Whether you have lived in your home for a number of years or just recently moved into it, if you notice cracks in your walls and floors, you may have a problem. Additionally, if you notice doors and windows failing to close properly, a sagging roof line, wilting vegetation, slumping fence posts or a formation of small ponds on your property, you may have a serious sinkhole problem.
When previously buried trees and foundations are being exposed due to sinking ground, you probably have sinkhole damage at your home. Because a sinkhole is a serious matter, you need to act quickly to avoid more damage to your home and property.
States with Sinkhole Concerns
Because the State of Florida has had an issue with questionable sinkhole insurance claims, it has caused many insurance companies across this country to question property claims of this nature or not provide homeowners with coverage for damages caused by sinkholes. Five states with the most damage from sinkholes (following Florida), according to the U.S. Geological Survey, include:
Whether you live in one of these states or not, here are some things you should know about sinkholes.
Is sinkhole damage covered by my insurance policy?
The majority of homeowners do not have sinkhole coverage under their homeowner’s insurance policy, as insurers generally exclude earth movement coverage. This is why people have to purchase separate earthquake and sinkhole policies at an additional cost. However, there are some homeowner’s insurance policies that cover this type of damage only in certain states.
What should I do if I notice a sinkhole on my property?
If a cavity actually opened up, it is important to notify the local authorities and rope this area off. If you are not sure that you have a sinkhole on your property, it is recommended that you have your insurance company send out an adjuster to inspect it. If the adjuster validates the possibility of your claim, the insurance company will send out an engineering firm to conduct tests.
If you are covered for sinkhole damage, you may be compensated; however, insurance companies tend to not fully cover your damages. If this is the case, please call a Texas insurance litigation attorney at the Voss Law Firm at 888-614-7730 to receive a free legal consultation today and find out more about your rights to pursue just compensation. You can also get a complimentary copy of our book online, Disputes with Your Insurance Company – What All Consumers Need to Know.