Feb
28
2017

If you are going to file a sinkhole claim don’t wait

One common issue we run into is the timing of sinkhole damage and the timeliness of when a homeowner reports the problems to their carrier. While most sinkhole damage appears gradually and gradually worsens over time and most homeowners don’t inspect their house all day every day, homeowners are still expected and required to give their insurance company prompt notice of their claim. In the legal world prompt is very vague and the courts have generally interpreted it loosely. Still, the late or untimely reporting of a claim can be problematic.

Lets look at an example using these facts: You the homeowner see cracks to your walls in January. Your policy expires in June and renews with a new company. You call the claim in to your old carrier in December. The worst case is your new policy that came about in June doesn’t have sinkhole coverage. Now you call your old carrier who has long forgotten you existed and tell them you want to report a claim from a year ago yet you have no proof that the damages were actually there a year ago. Your insurance company will say too late and we can’t go back in time to tell you whether you had a claim back then or not and your new carrier doesn’t even cover sinkhole. Under another scenario you still have sinkhole insurance with the new carrier. You could a) call it in to the new carrier who will say call your old carrier if the damages occurred back then and deny you as pre-existing damage or b) call your old carrier and they tell you the same as a above, too late. The point is pay attention to when your policy expires and/or renews and make that a good time to check the house out for any issues. If you fear you have sinkhole damages then waiting to report the claim only causes more problems for you.

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