Florida Insurance Company Settled Seventy Percent of Sinkhole Claims in 2014
The Citizens Property Insurance Corp. released a statement that said that their company reached settlement agreements with more than 1,650 Florida homeowners last year on sinkhole claims. These settlements allowed for litigation to end between the insurer and policyholders as well as end delays to the critical repairs that the properties needed. The insurer’s push to end litigation on sinkhole repair cases led Citizens to settle almost 70 percent of their total sinkhole claims in 2014.
Florida Sinkhole Issues
Florida has more sinkholes occur every year than any other state in the country. Sinkholes can form spontaneously in a few minutes or happen gradually over the course of days. These sinkholes have damaged property, injured homeowners, and even resulted in a Florida man’s death recently. With the growing number of sinkholes also comes an increase in sinkhole claims, which most insurance companies are now trying to avoid paying. However, Citizens has taken a different approach to dealing with their policyholders’ sinkhole issues.
Backlog of Sinkhole Claims
Citizens began in earnest to settle sinkhole claims with their policyholders back in April 2014. Since the first settlement agreement was signed last year, the efforts have reduced a backlog of more than 2,400 litigated sinkhole claims by almost 70 percent. The company’s Chief of Claims stated that “Repairs do not get made when cases are tied up in litigation. By any standard, the settlement agreements have been a huge success in providing policyholders with the confidence that they need to begin necessary repairs.
Terms of Settlement
Citizens has agree to abide by a neutral evaluator’s decision in situations where there is a disagreement between the insurer and policyholder regarding the best method of repair. The insurance company has agreed to cover all recommended costs for underground repair as well as any above ground work for damages caused by the underground remediation.
These settlement terms are being extended to all Citizens’ policyholders with existing litigation claims for sinkhole damage who wish to end their lawsuit and start repairs. Policyholders who wish to take part in the settlement agreement are allowed to choose a contractor from a list of qualified businesses. The qualified contractors are the ones who complete the underground sinkhole repairs that are necessary to stabilize the property.
The insurance company pays the claim as the repairs are being completed. In addition, the policyholder can choose from the list of qualified contractors to complete any related, above ground sinkhole repairs. In order to facilitate this process, Citizens set up a sinkhole management repair program. This program is meant to pair policyholders with contractors that have proven their expertise in construction to successfully complete underground repairs.
Call a Florida Sinkhole Lawyer Now
If you or someone you know has had property damage, personal injury, or worse involving sinkholes around Orlando, Tampa, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, or West Palm Beach let, the experienced lawyers at The Pendas Law Firm help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.