My insurance policy renews next month, but I’m considering filing a sinkhole claim. Should I wait and see how much more coverage I have?

This is probably not necessary, but you will want to read your policy. Most of the time insurance policies have a gradual inflation component to them that increases the available coverage over the year they are in place. For example, if you had $100,000 of coverage at the beginning of the policy period and the next renewal increases you to $120,000, it is likely you are almost at that amount anyway. The amount of coverage available to you under many policies will be more than the amount you had on day one of the policy. But, again, you will want to ask your insurance company or call your agent.

For sinkhole claims, as with many claims, the damage drives the home insurance coverage. This is often called the “manifestation of injury.” Thus, you would look to when the loss for sinkhole damage manifested itself. If it was in the last year’s policy period, you are likely subject to those terms. Some people try and play games with this, and we generally recommend against that. As with most things, honesty remains the best “policy.”

There are usually other portions of your policy that increase your coverage under particular circumstances. Make sure you have a complete understanding of your policy because these “supplemental” coverages, as they are called, are usually subject to a lot of conditions. It’s not that these are not important, but you just need to fully understand them.

Read my tips for filing a sinkhole claim.

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

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