If we haven’t shown enough evidence of how insurance oriented Bill 408 is, wait there is more. A new change to Statute 627.7073 now requires that before a homeowner receives any payments for a covered sinkhole loss, they have to file the report stating that sinkhole activity exists at the property. There are two interesting parts to this Statute. First, homeowners have to file ANY reports indicating that sinkhole activity is present at their property before they are paid. This means that if the insurance company denies sinkhole activity and the insureds expert confirms sinkhole activity, the homeowner has to file the report of their own expert. In other words, the insurance company wants you to publicly post that there is a sinkhole at your house before they will consider paying any money, even if it is a denied claim. So Bill 408 hits homeowners twice. It results in 95% of homeowners being denied and then they have to publicly file that they have a sinkhole before they get paid. Again, this is a scare tactic the insurance adjusters will use. If you haven’t figured this out yet, insurance claims adjusters are salivating at their new opportunities to ride a power trip and frighten homeowners out of filing and/or pursuing claims.
The second part of this new language puts the burden of the expense of filing the report with the county on the homeowner as well. I can honestly say that I do not know what it costs to file a report with the county but, the key to this is that homeowners will have to come out of pocket (and time) at numerous phases of the sinkhole investigation process, saving the insurance companies time and money.