Do I need sinkhole coverage in Florida?
Yes. A thousand times yes. Sinkhole coverage is incredibly important in Florida; while you may not like paying extra on your insurance premiums, a sinkhole can open up beneath your home at any minute, seemingly out of nowhere. The more appropriate question you should be asking is “why do I need sinkhole coverage in Florida?”
What causes sinkholes?
To understand the answer to this question, we must understand what sinkholes are and what causes them. In layman’s terms, sinkholes are holes in the ground that can open up anywhere at any time, and can swallow entire neighborhoods in an instant.
Sinkholes are caused by water stuck underground with no escape route to an already formed body of water. They can be caused by both natural rainfall and man-made water flow. Basically, over years and years and through much water, the acid in the water eats away at the soil underneath your home. Eventually, when there is no soil left underground, the top layer buckles without the support of the soil underneath, and creates a sinkhole.
Why are sinkholes more common in Florida?
As one can imagine, this phenomenon is more typical in more porous soils, like limestone, sand, and clay. The texture of this soil provides the acidic water more opportunity to burn through the soil than it would if the earth were a harder type of rock.
The state of Florida happens to be made up of mostly soils like limestone and dolostone, which provide the perfect environment for water to seep in and collapse the surface of the land. The regions of Florida that experience more sinkholes than others can be explained by whether or not the underground limestone is close to the surface; the closer it is, the weaker the earth underneath your home is to support the surface while the limestone underneath slowly disintegrates.
Therefore, your question shouldn’t be “do I need sinkhole coverage in Florida”, but “is my home in a region with many sinkholes?”. Before purchasing a home, it is in your best interest to consult geological records of your home and the surrounding neighborhood. If there is a history of sinkholes in your neighborhood, there is a good chance you’ll be faced with a sinkhole, as well.