection at your earliest and get insured. Last but not least, be careful when you are driving in Florida as there is always a risk of the road caving in due to the sinkholes.

For more information on sinkhole insurance in Highland Park Florida please call us at 407-344-1228 or email us at [email protected].

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