Sinkhole inspection cost
If you’re under the impression that your home may be expressing symptoms of a sinkhole, the first thing you’ll do (after filing an insurance claim, of course) is get an inspection. Assuming you have general sinkhole coverage and these repairs will be covered by insurance, the sinkhole inspection cost isn’t something you should be concerned about. What you may question is which engineering firm your insurance company hires.
Insurance companies & engineering firms
While your average sinkhole inspection cost will run the average homeowner a couple hundred dollars, general sinkhole coverage in a homeowner’s insurance policy will cover this fee. Generally, insurance companies use a small group of engineering firms to independently determine if sinkhole activity is the problem.
Likewise, most of these engineering firms work exclusively with insurance companies just because evaluations are expensive. While you are welcome to contact the engineering firm of your choice and request a quote, many will direct you to your insurance company. How you proceed is up to you; you may want to choose your own engineering firm, but double check your policy and contact your insurance company to confirm that they will accept an inspection from an engineering company outside their network.
Why you may worry about your insurance company’s choice
As with any professional group, you may or may not agree with the results of an inspection. While engineering firms generally try their best to remain unbiased and simply report any signs of a sinkhole they come across, it doesn’t always work that way, and when you’re not working directly with the engineers yourself, you may not feel comfortable trusting them to do their job.
While biases can go to both sides – either being more generous or conservative about the extent of any damage they find – it should bring you comfort to know that these companies are rewarded for less biased results. While you may think that engineers would want to keep the insurance company, the entity that employs them, happy and would, therefore, hold a bias towards them, realize that insurance companies that do not acknowledge obvious sinkhole damage get sued, and those lawsuits turn insurance companies to their engineers.
Therefore, inspecting sinkhole activity with a bias towards either side results in consequences for the engineering firms themselves.
Communicate with your insurance company
Your insurance company likely employs a network of these engineers, so be sure to communicate with your insurance adjuster to find a firm you feel comfortable working with. If your insurance company pushes back on this and insists you take on an engineer that you are not comfortable with, do not take this lately. This is your home, your claim, and your life – if you don’t feel comfortable, contact an attorney!
If you need help searching for an engineering firm that you feel comfortable with, we have a list of firms that we confidently recommend. Feel free to contact us for more information.