Do you have any tips on filing sinkhole claims? Any mistakes I should be sure to avoid?
Once you decide to file a sinkhole insurance claim for sinkhole damage, it is very much you against the insurance company. Most of our clients, regardless of whether they are in Ocala or Spring Hill, tell us that they feel an adverse relationship with their insurance company right out of the gate. Unlike water claims or even small fires, confirmed sinkhole activity can cause considerable damage and require the active participation of your insurance company.
Some carriers, like anything else, take better care of their insureds than others. Regardless, there are important tips to consider in filing sinkhole insurance claims like this:
Consider the Safety of Your Family
If the damage to the home is considerable, notify your insurance company that you wish to be moved to another location while the testing requisite to sinkhole insurance claims is pending. In most cases, this is not usually required. While damage can appear rapidly, like it did recently in Hudson, Florida, most sinkhole damage or sinkhole activity does not cause noticeable damage to the home.
Make Sure That All Communication with Your Insurance Company Is in Writing
When we counsel clients who are awaiting sinkhole insurance claim decisions, we confirm everything in writing. The insurance company is noting everything you say, and will likely be asking to record portions of your personal statement. As such, you should confirm everything they tell you as well.
For example, in a recent sinkhole insurance claim in Ocala, we had an insured who could not get the insurance company to conduct an investigation in a timely manner. The insured told us she had been told the investigation would start within a week. The insurance company, however, told us they had told her it would be at least 6 to 8 weeks. At the time they told her it would be a week, confirming it in writing would have made the investigation occur much faster. A lot of times, we serve this role as we act as the voice of the insured, trying to get the claim resolved as quickly as possible.