As a homeowner, is there is solution to the sinkhole problems and damage we read so much about?
The most any property owner in Florida can do about sinkholes is about as much as a California property owner can do about earthquakes. While there are things we can do as communities to avoid creating these problems, the individual homeowners must focus on gathering as much sinkhole information as possible so they can protect their investments. Certainly, the news was flooded with reports about Plant City sinkholes caused by the over-pumping of water near strawberry fields, which triggered a lot of damage. We are also aware of homes being impacted by neighborhoods known for sinkhole activity, most of which is now a matter of public record.
Sinkhole Information is Key
In the end, people can find a sinkhole solution by making informed decisions about the homes they purchase, and the insurance they buy. Right now, there are rumblings among insurance companies that there will be significant changes to the sinkhole laws during the next legislative session. Most of these changes are not designed to offer solutions to the sinkhole problem but instead are focused on economic and politic problems most homeowners just do not care about. Although a lot of people want to talk about the sinkhole “problem” being the claims, I do not think this is the issue.
It’s the Home, Not the Homeowner
If we were to really focus on the how this problem began, it would have been decades ago when most of the construction occurred. While most of the community developers were aware they were building homes in areas where sinkhole problems were likely, they built the homes without doing any pre-construction testing, nor did they even consider modifying the foundations to try and avoid settlement damage. Now, homeowners are buying those houses, and are relying upon the insurance they purchased to recover their losses. This does not make the claims “bogus,” as many are suggesting. Instead, it simply means that insurance companies are making considerably less money than they always have, and must now pay claims.
Be forewarned, that there will be change next year, and we will be watching from here. Visit us frequently so you can have your input into the new laws.
Read our tips on filling out a sinkhole claim.
Have a burning question you’d like to ask about sinkholes? Let us know.