SINKHOLE INSURANCE CLAIMS

Sinkhole Claims Against Insurance Companies

It has been our offices experience that initiating some type of property casualty damage claim, such as sinkhole or fire damage, may significantly delay any pending foreclosure action.

Stamatakis + Thalji + Bonanno represents Florida consumers whose homes have been damaged by sinkholes. Fortunately, Florida law requires homeowners insurance to cover damages to your home caused by a sinkhole. But, that does not mean that your homeowners insurance company will honor the agreement and pay what you are owed. Many clients complain that their homeowner’s insurance company is not acting promptly or delaying the claim at every turn. Moreover, homeowner’s insurance companies often deny claims and say that sinkholes are not really sinkholes at all, but it is just the “ground settling.” Whatever that means. Or they homeowners insurance just goes to their old fallback, not paying the proper amount for the repairs. If your home or business is showing signs of damage from a sinkhole, contact our sinkhole lawyers at our Tampa law firm for a fast and confidential sinkhole case evaluation.

Indicators of Sinkhole Activity or Damage

Sinkholes develop gradually underground, and finally collapse when they can no longer support the earth above them.  There are warning signs that a sinkhole may be forming below the earth.  Such warning signs are:  

 

A cracked or leaking pool

A large crack in walls around doors and window frames

Doors or windows that do not work properly anymore

An unusually large or rapidly developing depression in yard or driveway

Tress or fence posts that start sagging or slanting on the property

A separation of walls from floors or ceilings

A tilting or sinking of a section of floor

Tree roots that are now exposed that were not before

A poor compaction of soil around utility poles

 

If you are concerned that a sinkhole may be forming on your property, contact your local municipality.  If a sinkhole forms and is a safety concern, please call 911.

Does STAMATAKIS + THALJI + BONANNO’s sinkhole attorneys handle sinkhole damage claims where I live?

We represent clients in the following west and central Florida counties: Citrus, Hernando, Sumter, Lake, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Pasco, Hillsborough, Pinellas, Manatee, Desoto, Hardee, Highlands, Sarasota and Charlotte.

How is my Florida sinkhole lawyer paid?

The sinkhole attorney’s fee is separate from the “costs” that the firm advances on behalf of the client. “Costs” include expenses for obtaining records, filing fees at the courthouse, expert witness testimony, costs of taking depositions and so on. We advance all costs related to your case. Only on obtaining a recovery for a client are our sinkhole lawyers reimbursed the costs that were advanced by our Florida law firm.

What are some of the typical issues involved in a sinkhole damage claim? 

First, the insurance company will typically send someone to your home, usually an environmental engineer, to determine the cause of the damage to your home. These people are paid by the insurance company and know that damage due to “natural ground settling” is not covered by homeowners insurance. If, by chance, they agree that your damage was caused by a sinkhole, your insurance company will do everything they can to have you sign a release and have the “repairs” begin. The trouble is that they try to lay all the liability of what could go wrong back to you. The insurance company may also try to make the repairs in the cheapest, least effective way, even though they are required to do otherwise, pursuant to the terms of your homeowner’s policy.

Contact STAMATAKIS + THALJI + BONANNO for your Free Consultation with our sinkhole attorneys in Tampa!

If you have more questions about sinkholes, visit our frequently asked questions page for answers to common questions, or contact us online.