Sinkholes in Florida are a rising problem


In the state of Florida there are 3 types of sinkholes that are common in our area. They are Dissolution, Cover-Subsidence, and Cover-collapse sinkholes. All of these types can cause damage that requires foundation repair.

Sinkholes are of interest in Florida because they are one of the predominant landform features of the State; because they may cause flooding during storms when the drainage capacity of natural subsurface conduits is exceeded; and because they may provide an avenue for pollutants on the land surface to move rapidly and possibly contaminate the groundwater.

Sinkholes are also of interest in Florida because they have the potential to be a contributing cause of distress to a home or structure. Voids and cavities within the underlying limestone may result in surface depressions that can directly affect a structure’s integrity.

We’ve all heard that Homeowners Insurance in Florida has been largely affected by hurricane damage. Recently the spotlight has shifted away from hurricanes and on to sinkholes. Sinkhole claims have more than quadrupled in the last 6 years.

Building in Florida almost always means settling and cracking. Foundations, driveways, and exterior walls crack from settling. These cracks have been fraudulently translated by some to be considered as sinkhole damage under the current Florida Homeowners policy description. Many legitimate sinkhole claims have been filed through the years, but there have been many more claims that have been solicited by public adjusters. For that reason we have seen insurance rates increase in our area to record highs. We’ve also seen reductions in sinkhole coverage in an attempt to try to avoid the solicitation of sinkhole claims. While sinkhole coverage can still be purchased, most carriers have eliminated the coverage entirely. They have replaced it with Catastrophic Ground Collapse coverage. This provides coverage for damage due to a sinkhole only if the home is condemned.

Give St. Johns Insurance Agency a call, and talk with one of our agents about sinkhole insurance. Find out which policy will protect you best from a disaster like a sink hole destroying the structure of your house.