Tampa Sinkhole Claims Attorney
Homeowners’ insurance allows Florida residents peace of mind at a low cost, knowing that if their property is damaged due to a covered peril, they will be awarded the necessary finances to rebuild or replace their home. However, insurers have a duty to their other customers and shareholders to refrain from overpaying claims, as well as weeding out insurance fraud and claims caused by damages not covered under the insured’s policy. Here at the law offices of HD Law Partners, our Tampa sinkhole claims attorneys assist clients by unearthing exaggerated, duplicated, and unfounded sinkhole claims. Our attorneys have more than 40 years of combined experience investigating all types of homeowners’ claims, and work closely with insurers to keep you from expensive overpayments and unsustainable payout practices.
Florida is Prime Ground For Sinkholes
Florida’s bedrock is composed of porous limestone, which is dissolved away over a period of many years from slightly acidic groundwater that flows freely underneath. The clay and dirt that sits on top of the bedrock, upon which structures are built, is eventually left unsupported, causing an eventual collapse. Tampa is right in the middle of what is known as Sinkhole Alley.
Sinkholes Vs. Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse
Under Florida law, a sinkhole is defined as a landform “created by subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata are dissolved by groundwater.” Sinkholes can form due to a subterranean void created by the dissolving of limestone or dolostone, or by subsidence as this groundrock is dissolved. The vast majority of home damage caused by the collapse of ground cover is caused by what the law defines as a sinkhole. For almost all homeowners’ policies, an additional sinkhole policy must be purchased in order to cover sinkhole damage—something that many homeowners are unaware of, and routinely attempt to file claims for damages that are, in fact, caused by catastrophic ground cover collapse, not sinkholes.
Definition of Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse
Under Florida statute 627.706, catastrophic ground cover collapse is geological activity resulting in all of the following:
- Abrupt ground cover collapse;
- A depression in the ground cover that is easily visible;
- Structural damage to the covered building and the foundation; and
- The insured structure is condemned and ordered to be vacated.
Only if all of the above conditions are met does an insurer have to pay out for catastrophic ground cover collapse—a peril covered under all Florida homeowners’ policies. Moreover, if any type of depression or collapse of the ground cover only causes a crack in the foundation or a depression, the damage is not considered to be catastrophic ground cover collapse, and the claim for such shall be invalid.
For Professional Assistance, Contact the Tampa Attorneys of HD Law Partners
Our attorneys are available to provide thorough investigative work, litigation, and other various legal services to protect you from overpaying sinkhole and catastrophic ground cover collapse. Many claims end up overinflating damage, or inaccurately arguing that a sinkhole is actually catastrophic ground cover collapse. Contact HD Law Partners at 813-964-7878 today to schedule a free consultation.