Living in Florida, we’re no strangers to stingrays, sunburns, and … sinkholes. It seems like sinkholes make headlines each year, like this large sinkhole that recently opened up in Pasco County, swallowing two homes in the process. Whether we accept it or not, sinkholes are a real threat we face as Floridians, yet many homeowners insist they don’t need sinkhole coverage.
Selling clients on sinkhole coverage can feel like an uphill battle since many homeowners don’t believe sinkhole damage will happen to them. But considering the undeterminable nature of sinkholes to occur slowly or all at once, it is in every Florida homeowner’s best interest to have proper sinkhole coverage.
If you’re having difficulty persuading your clients to invest in sinkhole coverage, these tips will help.
Home Insurance Policies Don’t Always Cover Sinkhole Damage
Many Florida homeowners falsely believe their home insurance policy covers sinkhole damage. While catastrophic ground cover damage is included within your client’s home insurance policy, it does not serve as a catchall. For this reason, it is imperative your clients understand what their home insurance policy does and does not cover. For example, a majority of homeowners don’t know that their home insurance policy only covers sinkhole damage if it meets four specific requirements. These requirements include:
- The top layer that has sunk must have done so abruptly.
- A depression in the ground must be clearly visible.
- There must be structural damage to the home.
- A government agency must declare the home condemned.
Other misinterpreted areas of your clients’ home insurance policies may exclude sinkhole coverage without them even realizing it. For example, “earth movement” is commonly excluded from the average policy. Earth movement is typically considered as things such as earthquakes, landslides, and any other earth movement that includes the earth shifting, rising, and you guessed it—sinking.
A Sinkhole Can Happen to Anyone
Although nearly 45 percent of land in the United States is susceptible to sinkholes, Florida and Tennessee are the most active states for potential depressions. Moreover, more than 500 sinkholes have been reported in Florida in the past four decades. While you can’t convince every client that they need sinkhole insurance, informing them of sinkhole statistics and the benefits of proper coverage can help them in the long run.
Learn More About ASI
ASI is one of the largest homeowners insurance carriers in the United States. Through a network of independent agents, the company offers home, condo, renters, dwelling fire, and flood insurance in more than 40 states. Find out more at AmericanStrategic.com.