When you have homeowner's insurance, you might assume that everything will be covered. However, certain events may place you at risk that you will not necessarily be covered for. For instance, if your property experiences major earth movement, such as a sinkhole, you will want to make sure that you are covered.
You Might Be Excluded
There are various forms of earth movement that can be excluded from a homeowner's insurance policy. These can include soil that bulges or heaves, soil that shifts, sinking, expanding and contracting. Typically, all of these forms of earth movement are excluded unless you take steps to make sure that you are adequately covered.
Even if you don't have coverage for ground movement, if the damage is caused by an event that was caused by the ground movement, you may still be covered. For instance, if the ground movement leads to a fire that damages your property, you would still be covered because your homeowner's insurance covers fires.
The two options you have to handle earth movements are to either purchase extra coverage from your homeowner's insurance provider or to purchase a policy that is separate from your homeowner's insurance policy. In some states, your provider may even be required to offer earth movement coverage even if they do not require that you select this coverage.
If you live in an area that is prone to earth movements, you should especially select this form of coverage. However, even if you are not especially at risk of an earth movement, purchasing this coverage is highly recommended. Damage caused by earth movement can cause cracks to form in your house, cause doors and windows to no longer close properly and may even cause enough damage to require that your property is condemned.
The Repair Process
After your property has become damaged by a sinkhole, you will want an engineer to examine your property and recommend repairs. Your insurance provider will pay for the work performed by the engineer and will also pay for any repairs that must be made to your home.
You may be required to pay a deductible to the insurance provider. Typically, the deductible is a small percentage of the total cost of having your home repaired. This can be 1%, 2% or even 5%. But given that you may need to have your entire home replaced, this form of coverage is worth it.