I”?m getting a lot of runaround with my sinkhole claim. Who bears ultimate responsibility for the repair strategy for sinkhole damage, the insurance company or the engineering firm?

The issue of whether a sinkhole property should be fixed with “grout only” versus the use of underpinning, supplemental chemical grouting, or geotechnical based fix remains a major dispute between homeowners and their insurance company. Learn more about traditional cement grouting vs. chemical grouting options.

As a property insurance sinkhole lawyer, I find that most insurance companies try to focus the solution on the engineering firm they hire. When the issue of actually fixing the sinkhole property comes up, the insurance company is apt to place the responsibility of fixing a home with sinkhole damage on the engineering report provided, even when they may very well be aware of problems at the home that will be not resolved.

Challenge of Claims for Sinkhole Properties with Complicating Non-Sinkhole Issues

In Hernando and Pinellas counties, sinkholes are often discovered with other, serious subsurface problems such as clay, organic material, and poor consolidated soil. This becomes troublesome for a homeowner with a sinkhole or a suspected sinkhole because separating the actual cause of the damage when these conditions are present can be challenging.

When submitting a claim for a property damaged by a sinkhole “? especially when it”?s a property insurance claim in Hernando, Pinellas, Pasco, or Marion counties “? it is important to understand whether the engineering firm found other, non-sinkhole related conditions, which may not be resolved by a grout-only fix. Oftentimes, serving as sinkhole lawyers, we are able to get these other issues resolved, too, for limited or no cost to the homeowners.

If a sinkhole claim is denied because of these other conditions, it is often because a sinkhole condition is being masked but may still be there. For example, recently in a Hernando County sinkhole property claim, we were able to obtain a credible opinion of a local expert, who was able to convince the insurance company that while there were these other conditions, it was at least colorable to call the damage sinkhole related as well. In so doing, the claim was paid, and the client was protected.

Have a burning question you”?d like to ask about sinkholes? Let us know.

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