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Recently many individuals considering purchasing a home with prior sinkhole damage and/or real estate agents attempting to sell a home with prior sinkhole damage have approached our agency with questions regarding homeowners insurance in Florida.

Although it is possible to obtain homeowners insurance for a home with prior sinkhole damage, it is likely that your only insurance carrier option will be Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Citizens insurance was created by the state of Florida to serve as a last resort for Florida homeowners who cannot otherwise obtain insurance from private carriers.

In order to verify the property’s eligibility to obtain insurance through Citizens, the following steps must be taken, and can be done through your insurance agent, permitting they have access to Citizens.

Step 1: With the assistance of your insurance agent, submit a homeowners insurance application to Citizens with “yes” selected for questions regarding existing damage.

Step 2: Along with the application, the following documentation must be submitted by your agent: (1) Scope of completed repairs. (2) Proof that the recommended or alternative repairs were made. (3) Full disclosure of the prior loss information on the application (including the date and the amount of loss). (4) A copy of the engineer’s investigative report verifying sinkhole activity as a cause of loss.

Please note, approval may take 2-4 weeks.

Step 3: This step is only necessary if you would like to add sinkhole coverage to your policy, which may or may not be an option.  An inspection is required to determine whether sinkhole coverage can be added back to your homeowners insurance policy; however, it is not likely that it will be able to be added back and you will be required to pay for half of the $180 inspection fee.

If you have further questions regarding sinkhole coverage on your Florida homeowners insurance policy, please contact our agency.

McGriff-Williams InsuranceFor additional informaiton, check out McGriff-William’s website: “Florida sinkholes cause concern among homeowners” and “Does your insurance policy cover sinkholes?”