Although Arizona's most famous sinkhole, The Devil's Kitchen, has been around for generations and has attracted geological enthusiasts the world over, most sinkholes in the state are far less interesting and cause much more damage. Sinkholes can appear suddenly and without warning. Does your homeowners insurance policy cover these very common threats?
Before you search for sinkhole insurance quotes, however, there are several factors to keep in mind.
According to the United States Geological Survey and media reports:
Sinkholes are catastrophic phenomena that occur all over the world. They are natural depressions or holes that form in the earth’s crust. Sinkholes can result from both natural and man-made causes.
Most traditional Arizona homeowners insurance policies do not cover damages resulting from sinkholes. However, many homeowners and business insurance policies offer special endorsements for sinkhole coverage. If your home or business is destroyed by a sinkhole, you will receive no compensation for your losses unless you have a sinkhole endorsement. This is a financial burden that most households cannot manage.
Your vehicle needs protection as well, especially considering many of Arizona's most recent sinkholes have taken place on streets and highways. You can get coverage for your vehicle simply by including comprehensive coverage with your car or truck insurance policy. This coverage will provide you with compensation for loss or damage caused by sinkholes, as well as other common occurrences such as fire, severe weather and theft.
Even a small sinkhole can cause major shifting beneath the surface, causing severe cracks to the foundation and walls of your home or business. Large sinkholes can swallow the entire structure. Sinkhole insurance will provide compensation for damages to your business or home, outlying property and personal belongings kept inside the building if they are damaged as the result of a sinkhole on your property.
Some sinkhole insurance policies will also cover necessary preventive measures, such as structural bracing, to keep a future sinkhole from causing severe damage to your property.
Your sinkhole insurance policy may not provide coverage for damages from mine subsidence, so be sure to review your policy carefully to see if you need additional insurance if your Arizona property is on top of an old coal mine.
Some sinkholes are easy to spot by the gaping hole in the ground. But other times, sinkholes may be difficult to detect -- for example, if they're still covered with a thin overburden that has yet to collapse into the void below. Other signs of sinkhole activity include:
In Florida, where residents are at the highest risk of sinkhole damage, the insurance endorsement quote can be as much at $4,000 per year. However, considering the average insurance claim in Florida for sinkhole damage exceeds $80,000, that premium is well spent.
In Arizona, however, sinkholes are not as common as they are in limestone-rich states like Florida. Most Arizona residents can find a sinkhole insurance endorsement quote for far less.
The last thing you want to discover on your property is a sinkhole. If you don't already have sinkhole insurance, once you find the tell-tale signs of one, most Arizona insurance providers will deny you coverage.
Knowledgeable, independent insurance agents on the Trusted Choice network are always available to answer your questions, suggest sinkhole coverage options, and even assist you in filing a claim. These agents have years of experience working with Arizona insurance companies, enabling them to find you a variety of quotes with the best coverage options at the most affordable rates. Contact a Trusted Choice member agent near you to find out how you can have the added protection of a sinkhole insurance endorsement that fits your needs and budget.