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As sinkhole insurance in Winter Haven Florida experts, we know that sinkholes might occur anytime and anywhere but there are some areas that are more prone to this occurrence, particularly in Florida. Sinkholes are more likely to occur in areas containing a substantial amount of carbonate or evaporating rocks underground because water gradually dissolves these porous rocks. When these rocks are dissolved, it leaves behind a void in the ground which isn’t visible from the surface until the soil on the top layer collapses.

Getting sinkhole insurance is highly recommended to cover the expenses in case your house or apartment building collapses due to a sinkhole. If you are hoping to move to Winter Haven or are planning to finally become a homeowner there, then it is essential for you to get sinkhole insurance coverage.

To get sinkhole homeowners insurance in Winter Haven Florida please call us at 407-344-1228 or email us at[email protected]

Importance of Getting Sinkhole Insurance in Winter Haven Florida

The Karst geology of Florida makes it almost impossible to predict the location and time that a sinkhole will appear. Even using advanced drilling equipment, radars, and thorough analysis of rock and soil samples, professional geologists and engineers find it challenging to determine when and where the next sinkhole would be—or if one will occur at all.

This has created various problems for homeowners in Winter Haven and other parts of Florida. Therefore, when buying a home in sinkhole-prone areas, it is essential that you get as much knowledge as you can about the sinkhole activity in that city or neighborhood. When looking at properties, make sure to get an inspection done before you make your final decision.

A professional home inspector can spot any possible signs of potential sinkhole occurrence. You can also consider getting sinkhole testing done for additional peace of mind. Moreover, it is of utmost importance that you opt for sinkhole insurance to protect your investment. Obtaining a homeowner’s insurance policy isn’t enough since many insurers don’t include sinkhole insurance in the coverage.

There are various business and home property damage policies that offer optional coverage for sinkholes. Without opting for this coverage, your property will not be covered for sinkhole damages. Many homeowners make the mistake of assuming their property damage policy covers sinkhole-related damage, until their home gets partially or completely destroyed after sinking in the hole and they get no compensation.

This can be a major financial burden for the majority of households. Therefore, you will have to make sure that sinkhole coverage is included in the policy. If it is not, then you should consider getting stand-alone sinkhole insurance in Winter Haven Florida.

Another thing to consider is getting comprehensive coverage for your truck or car along with the typical insurance. Sinkholes can and have swallowed cars and trucks completely, many times without even coming near the house. Having comprehensive automobile insurance can help you get compensated for any automobile damage caused due to a sinkhole.

Sinkhole Insurance in Winter Haven Florida

If you are living or are planning to buy a home in Winter Haven or other area prone to sinkholes, then you must get sinkhole insurance coverage. Even though the chances of a sinkhole damaging may be extremely low, it is best to protect your home from an unexpected occurrence.

Just like many insurance policies don’t cover earthquake damage, sinkhole damage is also not covered in the basic policy. You with have to either purchase it as an endorsement or as a standalone policy.

In Florida, insurance companies include catastrophic ground collapsing coverage in their homeowner insurance package. This policy covers severe damage which makes the home uninhabitable because of the ground collapsing.

You might think that this would cover sinkhole damages but this is not the case. When looking for sinkhole insurance, you need to understand that there are two different types of coverage offered in Winter Haven Florida. Many people get confused between the following two insurance policies.

Sinkhole Loss Coverage

When you opt for a sinkhole loss policy, you are including an endorsement with your homeowner’s insurance policy. In case there’s structural damage to your house due to a sinkhole, this policy will cover the damages.

To qualify for sinkhole protection, the ground needs to have collapsed abruptly in a way that is visible clearly without the need of using professional equipment. Moreover, the sinkhole must have caused structural damage to the house.

However, this typically includes specified limits, which binds this policy to cover only sinkholes that are mining-related. This means that naturally occurring sinkholes might not be covered. You must check all the details and specifications to make sure that you get the right coverage.

Catastrophic Ground Collapse

This coverage is only needed in Tennessee and Florida, but also has strict conditions for qualification. To qualify for this coverage, the sinkhole has to swallow the house whole. If there are only cracks in the walls but the structure isn’t entirely swallowed then you can’t get coverage.

In order to get the catastrophic ground collapse coverage, you have to meet the following criteria:

  1. There must be an abrupt ground collapse
  2. Occurrence of structural damage, including damage to the foundation
  3. The depression in the surface must be clearly visible
  4. The home must be condemned by the official authorities and ordered to be vacated

Failing to meet these criteria means you won’t have any coverage from the insurance and would have to pay the repair bill yourself.

For sinkhole insurance, meeting these criteria is not required, making it easier to file for a claim for damage coverage if your house incurs sinkhole damage. Claiming for catastrophic ground collapse is more complex. However, the cost of sinkhole insurance is greater than that of catastrophic collapse coverage, depending on the associated sinkhole risk and your location. Before purchasing sinkhole insurance in Winter Haven Florida, it is best that you specifically ask the insurance agent about the sinkhole damage coverage options and which coverage would be best for your house.

Geological Test for Sinkhole Insurance

According to Florida law, all the property insurance policies must offer catastrophic ground cover collapse, but this does not mean sinkholes. The law further obliges insurance companies to provide optional sinkhole coverage to those who need it. This optional coverage will be provided after the house passes a geological test.

This test is conducted by licensed, qualified, and geological testing organizations. The cost of the test might vary depending on the company selected. Some insurers cover the entire cost of the test, while others cover 50% of the total cost. However, there are some that don’t cover the test cost at all. If the insurance company is willing to pay for the test then you would have to use the specified testing firm of the insurance company.

When your home passes this test, it becomes easier for you to shop around for sinkhole insurance in Winter Haven Florida. This test will automatically make your house eligible for optional sinkhole coverage, so you can opt for the best possible sinkhole coverage you are offered.

In case the property of your house does not clear the geological test, you still have the option to hire another testing company to conduct another test to confirm.

What to Do If You Spot a Sinkhole

The first thing to do after finding a sinkhole in or near your home is to make sure you, your family, and everyone else near the sinkhole is safe. Contact law enforcement and emergency services immediately. If the sinkhole is on your property, you must put up warning signs around it to prevent possible liability claims against you.

You must also contact your insurance provider in Winter Haven Florida and inform them about the sinkhole. If the sinkhole is small then it can be repaired by filling it up with natural materials like sand, clay, and rock. However, the larger sinkholes must be repaired by a professional geotechnical engineer or a geologist. Never try to fill or repair a larger sinkhole on your own as it can prove dangerous.

The occurrence of sinkholes in Florida has become increasingly common. Unfortunately, it is difficult to predict when and where a sinkhole will occur, making it a source of stress for homeowners in the state. While there are possibilities of injuries, human harm is usually rare during these occurrences. Most of the damage caused by sinkholes is structural damage to homes or other buildings. This can be mitigated through sinkhole insurance.

There are numerous insurance companies offering sinkhole insurance in Winter Haven Florida. However, it is recommended that you understand the policy and requirements before you buy the sinkhole insurance for your home in Winter Haven. Keep in mind that there are some insurance companies that can deny this coverage if there have been sinkholes in the area near or around your future home. However, there are still some insurance companies willing to offer sinkhole coverage even if your home is located in a risky area. Do your research to make an informed decision so that you get rightful compensation after experiencing sinkhole damage.

To get sinkhole homeowners insurance in Winter Haven Florida please call us at 407-344-1228 or email us at[email protected]

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