Yet another sinkhole has opened in Seffner Florida. This one is just down the street from the second one that opened that we discussed previously because we represent that family. We also represent the homeowner of this new situation and it is interesting what we are seeing. Most notably is the fact that this homeowner had filed a sinkhole claim previously and the insurance company investigated and denied the claim! The investigation was completed in just November by an engineering company notorious in the sinkhole world, SDII Global. SDII is a huge company the specifically caters to the insurance industry and makes an estimated $20-30 million a year off these claims. A large portion of the claims we receive were ones investigated by SDII, and a large portion were denied. In this case, SDII did four borings around the property and discovered weight of rod conditions in three of the four borings.Weight of rod conditions are when the weight of the rod being driven into the ground alone is enough to cause the rod to fall a certain distance. It is accepted as the most telling indicator of a void below the surface. This was discovered in three of the four borings performed yet SDII still eliminated sinkhole activity as a problem here. SDII has claimed that all we see is a collapse of the borehole itself and it is not necessarily sinkhole related. A collapse is a collapse isn’t it?
Unlike some of the other homes in Seffner, including the one that tragically took Jeff Bush’s life, this home did exhibit sinkhole related damage prior to this collapse occurring. The home has damage to the exterior walls which is why this homeowner reported a claim a year ago. This shows several things 1) if your claim was denied and you have damage to the house, get a second opinion and 2) even if the damage is not severe the home may still be at serious risk of catastrophic collapse. The Florida legislature and insurance industry will be glad to tell you that everything will be okay however. Just keep believing that if you want.