One, almost comical, issue that has arisen with many of my clients recently is that insurance companies are requiring homeowners to repair homes with denied sinkhole claims. Yes, you heard that right. Homeowners will file a claim for sinkhole related damages. The carrier will investigate. The engineer will determine that sinkhole activity does not exist at the property. In many instances the homeowners will undergo a neutral evaluation to have that expert also agree there is no sinkhole activity causing damage to the home. The next letter that comes in the mail is incredibly surprising. The same insurance company who is so adamant that there is not a covered loss, i.e. sinkhole activity at the house is now requiring the homeowners to repair the damage to the home or they will drop their coverage. In short, the insurance company is telling insureds that they have no sinkhole issues, will not be paying them anything to repair the damage but, they want, actually insist, that the homeowners come out of pocket to pay cash to repair the damage. My personal belief is that this tactic is nothing more than a retaliatory tool to punish the homeowner and get off the insurance policy as quickly as they can. It is incredibly unfair but difficult f0r a homeowner to prove. Florida law does state that a carrier should not non-renew an insured on the basis of the homeowner filing the claim but also indicates that this rule shall really only apply if and when the homeowners have repaired the property. We are taking a hard look at this rising issue to determine what is the best way to protect homeowner”s against this dirty tactic.
October 19, 2015 by Morgan Barfield