Does my home policy include sinkhole insurance?

Does my home policy include sinkhole insurance?

Sinkholes Can Do Devastating Damage To Your Home – But does your home policy include sinkhole insurance? 

A few years ago the ground literally opened up in Florida and swallowed a home. Tragically a young man was sleeping inside the home at the time.

Pennsylvania doesn’t have the level of sinkhole activity that Florida experiences, but sinkholes definitely happen here, especially in Southeastern and Central PA.

PA Department of Conservation Map
Green dots are sinkholes. Red dots are earthquakes.

Sinkholes occur naturally when groundwater erodes limestone deposits.  Sometimes a broken water main will cause a sinkhole to cave in a city street.

Is My Home Covered if A Sinkhole Swallows It? 

Many people ask me if sinkhole insurance is included on their homeowners insurance policy.  Like many things in the insurance industry: it depends.

First and foremost, property damage must occur for a claim to be possible.

A sinkhole that opens up in a yard or field without damaging any insured structures WILL NOT trigger your homeowners insurance.

If the sinkhole causes structural damage to your home, that can be a covered claim.  Any detached structures damaged by a sinkhole are also covered by the sinkhole endorsement.

EXAMPLE: If a sinkhole opens up 30 yards from your home, and destroys a shed – the shed is covered!

The cost to fill the sinkhole is NEVER covered.  The only coverage you can get is for the property damage that the sinkhole does to a covered structure.  Homeowners insurance does not cover land!

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No Property Damage – No Homeowners Claim

What Companies Write Sinkhole Insurance?

Most homeowners insurance providers in Pennsylvania EXCLUDE sinkhole insurance! 

Many companies allow you to add sinkhole insurance for additional annual premium. Some of Heritage Insurance Agency‘s homeowners insurance providers that can provide sinkhole insurance are Kemper, Travelers, State Auto, The Philadelphia Contributionship, and many more.

Some home insurance companies WILL NOT write an endorsement that adds coverage back.  Some companies that WON’T write an endorsement are Liberty Mutual, USAA & SafeCo.

I am aware exactly ONE homeowners insurance provider that INCLUDES sinkhole insurance without charging additional premium.

Includes Sinkhole Insurance at no additional premium!

Allstate is the only company we know of that covers sinkholes on your homeowners policy, automatically.

As a proud, Independent Allstate Agent I can say while this is a plus, there are some aspects of Allstate’s homeowners policy that you have be careful of – but that’s for another post!

featured photo credit: Foxtongue via photopin cc

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