Category: Insurance Policies and Coverage Issues

August 1, 2014 by Morgan Barfield

Sinkhole activity isn’t limited to areas in Florida with high limestone levels, like Pasco and Hernando counties. You may find yourself in a situation where you are presenting minimal evidence of sinkhole activity, but the claim has to be paid because the engineering firm cannot determine the cause of the damage with any reasonable degree of specificity.

June 29, 2014 by Morgan Barfield

When a sinkhole claim is filed one of the first steps is for an adjuster from the carrier to come out and inspect the damage. During this initial inspection these adjusters almost always request that the homeowner submit to a recorded statement. We say that the carrier requests the statement but in reality, you are required to cooperate with any reasonable investigation or your insurance company could deny you coverage, so you are really forced to provide a statement.

June 18, 2014 by Morgan Barfield

Next suggestion: always raise your concerns with the insurance company in writing, both to your claims adjuster and your insurance agent. Many times, insurance claim representatives have a difficult time separating what is a “problem” versus what is just common frustrations of an insured. If you submit your concerns in writing, and tell them exactly what you want them to do, it makes it clear you have defined your expectations. That way, you will both know if the issue has been resolved.

May 31, 2014 by Morgan Barfield

What had probably occurred was that the claim adjuster heard someone say that you were filing a claim, due to settlement damage, in part because of the debris found in your soil. But, understand this: claims do not come in any particular shapes, sizes, or flavors. Your claim was for the damage to the home, and you were under no requirement to submit a particular kind of claim. Instead, you are supposed to be able to submit your claim for the damage that is present, and the insurance company must either pay it, or tell you why they won’t. If the damage is consistent with sinkhole or sinkhole activity, they are required to do an investigation, regardless of how you submitted it or what you thought the damage was.

May 25, 2014 by Morgan Barfield

Assure the insurance company that you intend to comply with all reasonable requests, but that you are uncomfortable with what they are seeking. By doing so, you can document your continued cooperation of the claim. This is important because insurance companies can use any "alleged failure" to provide information as a separate defense of their failure to cooperate. Keep copies of the letters in your own file, so you can produce these if litigation breaks out.