I submitted a claim 2 months ago, and waiting for Citizens Property Insurance to provide me information about my sinkhole claim.
I am aware of at least 2 confirmed sinkholes in my neighborhood, one which is directly next door to our home. Should I tell them about this other sinkhole or keep my mouth shut?
In the context of an insurance claim, more information is always better.
Insurance companies are aware of the scientific and practical relevance of sinkholes adjacent to a home under investigation. I use the term “practical” because it is very difficult for an insurance company to deny a claim when there is a sinkhole either directly next to or in front of a confirmed home, especially when they are involved in the claim.
Even in cases where there is minimal evidence of sinkhole activity, it can be very difficult for an insurance company to defend a case on a disputed sinkhole when there is a sinkhole on an adjacent property. This is because sinkholes do not know man-made boundaries and jurors place enormous weight on this evidence.
Get Your Neighbor”s Engineering Reports
If you are able to obtain a copy of the engineering reports and provide them to the insurance company, this would be wise. If you are not able to get a copy of the previous reports, but do know the addresses, you may want to at least provide this to the company. As always, put this information in writing, and present it in a constructive manner to the insurance company.
In providing information to your insurance company, your motives are obvious (i.e. “cover my loss”), but that does not mean it is not wise to provide them good information upon which a positive conclusion can be made for you. Later, if the insurance company fails to investigate this new information, this can be important information to a jury that they intentionally ignored information which would be helpful to the engineer they retained to investigate your home.
Read our tips on filling out a sinkhole claim.
Have a burning question you’d like to ask about sinkholes? Let us know.