Sinkhole Coverage in FloridaMost Floridians are familiar with sinkholes – those annoying holes in the ground that open up when our water table gets too high or too low for our vulnerable limestone layer to handle.  They’re not unique to Florida, but it seems we have more than our share – and they can range from a golf-ball-size hole to one large enough to swallow a neighborhood. 
A decade ago, home insurance policies routinely included coverage for sinkhole losses.   These days, that coverage is harder to find.  Florida home insurance policies still include the basic “Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse” (CGCC), but most insurance companies have stopped offering “Sinkhole Coverage” unless the home passes a rigorous inspection.  Without “Sinkhole Coverage”, the CGCC will provide coverage for the house if it collapses, because collapse is covered – for any reason.   The stories we see in the news about sinkholes often feature collapsed properties because it’s dramatic – and usually sudden.   Sinkhole Coverage, when added to a policy, will also cover the property for sagging, cracking or bulging walls that may precede that collapse.   When Sinkhole Coverage is available, it’s a nice addition to a policy at a minimal addition to the premium. 
The availability of sinkhole coverage often depends on location.   It’s harder to obtain in areas known for sinkhole activity.   The western part of the Florida peninsula has seen more of this activity than other parts of the state, but there are pockets of more frequent sinkhole activity throughout the state.  In fact, many of the lakes that dot our state started out as sinkholes. 
Insurance companies inspect the properties they insure – some just do random inspections; others inspect every home.   When a company finds a home with “stair-step” cracking in the exterior walls, they often require the cracks to be sealed and pictures sent to them to show the repair.   This action is prompted by the fear that cracking walls may precede a sinkhole.   For that reason, it’s good idea for any new homeowner to check the exterior walls of a home and seal any visible cracks, to prevent any issues.
As with any insurance coverage, discuss your options for Sinkhole Coverage with the insurance agent to determine the best course of action for you and your property. Posted by Carlos German on
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