Florida law defines a sinkhole as “a landform created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. A sinkhole may form by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution of limestone or dolostone or by subsidence as these strata are dissolved.”
Florida law defines catastrophic ground cover collapse as “geological activity that results in all the following:
– The abrupt collapse of the ground cover;
– A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye;
– Structural damage to the building, including the foundation; and
-The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by the governmental agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.
Chapter 627 of the Florida Statutes also states: “Contents coverage applies if there is a loss resulting from a catastrophic ground cover collapse. Structural damage consisting merely of the settling or cracking of a foundation, structure, or building does not constitute a loss resulting from a catastrophic ground cover collapse.”
If you do not have sinkhole insurance coverage and your home is damaged due to sinkhole activity, your claim MUST MEET ALL FOUR CRITERIA for catastrophic ground cover collapse otherwise your insurance company can legally refuse to pay your claim. All insurance companies licensed to do business in Florida are required to offer sinkhole coverage. This coverage often appears as an addendum or rider to your homeowner’s insurance policy. You can also expect to pay higher premiums for this (added) coverage.