Question: After I discovered damage to my home that I thought might be sinkhole related, I found out my house had confirmed sinkhole activity before I bought it. Does this impact my sinkhole claim?
What to know about past sinkholes on your new home
If a property previously experienced sinkhole activity or was involved in a sinkhole claim, the insurance company will attempt to defend the new claim by alleging the damage is all pre-existing or was related to the past claim. A seller of property in Florida who made a prior sinkhole claim or received any settlement proceeds for a sinkhole claim will need to fully disclose the relevant details of the claim to the purchaser of such property. This would include:
- A description of the magnitude of the sinkhole damages
- The extent of any repairs completed at the property
- The amount of the sinkhole claim settlement proceeds that were utilized for any repairs
An insurance company will want to know the information concerning the past sinkhole claim and if the dwelling demonstrates new evidence of continued progression of damage due to the past failed repair attempt. Having the details of any past sinkhole claim is critical to pursuing any renewed or new claim by the insured homeowner.
As long as the insured honestly puts forth all noteworthy facts to his/her home insurance company and discloses all material information about the history of the home, there should be little reason for an insurance company to not perform a fair investigation into the sinkhole claim.
Because of our experience working for the insurance carriers, we are familiar with certain tactics frequently employed by the insurance companies in fighting sinkhole claims, and we know what to expect.
Please contact us to discuss your legal options and to how to best protect your rights under the insurance contract and Florida law.