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Frequently Asked Questions

Florida Sinkhole Frequently Asked Questions
Sinkholes are formed beneath the earth's surface from fluctuations in the water-table as groundwater passes through soluble bedrock, usually carbonate rock such as limestone or dolomite. This erosion process causes voids or large cavities in the bedrock. The walls and ceiling of these cavities are supported when water is present. When the water-table drops the cavity is once again exposed to the process of erosion. Eventually after enough erosion has occurred, these underground empty spaces collapse under their own weight causing a sinkhole.
It is not an easy task to negotiate with an insurance company for the successful resolution of a sinkhole claim. While insurance companies have extensive experience in dealing with sinkhole claims, many property owners have little to no such experience. This fact gives the insurance company an absolute advantage over the insured. Stated another way, property owners can easily find themselves at a significant disadvantage to the insurance company when it comes to dealing with sinkhole claims. A knowledgeable and experienced sinkhole attorney can help the property owner through every stage of their sinkhole claim, from filing to final settlement.
Florida experiences more sinkhole activity than any other state. Florida Statute 627.706 requires every insurer authorized to sell property insurance in Florida to also provide coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse. However, damage may not be covered by your homeowner's insurance policy because the law defines sinkhole damage different from catastrophic ground cover collapse.
At Marshall Thomas, P.L., we can assist a property owner through all stages of their sinkhole claim; from the initial filing, to final settlement and/or repair or sale of the property. If your insurance company denies your claim stating sinkhole activity was not found, we can review all of the information in your claim file to ensure that proper sinkhole testing was conducted. If sinkhole activity is confirmed, we will work to see that you are fully compensated for your loss.
Sinkhole activity can be a homeowner’s worst nightmare. They often cause significant damage to buildings and property. In extreme cases, confirmed sinkhole activity can cause local building officials to condemn a structure, declaring it uninhabitable. If you have experienced sinkhole activity and sustained damage to your home or property you may want to contact your insurance company and file a claim under your homeowner's insurance policy. If your insurance company then denies your sinkhole claim, you may still have options worth perusing.
Prior to accepting any insurance settlement, call the sinkhole attorneys at Marshall Thomas, P.L.. They will work diligently to ensure your rights are protected. In some cases, it may not make sense to repair a property if the damage is too severe or if the cost of repair exceeds the value of the property. A knowledgeable attorney can help guide you through all stages of a sinkhole claim, from discovery to confirmation to repair and/or sale of the property. Marshall Thomas, P.L. can assist you even if you have already filed a sinkhole claim and your insurance company has confirmed the presence of sinkhole activity. Call us today for a free evaluation of your sinkhole claim.
Sinkhole activity in the United States occurs most often in Florida, Tennessee, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, and Pennsylvania. As a property owner, sinkhole repair and remediation can seem overwhelming. If you find yourself in this situation, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of sinkholes, how they form and what types of repair options are available. Understanding sinkhole terminology and the process of sinkhole remediation will come in handy when selecting a repair contractor or company.
A person's home and/or property are usually their biggest investment. The thought of having your home or business labeled a "sinkhole property" is terrifying for most. Thankfully many of you will never need to deal with a selling a sinkhole property. Under Florida law, if a property has sinkhole activity you must disclose this information when you sell the property.