What is catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage?
When it comes to sinkhole coverage from your insurance policy, you may be tempted to elect for catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage, as opposed to general sinkhole coverage (which tacks more money onto your premium). The difference between the two is simple: with catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage, you will only be covered by insurance if your home is left unhabitable by a sinkhole opening below your home.
Why this matters to you
While this may not matter to the uneducated homeowner, those who want to protect their home need to be aware. Sometimes, before a sinkhole opens and swallows your home and your family (sometimes literally), your home may express physical symptoms of the ground shifting underneath it.
For example, you may find cracks in the foundation of your home, the walls may be separating from the ceiling, rainwater isn’t draining well from your yard, or a variety of other signs may present themselves. While these symptoms qualify as major damage to your home and are obvious signs of a sinkhole, you will not be covered by your insurance if you do not have the correct coverage; if the ground has not collapsed underneath your home, your catastrophic coverage will not help you repair the foundation of your home affected by a sinkhole!
So catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage will cover an open sinkhole?
Not necessarily. Not all open sinkholes qualify as a catastrophic situation – that’s not the definition, so don’t be caught unawares! Catastrophic means that the house is not able to be lived in safely. So, for example, if a large sinkhole opens in your yard, swallowing your car and driveway, your insurance may not cover your repairs. Your insurance company may very well see that the vast majority of your home is safely on the ground and wave you off.
Therefore, I cannot reiterate enough the importance of having general sinkhole coverage. This can result in a dangerous situation for you and your family, plus put you hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt for necessary repairs.
Stay on top of your payments
Even if you do opt for general sinkhole coverage, be wary that if you fail to pay your premium on time, your insurance company may revoke your general sinkhole coverage and only provide catastrophic coverage.