Naples Sinkhole Lawyer
If there is one thing that Florida may be more well-known for than its theme parks and beaches, it might be sinkholes. According to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, sinkholes can theoretically form anywhere in the state due to its geologic features. And if one does form in your yard or elsewhere on your property, it can lead to catastrophic damages once it collapses.
Until 2007, Florida residents were expected to purchase separate insurance coverage to protect against sinkhole damage. But current state law requires property insurers to provide “coverage for a catastrophic ground collapse” under specific circumstances. Of course, simply having such coverage is no guarantee that an insurance company will not put up a fight after you have experienced sinkhole damage. At the Pendas Law Firm, our experienced Naples sinkhole lawyer can represent you in seeking the compensation you are entitled to under the law for such damages.
Will Insurance Cover Your Sinkhole Damage?
The properties most at risk for sinkholes are those built on what are known as karst regions. Karst is land made up primarily of limestone (chalk), a soft rock that dissolves easily in water. Without natural drainage, karst landscapes can quickly erode as rainwater seeps into the limestone. This erosion creates cavities underneath the surface, and once that cavity reaches a certain level of growth, the earth above can suddenly collapse.
Florida law states that a property insurer must make available, for an additional premium, coverage for sinkhole losses on any structure (including personal property inside of a structure) in the event of a catastrophic ground cover collapse due to a sinkhole. This coverage only applies, however, in cases where there is a visible sinkhole, i.e., a “depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye.” You may need to purchase further additional coverage to address situations where a sinkhole causes structural damage but does not form a visible surface depression.
It is also critical to review a sinkhole policy to determine any limitations on the scope of the area covered. Many insurance policies will restrict coverage to sinkholes that form in a particular area or within a specified distance from the covered property. The insurer may also deny a claim but arguing there was no sinkhole, in which case you may end up having to pay for special testing that proves otherwise.
Contact The Pendas Law Firm Today
Insurers are often quick to fight a sinkhole claim because they know how costly it can prove. Based on your specific policy, the insurer may be liable not only for the costs of repairing your home, but also replacing damaged personal property within your home and the costs of temporarily relocating you and your family during the repairs.
Remember, insurance companies employ teams of experts who know how to delay and deny potential sinkhole claims. You can help level the playing field by working with a skilled Naples sinkhole lawyer. Contact the Pendas Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.