There has been a trend of new cases recently out there that deal with late reporting of a claim. In other words, homeowners wait for some extended period of time after they notice damage before they report a sinkhole claim to their insurance company. This may happen for many reasons, some good and some bad. A lot of homeowners may have noticed damage to their house some time ago. Now the term damage is extremely subjective. A crack in your driveway may not be damage to one person but may seem like horrible damage to another. There already we see a big issue. Insurance companies love to take that term damage and use it against a homeowner. When the homeowner admits they saw one small crack, that was damage to them. That is enough to deny claims sometimes. These homeowners often times do not report a sinkhole claim because they may think it is normal settlement or because they just don’t want their premiums to increase or their home value to decrease. So they wait. Then they find out their insurance company is going to drop their coverage or they find out a neighbor has just had a sinkhole confirmed at their property so they say enough is enough I better file a claim. If they are honest and admit they saw the damage dating back weeks, months or years, the insurance company will deny the claim for late reporting. The courts have supported that but there will be a ton more litigation on this issue upcoming. In summary, if you see damage and think you may have a sinkhole claim, report it. If you wait you will likely get the double whammy, a sinkhole and a denial.
July 30, 2012 by Morgan Barfield