Does homeowner insurance cover sinkholes?

Asked by: Alisa Volkman  |  Last update: February 11, 2022
Score: 4.1/5 (30 votes)

A standard homeowners insurance policy excludes “earth movement,” including sinkholes. That means you won't be covered if a sinkhole damages your house or belongings. You can often find sinkhole coverage as an endorsement (sometimes called a rider) to a homeowners insurance policy, depending on your insurance company.

How much does it cost to fix a sinkhole?

A small sinkhole with minimal damage to the structure may cost anywhere from $10,000 to $15,000. However, sinkholes that cause extensive damage and need a significant amount of work to repair or revive the structure, may be much pricier, costing anywhere from $20,000 to $100,000, or more.

Do most homeowners insurance cover sinkholes?

Most standard homeowners insurance policies exclude coverage for sinkhole formation. Homeowners policies are generally valued based on the cost to rebuild the physical structure of your home. ... This means that a sudden movement of that land, including sinkholes, won't normally be covered by a regular homeowners policy.

Does insurance pay for sinkholes?

No, standard homeowners insurance will not cover sinkholes or any other so-called earth movements, like earthquakes and landslides. However, you may be able to add sinkhole coverage to your policy for an additional premium or purchase it separately.

Who is responsible for sinkholes?

Use common sense: If life and property are in immediate danger, call 911. In some counties, staff from the local emergency response offices may advise homeowners on safety and evacuation of homes impacted by sinkholes. No, sinkholes on private property are the responsibility of the property owner.

What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

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How do you know if your house is on a sinkhole?

Some of the warning signs that can signify that there is a sinkhole include structural cracks in floors and walls, windows and doors that do not close properly and cloudy or muddy well water.

How do you know if you have a sinkhole on your property?

Walls and ceilings with gaps or separation could indicate a sinkhole. Trim and molding that's pulling away is another sign. If you feel like your house has become slanted or see warping, sagging, or bulging floors, call a professional.

What insurance company covers sinkholes?

Many major insurance companies, such as Nationwide, Travelers and USAA, offer sinkhole endorsements in high-risk areas. However, coverage may be limited only to events caused by previous mining operations. Nationwide and Travelers, for example, exclude naturally occurring sinkholes from coverage.

Does insurance cover ground movement?

Usually, houses need restumping due to age, termite damage, or soil movement. In those cases, it's unlikely your home insurance will cover the cost. However, if the stumps have been damaged by an insured event – for example, a pipe burst and caused significant water damage – you might be covered for restumping costs.

Do I need sinkhole coverage?

If you get sinkhole insurance, make sure it's enough coverage to completely rebuild your home if it's destroyed. It should also cover preventative measures such as structural bracing so that an impending sinkhole doesn't severely damage your property.

Which state has the most sinkholes real estate?

Florida ranks highest in the nation for sinkhole risk since its primary land surface covers rocks (such as limestone, carbonate rock, and salt beds) that can be naturally dissolved by groundwater.

What are the odds of dying in a sinkhole?

In the United States, sinkholes are especially common in Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. The actuarial risk of a catastrophic sinkhole happening is low—researchers put it at a one-in-100 chance of occurring in any given year.

What damage do sinkholes do?

In urban or suburban areas, sinkholes are hazardous because they can destroy highways and buildings. Sinkholes also can cause water quality problems. During a collapse, surface waters may leak into the aquifer, our underground source of drinking water.

How long does it take to repair a sinkhole?

Filling with dirt: Once the ground is adequately stabilized, then fill dirt can be brought in to fill in the massive void. Burroughs said he expects the whole process to take another five to seven weeks to complete.

Can a sinkhole be fixed?

Sinkholes may occur along outside walls or in the lawn or garden. They can have various shapes and sizes and can grow or deepen either slowly or rapidly. In many cases, sinkholes can be repaired by the homeowner. Before any remediation work is done, the extent and cause of the sinkhole should be determined.

Will homeowners insurance cover a sinking porch?

Even though your foundation and porch are part of your house, if they start to sink, they are usually not covered under your homeowner's policy because of the reasons why they sink, including: Flooding. Drought.

Can I claim my air conditioner on my insurance?

While a home warranty may cover the repair or replacement of your AC unit due to regular use, homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover wear and tear. Unless your AC was damaged by a covered peril in your policy, you will likely not be able to expect reimbursement from your insurance provider.

Does home insurance cover foundation leaks?

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation leaks? ... It will cover a foundation leak only if the leak occurred due to a covered cause. For example, if the plumbing in the soil surrounding the home leaks and cracks the foundation, the underlying cause is a covered plumbing issue. The foundation leak would be covered.

How much does it cost to check for sinkhole?

Testing for sinkholes comes at price

Unfortunately, the cost for a certified sinkhole inspection makes it difficult to pay for one unless absolutely necessary – a sinkhole investigation can run you $6,000-$8,000.

Does progressive offer sinkhole coverage?

This is an endorsement or rider that may be added to your current policy that extends coverage to include damage from sinkholes. Your sinkhole coverage may extend to personal property located within your damaged dwelling at the time of the loss.

What is a sinkhole exclusion?

Most standard homeowner property insurance policies exclude a sinkhole coverage claim relating it to a “movement of the earth” exclusion. ... In other words, the property is insured for what it would cost to rebuild or repair the home without considering land costs.

What are the 3 types of sinkholes?

The three major types of sinkholes know to us are : Solution, Cover Collapse and Cover Subsidence. Solution sinkholes are most commonly seen in areas that have a very thin cover of soil on the surface, exposing the bedrock below to continual erosion by water.

When should I be concerned about sinkholes?

Circles of plants wilt because that can't get enough water, which drains into holes beneath the surface. Rainwater pools in areas that once drained well. A sunken area around your foundation, or an actual cavity, appears. Water bills suddenly climb because a sinkhole is damaging your plumbing.

What does the beginning of a sinkhole look like?

When a sinkhole forms near or under your house, you'll see subtle warning signs. Doors will jam and stop latching. Windows that used to open easily become hard to open, start sticking, or won't open or close completely. You might notice that your cabinet doors and drawers sit unevenly or won't open or close properly.