A sinkhole on the property is a threat that nearly all homeowners face, and they are even common in many areas of the country. These are highly dangerous property damage risks. After all, in a matter of moments, a sinkhole can swallow a home whole.
Plus, sinkholes are not only unpredictable, but also hard to prevent. Therefore, your homeowners insurance will help you cover the costs of your losses if a sinkhole ever occurs.
How Will Your Homeowners Insurance Help Cover Sinkholes?
Your homeowners insurance is going to be very clear in what it does and does not cover. These perils are the unpreventable or unavoidable accidents that have to cause damage to the home in order for your insurance policy will pay for the repairs. Damage or loss scenarios that will not have coverage are exclusions, and your policy will make note of them.
Perils that are commonly excluded under homeowners insurance include flooding and earthquakes. However, sinkholes are frequently excluded as well. Still, because homeowners policies differ from one community to the next and from one insurer to another, exclusions are often vastly different from policy to policy.
Therefore, it’s up to you to check your plan to see if sinkholes are covered or not covered. Some policies will list the perils that they exclude specifically, and include coverage for all other losses. Others will list exclusions, and provide coverage for any peril that is not listed. Your agent can help you sort through the language to determine your coverage for sinkholes.
Understanding Your Risk of Sinkholes
There are different definitions of sinkholes, but they all involve the sudden collapse of a piece of ground. This occurs when the soil and rocks that make up the ground itself become saturated with moisture, break-up or dissolve. Sinkholes are more likely to occur when the groundwater composition of the soil changes and it becomes too weak to support the weight that rests on it.
To determine your risk of sinkholes, you can simply visit your city hall to learn more about local water tables and your own property’s zoning risks. The authorities will often be able to help you determine what precautions you might need to take to avoid this risk.
What Can You Do If Your Risks Are High?
You should never attempt to build or buy a home in an area that is prone to sinkholes. Often, local zoning rules will not permit you to build in the highest-risk areas, but no property is truly immune to the chances of a sinkhole occurring.
As a result, it’s important to know exactly how your homeowners insurance addresses sinkholes in any circumstance. If your standard plan doesn’t then a specialized coverage endorsement might be easily added to your portfolio. In the end, your homeowners insurance agent will be by your side to help you customize your plan to your advantage.