Sinkhole insurance lacks among homeowners despite threat

Homeowners insurance claims from sinkholes rising in Florida

In Florida, two homes were recently swallowed up and several others had to be evacuated.

Sinkhole insurance remains a rare thing among homeowners, even when they have seen other homes swallowed up by these occurrences. The reason for nearly all of them is exactly the same. That said, this wasn’t good news for the property owners whose lives have been devastated after losing their homes to a rapidly growing Florida sinkhole.

The coverage isn’t without its appeal but it comes with a price tag many feel they cannot afford.

Unfortunately, the lack of sinkhole insurance places homeowners in a heartbreaking position should they face this peril. Sinkholes are very rarely, if ever, covered by standard homeowners insurance policies.

On Friday morning, emergency personnel received a call about a sinkhole forming in the ground. At that point, it was about the size of a small swimming pool. The property on which the depression had formed had a boat that was slipping into it. That said, by the time the deputies arrived on scene, the sinkhole was growing. It was clear that it was not finished forming and it was heading quickly in the direction of the house on the property, said Oasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco.

The home was not covered by sinkhole insurance, according to initial reports made on the scene.

Homeowners insurance claims from sinkholes rising in FloridaAt that time, nobody was home and emergency personnel were able to enter the home to remove two dogs. It was fortunate that they did as the home soon fell into the still-growing sinkhole. Residents of the next closest home were evacuated and they managed to make their escape before that home fell into the massive hole as well.

By the time the sinkhole stopped growing it had reached an estimated size of 225 by 250 feet as well as being about 50 feet deep. It is filled with debris from the homes it swallowed, causing it to fill with water that is not draining away. The area is being treated as a haz-mat scene because the water in the hole looks to be filled with chemicals and septic tank fluid, as the neighborhood uses septic tanks.

Without sinkhole insurance, the damage to the homes is not likely to be covered by any existing standard homeowners insurance policies. The neighborhood remains on alert with additional evacuations just in case and the power cut off to hundreds of people in the area. The houses had been constructed on a “remediated” sinkhole which caused one of the damaged homes to have been fitted with 33 underpinnings earlier this year.

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