We asked this question in a recent lawsuit. Under the facts of this case the homeowners filed a sinkhole claim with their carrier. The carrier paid approximately $10,000 to an engineer to investigate whether they had sinkhole activity. That engineer found that they did in fact have sinkhole activity beneath the home and that it would cost close to $50,000 to repair it. That report was also filed with the County, making it public record. The insurance carrier then notified the homeowners that they actually did not have sinkhole insurance on their policy so the findings were irrelevant. The carrier admitted they never even looked at the policy until after they had already investigated. My clients position was simple, the insurance company was negligent and now their home is worth less money, potentially unable to be sold as is and is uninsurable.
Unfortunately, a Hillsborough County judge thought I was crazy and strongly sided with the carrier proclaiming that they did nothing wrong and that the sinkhole report could not impact the value of their home. The judge threw the case out after two years of litigation, one month before trial. Gladly, the homeowners have decided to appeal this decision. We will update the results of that appeal.