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by Treva Cassidy, CISR on Mar 05, 2013

In light of a recent very sad incident in which a Florida man presumably lost his life when a sinkhole swallowed up part of his home, I thought I would shed some light on how home policies respond to sinkhole.

Although rare in our area, sinkholes are very common in other parts of the country.  Images of homes sucked into chasms come to mind and are horrifying. The USGS states that a sinkhole forms when soft bedrock, limestone for example, is dissolved by circulating ground water.  Collapsed abandoned mines and burst underground pipes can also cause them.  They can slowly develop or can form very quickly and swallow up anything in their area. 

It can create something beautiful like an ocean crater.

Or can reek havoc in residential areas.  

So how does a homeowners policy cover you? I will be referring to a standard homeowners policy, various state rules and guidelines aside.  The standard home policies commonly used in MA do not cover a sinkhole. It is either considered earth movement, or specially excluded by name. 

Check with your insurance company to see if they offer the Sinkhole Collapse endorsement. The cost is around $100 per year. 

Contact us at 978-352-8000 or  if you have any questions about this and other insurance topics. We are always here to help you make insurance decisions and answer questions you have about your policy.

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