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How Do I File a Sinkhole Claim?

Sinkhole Claim

First things first. Secure your property and take all steps necessary to protect yourself and others from danger / potential harm. Review your Insurance policy for sinkhole coverage. In Florida and Tennessee, if you have sinkhole insurance coverage, your insurance company is required by law to cover damage related to sinkhole activity (up to the limits of your policy). You can then decide to call your insurance company or agent on your own and let them know what has happened, or you may choose to contact an experienced Florida or Tennessee sinkhole lawyer. Either way, once you provide some basic information they should begin the claims process.

Your insurance company will generally send an engineer or geologist to survey the damage and to conduct sinkhole testing. Initial testing for sinkhole activity may consist of ground penetrating radar and electrical resistivity studies. These tests are used to detect anomalies underground. Another test that may be conducted is called standard penetration testing, where a drilling rig is used to bore a hole into the earth. Sinkhole testing usually takes several days but may be spread out over the course of several weeks depending on the type of test(s) conducted. If sinkhole activity is detected, your insurance company will request repair estimates, which should only come from licensed contractors. If sinkhole test results are negative (no sinkhole activity is found), your insurance company will most likely deny your claim.

At Marshall Thomas, P.L., we assist Florida and Tennessee property owner through all stages of their sinkhole claim; from the initial filing to final settlement. 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 your rights are protected.