Do insurance companies look at the presence of nearby sinkholes in evaluating if a home has been damaged by sinkhole activity?
Virtually all engineering firms who conduct investigations of Florida sinkholes conduct a “regional” evaluation before offering their opinions. This means they examine regional maps prepared by the United State Geological Survey or the Florida Geological Survey. The purpose is simple: If there is sinkhole activity in a particular area, it is more likely to be associated with sinkhole activity nearby. Scientifically, for example, it would be very difficult to be able to rule out sinkhole activity at a particular home, if there is sinkhole activity on an adjacent property. Sink holes in Florida are rarely that limited in their reach.
When the limestone formed beneath most of Florida, it occurred over large areas of land. The action of water, rock, and organic material from millions of years ago was impacted by climate and other natural forces. Stating the obvious, the geology was not produced in isolated areas but impacted areas the size of counties and even complete regions of Florida, spawning Florida sinkholes all across the state. Because of this, when sinkholes in Florida have been identified, sinkhole investigations have found consistent areas where sinkholes occur more frequently.
In Pasco, Pinellas, Hernando, and Marion counties, sinkhole activity is more likely to occur, which is why it is always important for insurance company investigations to consider nearby sinkholes. (Neighborhoods built in the past 15 years may even be more vulnerable because of inadequate testing for sinkholes.) Additionally, the attempt by insurance companies to frequently ignore this additional information, which is usually in their possession, is why Florida sinkhole lawyers are as busy as they are.
If you are aware of sinkhole activity in your neighborhood and your sinkhole claim has been denied, this should be a concern, as it suggests the insurance company’s engineer may have been mistaken when evaluating your home. Contact us toll free at 888-98-BBLAW.
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