A second sinkhole has opened in Seffner Florida. This time the hole has taken part of a fence and a patio at one home. The home where the sinkhole is largest was already confirmed to have sinkhole activity years earlier. The prior owners left the house to the bank who has the home on the marker currently. The hole appeared suddenly yesterday and has grown steadily larger. The bank owned home for sale has already been condemned by the County but the neighboring property has not yet been condemned as the sinkhole has not yet affected the structure. Corless Barfield assumed representation of the property owners today. They are Citizens insureds. This situation shows some loopholes in the sinkhole laws. For example, it is not commonly known that sinkhole coverage does not actually cover the land. In this case since the collapsed sinkhole is in the yard and not actually touching the home, it would not be covered under the insurance policy. This doesn’t make a ton of sense when you consider that this sinkhole will likely continue to grow and eventually will likely affect the structure. So does it make sense to simply sit and wait until something catastrophic happens or should we get ahead of the problem and remediate the sinkhole now. The law actually says you wait and see what happens. It remains to be seen whether Citizens will provide coverage for this loss. Until then, the fence continues to sink and the homeowners sit and wait, fearing that the sinkhole doesn’t expand the 14 feet of space between the hole and their house.
March 5, 2013 by Morgan Barfield