How to survive a sinkhole
Sinkholes can be scary situations. Not only is the image of the sinkhole itself enough to scare even the bravest, but the after-effects of the damage that results can be just as upsetting. Dealing with a sinkhole is all about being prepared and being clear about your expectations of how your case will be handled. Continue reading for more tips on how to survive a sinkhole.
Know where you’ll go
If a sinkhole opens underneath your home, there’s a good chance your home will not be habitable until all repairs are complete. Therefore, before it happens, make sure you’re prepared to leave your home. This means knowing where you and your family will go, including pets. Having to find housing within a day of a sinkhole opening is more stress than anyone wants to deal with, so know how you’ll respond before you need to.
Reference your insurance policy
When dealing with your insurance company, it’s imperative that you’re very clear about what your policy will cover. That way, if your insurance company tries to shortchange you in any way, you know to call a lawyer immediately to demand the coverage you deserve.
Make sure you know where you put your copy of your insurance policy. If you do not have one, submit a written request to your company. You should be an expert on your own insurance policy.
Document your home
In the event of a sinkhole, your insurance company is responsible for returning your home back to the state it was in before the sinkhole. This means documenting both the interior and exterior of your home. If you don’t have a sinkhole opening but you found cracks in your foundation or walls, you’ll want evidence of your home without these cracks.
Do not rely on your memory, as the best way to deal with insurance companies is cold, hard, indisputable facts. It’s easy enough to claim that the damage “just appeared”, but some insurance companies will fight you at every turn. Don’t give them that chance.
Above all else, be prepared
The most important lessons I can bestow on you regarding how to survive a sinkhole is to make sure you have all your ducks in a row and know your rights. Be sure to double check your policy for things like refunds on money spent on food and lodging while your home is inhabitable and what types of repairs they will cover. If you’re educated about sinkholes and how insurance companies handle them, you should be able to make the most of your insurance policy.