How much testing does the insurance company have to do?
We have discussed before how the insurance expert’s opinion is presumed to be correct. Well, this is a similar scenario.
The law simply requires the insurance expert to perform whichever testing is sufficient in their professional opinion. This is again a very subjective definition which is a point of contention in many of these cases. You have to remember that it is the insurance company’s burden to rule out sinkhole activity at the property so, what does constitute sufficient testing necessary to rule sinkhole activity?
This is a harder question to answer because every home is different.
It’s incredibly important to not only have an independent geologist review the opinions brought forth by the insurance company’s engineers, but have your geologist weigh in on the actual testing methods as well. This matters for a few reasons:
1) Certain homes have accessibility issues that mean the trucks or equipment can not get to certain areas to test. This creates the potential of an inaccurate report which could mean that you do not get the coverage or repairs that you really need.
2) The depth of the limestone may determine how much or what type of testing is necessary. If your insurance company’s engineer does not consider this, you may not get an accurate report.
3) How many anomalies they find during GPR testing may determine how many borings they drop.
4) The size of the home and whether it is multi or single story may impact testing or a property may have other conditions such as clay or organic material that can influence the type of testing.
Don’t be afraid to be involved
Whatever happens, you’re the one who will be living in the home and will be footing the bill. If you have any concern that your insurance company’s engineer isn’t getting the right story, speak up. Contact a lawyer and/or your own engineer for a second opinion.