Spent the day yesterday in beautiful Bartow taking the deposition of the Geotechnical Engineer who performed sinkhole testing on my client’s home on behalf of her homeowners insurance company.
Often homeowners will find cracking in the walls of their home, and/or the foundation. Or, they will find the foundation separating from the walls. Contrary to what your homeowners insurance company may tell you, your homeowners insurer is responsible for all this damage unless your insurance company can exclude sinkhole as a potential cause. The burden of proof is on your insurance company (not you) to prove that sinkhole is not a potential cause of the damage. If your insurance company can’t exclude sinkhole as a cause then your insurer is responsible for the damage.
In order to exclude sinkhole, the insurance company will frequently hire a geotechnical engineering firm to perform testing at your home. The insurance company’s engineers may then write a report that there is no evidence of sinkhole activity although the test findings actually show that there is sinkhole activity. If you know what to look for, there are simple things to look at to determine if the testing actually revealed sinkhole activity.
If your insurance company has denied your sinkhole claim, do not give up. I will look at any sinkhole denial for free. In order to determine if you have sustained sinkhole damage I will often retain a geotechnical engineer to inspect your home to determine if there is indeed sinkhole damage.
I handle sinkhole cases throughout the State of Florida. In these types of cases my client owes me nothing out-of-pocket. In most of my insurance cases, if I win, the insurance company must typically pay my fees and costs, and if I lose, I’ll work for free.