Posted by: Mary Lewis | August 4, 2011

Sinkholes and Ground Collapse

There have been some news articles recently about sinkholes in this area. Let’s talk about why it’s so important to check your insurance policy to see if you have coverage.

Sinkholes are a common phenomenon in Tennessee due to underground springs that run through bedrock, which is a factor in creating sinkholes. They are also generally found in limestone areas.

Ground collapse is the sudden settlement or collapse of earth that happens as a result of large voids created by the action of water on limestone or other rock formations. Let’s not forget the flooding of 2010 and reoccurring,  torrential, downpours this year.

Homeowner’s policies that cover only catastrophic ground collapse will cover the cost of collapse damage under the following conditions:

  1. The abrupt collapse of ground cover
  2. A depression in the ground cover clearly visible to the naked eye
  3. Structural damage to the building, including foundation
  4. The insured structure being condemned and ordered vacated by the government agency

If your home is damaged by a sinkhole, but does not meet all four criteria, your insurance policy may not pay for the damage unless you have sinkhole coverage.

Before you buy a home, hire a home inspector who can help you identify signs of potential sinkhole activity. Consider adding sinkhole coverage to your homeowner policy. The average cost for this coverage is $25 per year.

Better to be covered…..

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