Tag Archives: springfield missouri sinkhole

Don’t Be Fooled: Catastrophic Coverage is NOT the Same as Sinkhole Coverage

I just discovered that my sinkhole coverage is going to lapse unless I contact my agent and put it back in. I live in Hernando County and understand they are automatically removing sinkhole coverage unless you ask for it. What should I do?

If you want sinkhole coverage, you should immediately contact your agent, in writing, and tell them to put it back into your policy. Under a law that went into effect in January, all people in problems and have it replaced with catastrophic coverage. Suffice to say, the catastrophic coverage provide coverage only if your home literally, and I mean literally, falls into a hole. The reason this is unfair is that the vast majority of sinkhole claims do not involve damage of this nature. Instead, the home experiences subsidence, of varying degrees, but never “falls” into the hole.

The problem is that if people permit a lapse in their sinkhole coverage, it is nearly impossible to get it back later. In fact, most insurance companies will require you to retain the services of an engineering firm (at your cost, at about $8,000), to exclude sinkhole activity before they will sell you the coverage back. But, think about it: what if you actually went through the cost of having an engineering firm do this, only to find out you DID have sinkhole problems? Now, not only can you not get insurance coverage, your house would be worth almost nothing unless you expend your own money to fix it.

Given the overall savings in premium, and I recognize it may be significant, I would recommend you retain your sinkhole coverage. Sure, it could save you hundreds, maybe even thousands in premiums over the years. But, losing the total value of your home over this is just too risky.

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

Woman Files Sinkhole Lawsuit Against City of Springfield, Missouri

Woman sues the city of Springfield, Missouri

A woman in Springfield, Missouri filed a sinkhole lawsuit, alleging the City of Springfield caused the formation of a 20-foot deep sinkhole beneath her home.

Apparently, Springfield had been conducting subsurface, sinkhole repairs, which she alleges triggered the drop out near her home.

Does she have a case?

Remarkably, these kinds of allegations can ring true. The insertion of large quantities of grout beneath the surface can have a dramatic impact on the hydrology and geology of the area near a home. It can alter the pressure or “overburden” the home with the pressure provided by the surrounding subsurface material and cause a ripple effect.

It is common to see damage appear at adjacent properties when a repair begins. Sinkholes do not appear to respect property lines and the repairs themselves can result in even more damage than the original sinkhole.

What to do in this situation

If you are the owner of property near a repaired sinkhole, you should conduct your own investigation near the home both before and after they complete the repairs. Usually, this should not be a concern if the sinkhole activity has caused only minor settlement at the original property. But, the addition of the weight and pressure of tons of concrete beneath a home pits mother nature against the homes in the area.