Tag Archives: Florida Homeowner Insurance

The Cost of Sinkhole Investigations

My insurance company sent me a letter after I filed my sinkhole claim telling me I may have to pay them $2,500 if they do not find a sinkhole.  Is that true?

Your insurance company is misleading you either because they simply do not understand or they do not want you to pursue your claim.  Either way, shame on them.

As long as there is a “good faith” basis for filing a claim, you cannot be held responsible for the costs associated with your claim.  Understand, there could be liability if the investigation was filed without a sufficient reason to have done so.  The home insurance company bears the burden of proof in showing that property damage did not result from the presence of sinkholes.

To claim or not to claim.

Now, having said that, the standard for whether you could file a claim would mean anything that would be the basis for the claim.  If you found, for example, a crack in a wall, tile, floor, or ceiling, you would have a good faith basis to file your claim.  I once knew an insured who filed a claim without any damage at all, but had filed it because the neighbor had a sinkhole.  In that situation, the Court found a sufficient and good faith basis for what they did.

I can tell you as a sinkhole lawyer, representing both policyholders and insurance companies, no one I have ever met in the business has ever even heard of anyone recovering against a policyholder.  I think the law serves no purpose.  More than anything, I see this used frequently by insurance companies to deter claims, which is not fair.  I suspect this is why no one ever actually recovers from it.

Have a burning question you’d like to ask about sinkholes? Let us know.