Sinkhole Damage Inspections
EMA ’s Sinkhole damage inspections services include, but are not limited to:
Floor Slab Surveys for Sinkhole Damage Inspections
Structural damage related to sinkhole damage inspections
Foundation design/redesign related to sinkhole damage assessment
Monitoring peer reviews
Pin pile foundation design
Structural Sinkhole Inspections
What Every Floridian Should Know
Florida has more sinkholes than any other state in the nation. A recent change in Florida law requires authorizedinsurers to cover “catastrophic ground cover collapse,” but damage caused by a sinkhole may not be covered by your policy.
That’s because the law defines catastrophic ground cover collapse differently from sinkholes.
Florida law defines a sinkhole as “a land form created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or
rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater. A sinkhole may form by collapse into subterranean voids created by dissolution (the dissolving) of limestone or dolostone or by the subsidence as these strata are dissolved.”
“Catastrophic ground cover collapse” is defined as “geological activity that results in all of the following:
1). The abrupt collapse of the ground cover;
2). A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye;
3). Structural damage to the building including the foundation; and
4). The insured structure being condemned and ordered to be vacated by
the government agency authorized by law to issue such an order for that structure.”
This means that if your home is damaged by sinkhole activity, but does not meet all four criteria for catastrophic ground cover collapse – for instance, you may have foundation cracks, but the home is still livable – your insurance may not pay for the damage if you do not have sinkhole coverage.
All insurance companies licensed to do business must offer sinkhole coverage, usually as an addendum or rider to an existing policy, and for an additional premium charge. However, insurance companies may require an inspection before extending coverage. If sinkhole activity is present on the property or within a certain distance of the property to be insured, the insurance company may decline coverage.
If You’re Buying A Home
Be sure that the house is insurable.
Make sure that sinkhole coverage is included in your policy, or in a rider. Ask your agent for details about your coverage.
Hire a home inspector who can help you find signs of potential sinkhole activity.
Consider sinkhole testing. While infrequent, an insurance company may require you to have this testing done prior to granting you coverage, under certain circumstances.
Your mortgage lender will require you to have the home inspected. Be sure to ask if the inspection addresses