Sinkhole Damage

Do you have a potential sinkhole disaster on your hands?  Below are examples of damages from possible sinkhole activity:

  • Cracking of foundations
  • Cracking around door and window frames
  • Windows or doors that do not close properly
  • Cracks in walls
  • Depressions in yard or driveway
  • Tilting or sinking of a section of a floor
  • Separation of walls from ceiling or floors
  • Separation of house from foundation
  • Pipes breaking or swimming pool leaks

Sinkholes occur gradually when ground water erodes the limestone beneath your house or place of business, often leaving cracks in your foundation, flooring, walls or steps. If the damage results from sinkhole activity, you may be able entitled to property insurance benefits.

Florida law requires all property insurance companies to provide coverage for sinkhole losses.  However, in recent years the laws have been relaxed, and insurers now only need provide coverage for damages resulting from “catastrophic cover collapse.”  Policyholders may be required to purchase additional sinkhole insurance to cover losses from sinkhole activity such as the kind shown above.  It is critical to check your policy and ensure that your property is protected with adequate sinkhole coverage, particularly in Central Florida.

Even with additional sinkhole coverage in place, many businesses and homeowners are denied coverage.  Insurance companies frequently blame other causes for subsidence, despite clear sinkhole indicators such as stair-step cracks indicative of differential settlement, subsurface anomalies shown in Ground Penetrating Radar results, Standard Penetration Test borings revealing weight-of-hammer, weight-of-rod, and low N-values, floor elevation surveys showing sloping slabs, and nearby confirmed sinkhole activity.

If you suspect you may have a sinkhole loss, have been denied coverage or received an inadequate subsurface repair recommendation from your insurance company, consult with Christopher Ligori & Associates.  Our experienced sinkhole attorneys have handled hundreds of sinkhole claims and is familiar with the highly technical aspects of these losses and the associated subsidence investigations.