I recently read a letter to the editor in an Ocala area newspaper. The letter questioned the new bill and its possible effects on the real estate market in general. The new bill gives insurance companies the right to refuse comprehensive sinkhole coverage on any new policy.
Sinkhole damage can start small and grow over time, causing severe damage to a home. Under the new coverage minimums, a home would have to be considered condemned or uninhabitable to be covered by insurance.
I recently spoke to a homeowner whose foundation was repaired by Helicon.
Before realizing they had a sinkhole, they had their “roof leak” repaired three times. The void was located in the center of the home and caused the roof pitch to change to such a degree that water was allowed to travel back into the home. It wasn’t until their screen enclosure began to twist and a neighbor mentioned they had sinkhole damage at their home that they made the call to their insurance company to test for sinkhole activity.
Some insurance companies will not even write policies in certain areas around the state due to sinkhole occurrence statistics. What’s a potential homeowner to do? How long before the mortgage lenders start to demand coverage of their own? After all, isn’t that the purpose of insurance, to protect your assets?
My guess is that mortgage lenders will start to insist on coverage, providing it for you if you can’t find it elsewhere, at a premium of course. This will increase the bottom line and force many more potential homeowners out of the already devastated real estate market.
What are your thoughts? We would love to hear your comments.