Florida has always been famous for sinkholes, but they become a very big deal when sinkholes make national headlines. In this story from ABC News from May 2, 2018, it is reported that at least a dozen sinkholes in the Wynchase neighborhood of Ocala, Florida-about 80 miles northwest of Orlando-have forced residents from at least 8 homes to evacuate. The sinkholes have been forming around a retention pond.
Noble Public Adjusting Group wants our blog readers to be aware that we handle insurance claims for damages from Florida sinkholes. In a previous post, we talked about sinkholes in the Florida Panhandle and sinkhole insurance coverage. Since there is a current sinkhole problem large enough to make national news, we decided this was the perfect time for our blog readers to review the following information concerning the laws governing sinkholes in Florida and what insurance covers:
Sinkhole Loss Coverage
In addition, the insurer shall make available, for an appropriate additional premium, coverage for sinkhole losses on any structure. “Sinkhole loss” means structural damage to the covered building, including the foundation, caused by sinkhole activity. “Structural damage” means a covered building, regardless of the date of its construction, has experienced the following:
- Interior floor displacement or deflection in excess of acceptable variances as defined in ACI 117-90 or the Florida Building Code, which results in settlement-related damage to the interior such that the interior building structure or members become unfit for service or represents a safety hazard as defined within the Florida Building Code;
- Foundation displacement or deflection in excess of acceptable variances as defined in ACI 318-95 or the Florida Building Code, which results in settlement-related damage to the primary structural members or primary structural systems that prevents those members or systems from supporting the loads and forces they were designed to support to the extent that stresses in those primary structural members or primary structural systems exceeds one and one-third the nominal strength allowed under the Florida Building Code for new buildings of similar structure, purpose, or location;
- The damage that results in a listing, leaning, or buckling of the exterior load-bearing walls or other vertical primary structural members to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity does not fall inside the middle one-third of the base as defined within the Florida Building Code;
- Damage that results in the building, or any portion of the building containing primary structural members or primary structural systems, being significantly likely to imminently collapse because of the movement or instability of the ground within the influence zone of the supporting ground within the sheer plane necessary for the purpose of supporting such building as defined within the Florida Building Code; or
- Damage occurring on or after October 15, 2005, that qualifies as “substantial structural damage” as defined in the Florida Building Code.
If you have been affected by a sinkhole in Florida, contact Noble Public Adjusting Group. We have handled plenty of sinkhole insurance claims and we can handle yours. You need someone on your side when you experience a sinkhole. Your insurance company will try to find a way to deny your claim or not pay a settlement that is large enough to bring you back to your pre-loss condition. That is just what they do, try to find ways to cut corners and save money. Insurance by its very definition is a business. A business is concerned with profit. Noble will file your claim and stay in constant communication with your insurance company until a fair settlement is reached. We thrive on going to battle for policyholders against big corporate insurance.
Noble Public Adjusting Group provides public adjusting services to all of Florida. Call us today and let’s talk about sinkholes, your current Florida homeowner insurance coverage to make sure your policy covers you in case you are the victim of a sinkhole and anything else you would like to discuss. We love hearing from our blog readers.
Noble Public Adjusting Group
107 Amar Place Suite 103
Panama City Beach (West End), FL 32413