When we think about natural disasters in Florida, our mind quickly goes to hurricanes. If you’re local, you’re familiar with the cinematic lightning storms we get almost on a daily basis during the summer. Every now and then, we’ll read a story in the news about rip tides. But how often are sinkholes in your mind
The most recent example happened recently, in our very own Tampa Bay area. In fact, due to Florida’s topography, they are very common within our state; so doing your due diligence about the likelihood in your area is as imperative as owning a bathing suit while living in the Sunshine State.
FEMA defines flood as an overflow of water, or a rapid accumulation of water, or a mudflow, or a collapse of land along the shore of a lake or body of water.
This means that if the foundation of your home collapses and you’re not along the shore of a body of water, you won’t get assistance from your flood insurance. But this is only where the fun begins. You see, Florida law requires insurance companies offer coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse, but if you want to be covered for additional damages related to the collapse, you’ll have to specifically request it… and pay more for it.
So what can you do to protect your home?
Be aware that Hillsborough, Pinellas, Pasco, and Hernando counties are among the locations with the highest sinkhole activity. So while we at National Flood Experts can conduct a free evaluation of your home to determine whether or not you are really located in a high risk flood zone, even if you’re able to get rezoned thanks to NFE, you still need to cover your bases when it comes to sinkholes.
Drop everything you’re doing right now and contact your insurance agent. Review your homeowner’s policy with him or her. Ask specific questions about sinkhole coverage. Don’t take their word as gospel. Ask for where exactly can you find language in the policy that states you will be covered in the event of a sinkhole. Verify what will be covered. Check whether there’s a cap in coverage, whether related damages (such as cracks on your walls) will be covered. If you’re buying a new home, make sure it’s insurable before you present an offer. In short, take this issue as seriously as you would take your home and your family’s security, because that’s exactly what it’s about.