A Tampa Bay family is currently suffering through the uncertainty of dealing with a sinkhole under their home. The family has reported that the stress of dealing with the sinkhole has even caused health issues. While there are many residential real estate property issues that a homeowner may face in Florida, it seems that sinkholes are becoming a common occurrence in the area.
One of the biggest struggles the family has faced with the sinkhole has been dealing with the insurance company that is currently covering their home. Because there is no fail-safe way to permanently repair a sinkhole, the family alleges that the insurance company is more concerned about saving money than taking care of the damages that are being done to the home by the shifting ground beneath it. The family has reported that the sinkhole has caused cracks in the walls, chimney and hallway.
The family hired an independent team to evaluate their home and make a recommendation that best fit their geological situation. The amount of money that it would take to stabilize the hole exceeded the amount the insurance company was willing to pay. The insurance company has offered to attempt to stabilize their home and to make cosmetic repairs, but the family feels that it is simply not enough money to make a permanent fix.
Florida legislation is currently in the works to possibly limit a homeowner's involvement in the decision-making aspect of repairing one's home. Many homeowners are upset about this, because the contractors doing the work would be chosen and paid by the insurance company. It is argued that it would bring into question whose best interest is being considered by the contractor. Residential real estate property issues like sinkholes can be complex issues to navigate, so homeowners may benefit by knowing the applicable laws in their area.
Source: Bradenton Herald, Florida families battle Citizens Property Insurance over delayed progress on sinkhole claims, Mary Ellen Klas, Dec. 2, 2013