New sinkhole insurance laws

New sinkhole insurance laws

There are 22 comments on the WTSP Tampa Bay story from Aug 11, 2007, titled New sinkhole insurance laws. In it, WTSP Tampa Bay reports that:

There's a new law that gives homeowners the choice to insure their homes against sinkhole damage.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WTSP Tampa Bay.

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Pasco Resident

Bradenton, FL

#1 Aug 11, 2007
What this story didn't tell people is that thanks to our local legislators, Pasco and Hernando Counties were singled out and the sinkhole coverage was forceably taken away.The rest of the 65 counties can "CHOOSE" to drop the coverage. The story also did not specifically point out is Mr. Lee's sinkhole would NOT be covered under the catastrophic coverage and would probably cost him somewhere around $60,000 out of his pocket to properly fill in this sinkhole!
BEWARE of wolves in sheeps skin!

Since: Jul 07

Saint Petersburg, FL

#2 Aug 11, 2007
Starting Sept. 1, Citizens is dropping sinkhole coverage for Hernando and Pasco homeowners as policies are renewed. The only way homeowners can keep it is to tell Citizens they still want it.

Citizens said catastrophic ground collapses will still be covered even if homeowners opt out of the sinkhole coverage.

That is one insurance companies policey all you have to do is let them know you still want it.

What counties would you like them to try and drop sinkhole coverage from? Hernando and Pasco counties where 80-90 percent of sinkhole claims have been made the past three years.

You must know at least one person that has had a claim. They take the buy out option which pays of there loan ussally leaving them with thousands of dollars. Then they sell the house to company that just buys sink house homes. That company fixes the house and holds the note on some low income family charging them high intrest rates. Which in turns raises your Assessed Value of your home. So you pay more taxes.
Big John

Old Town, ME

#3 Aug 12, 2007
why dont we put all the Ins. companys in a big sink hole and cover them for every???
Jim Watkins

Seminole, FL

#4 Aug 12, 2007
The policies you were buying lasy year required the Insurance companies to include all sinkhole damage. The new law removes that requirment. The citizens of Florida have "lost ground" in this new law.
Sinkhole Investigator

Clearwater, FL

#5 Aug 13, 2007
Only the rarest of sinkholes will result in a house being condemned (coverage for collapse will almost never be invoked). The costs of repairing sinkholes start around $40K (legitimate contractors making proper repairs) and go well over $100K. Who will choose to live in Pasco and Hernando when they can keep sinkhole coverage in the surrounding counties AND save a $1000 or more a year on insurance. The revised laws regarding sinkhole coverage have punished the people MOST needing the protection.
Bubba Watcher

Longwood, FL

#6 Aug 14, 2007
Sinkhole Investigator, That is how the "sheep" herder get's to keep fleeceing the flock; don't give all there secrets away! The Jim and Tammy show revisited???
usssa

Bradenton, FL

#7 Aug 10, 2008
USSSA coach wrote:
Starting Sept. 1, Citizens is dropping sinkhole coverage for Hernando and Pasco homeowners as policies are renewed. The only way homeowners can keep it is to tell Citizens they still want it.
Citizens said catastrophic ground collapses will still be covered even if homeowners opt out of the sinkhole coverage.
That is one insurance companies policey all you have to do is let them know you still want it.
What counties would you like them to try and drop sinkhole coverage from? Hernando and Pasco counties where 80-90 percent of sinkhole claims have been made the past three years.
You must know at least one person that has had a claim. They take the buy out option which pays of there loan ussally leaving them with thousands of dollars. Then they sell the house to company that just buys sink house homes. That company fixes the house and holds the note on some low income family charging them high intrest rates. Which in turns raises your Assessed Value of your home. So you pay more taxes.
you are totally wrong. i own a company and have for over 9 years purchased sinkhole homes. we do have them repaired and our rehab work is second to none. we sell them on the open market with a realtor and are withing 3% of listed price. we have never held mortgages for any family much less low income families at a high interest rate.
you need to talk to someone who really does this business in an honest and professional way. matter of fact i don't know of any investor who does what you said. don't talk to your neighbors and friends, they don't know
curious observer

Boiling Springs, SC

#8 Sep 2, 2008
I am watching to see what comes of Citizens decisions regarding sinkholes. They are trying this in direct response to demands from HAC and other groups that don't realize that they had a monkey on their back with fraudulent claims and price gouging contractors. Their decision has done nothing more than place the entire burden on the poor citizens that are most desperate rather than spread the cost of the peril throughout the masses as is generally how insurance works.
SH Repairer

Jacksonville, FL

#9 Aug 25, 2009
It is true that there are many companies and people out there that buy sinkhole homes and fix them cheap, just enough to rent them out or try to sell as a "fixed" home. They hire a contractor or fix it themselves doing a half witted "shallow" grouting job and put a little steel pins in place, just enough to close up some cracks, then claim it's fixed.

What is not true is the homeowners "taking the buyout option". In almost all cases, the insurance adjuster is the one that determines whether or not the house gets fixed or the policy limits are paid out. If the plan of repair is within a certain percentage of the policy limit, then the house gets fixed, over that limit, it gets paid off. Paying out the policy limits does not mean the homeowner gets a check free and clear. The mortgage company gets thier cut if there is a mortgage. If...god forbid this person hired one of the rich sinkhole attorneys, that check gets 1/3 of the payment carved out of it, leaving the homeowner with nothing. If they did not have a mortgage, then they are not left with enough to fix the house. The only things the attorneys do, is try to get you cashed out so they can get thier cut of the money. They do not care if the house is fixed properly, they will get thier own engineer out of thier pocket to say the house needs to be grouted, underpinned, chemically grouted, and rebuilt, so the insurance company will just say "here's the check" and be done with it.

This law does nothing for anyone but the insurance companies. Pasco will become the new industrial center of Florida, cheap land, no more residents.
Simon

Tampa, FL

#10 Aug 25, 2009
yeah, now the verbage for insurance scammers in florida is they will cover claims for anything except for what happened in your case
jim chesterfield mi

New Baltimore, MI

#11 Jan 23, 2010
thinking about moving to florida seems like i should avoid these counties does anyone know what percentage of homes are affected by sink holes in these counties.
Dianne

Palm Harbor, FL

#12 Jul 9, 2010
This State is the most corrupt state in our nation!!! The politicans are all getting paid off to change laws that involve big bussiness (insurance co.'s) I bought my house in 2006 and now I am stuck here in Hell because of the economy and these new sinkhole laws!!! No intelligent person would buy a home in Pasco now!!! Why would they,we do not have the option to insure it against one of the worst perils(sinkholes) Of course they tell you can add sinkhole coverage to your policy,as long as you pay to get an inspection!! The truth is only 1% of homes insepected in Pasco county get approved to aquire the sinkhole protection!!! WHAT A SCAM
Dianne

AOL

#13 Aug 13, 2010
We are at the end of the tunnel with repairs to our home and property caused by sinkholes. It has been 14 months of Hell. We not only had the cracks, sunken ground, etc. We also had mold in our livingroom. Citizen's wouldn't pay for a motel and suggested we "live in other areas of the home until the mold was taken care of and avoid the area of the mold". The total cost for repairs has been around $150,000.00. There was over $90,000.00 just for the sinkhole repairs. There were the delays caused by claims adjusters, engineers, etc. Our biggest headache however, the mortgage holder. They insisted on holding the insurance money until repairs were made. After each phase, they would send out an inspector to assure the repairs were done. Then they would release funds to pays for those repairs only. Try to get a contractor to do the work with nothing up front and wait weeks for their final paycheck. We have never had a late payment or caused the mortgage holder to doubt that we would repair the home. They said the law allows them to do this, which I confirmed with attornerys, and they were "protecting their investment". What no one is addressing is that, to sell our home, we have to disclose that we had sinkholes. If someone told you the home you were interested in buying had serious problems, would you still buy it? The value of our home went down, but our taxes went up. We live in Marion County by the way. We were the third home in our small subdivision with sinkholes in the last 2 years. There was also one in the street, but the county fixed that real fast.
fleauQ

Tampa, FL

#14 Feb 21, 2011
Our insurance company dropped our sinkhole coverage approx 1 1/2 yrs ago.....we didn't realize it at the time.
Now I am 90% sure we have a sinkhole; what are we suppose to do?
We have worked for 30 yrs for everything we have; now to possible loose it all is very daunting.
igs1990

Tampa, FL

#15 Jan 4, 2012
Dianne wrote:
We are at the end of the tunnel with repairs to our home and property caused by sinkholes. It has been 14 months of Hell. We not only had the cracks, sunken ground, etc. We also had mold in our livingroom. Citizen's wouldn't pay for a motel and suggested we "live in other areas of the home until the mold was taken care of and avoid the area of the mold". The total cost for repairs has been around $150,000.00. There was over $90,000.00 just for the sinkhole repairs. There were the delays caused by claims adjusters, engineers, etc. Our biggest headache however, the mortgage holder. They insisted on holding the insurance money until repairs were made. After each phase, they would send out an inspector to assure the repairs were done. Then they would release funds to pays for those repairs only. Try to get a contractor to do the work with nothing up front and wait weeks for their final paycheck. We have never had a late payment or caused the mortgage holder to doubt that we would repair the home. They said the law allows them to do this, which I confirmed with attornerys, and they were "protecting their investment". What no one is addressing is that, to sell our home, we have to disclose that we had sinkholes. If someone told you the home you were interested in buying had serious problems, would you still buy it? The value of our home went down, but our taxes went up. We live in Marion County by the way. We were the third home in our small subdivision with sinkholes in the last 2 years. There was also one in the street, but the county fixed that real fast.
In response to Dianne - we have had 2 sinkholes both repaired. Our mortgage company did the same thing. WE NEVER HAD A PROBLEM with it working this way our contractors worked directly with us and the mortgage company and the insurance company. A reputable contractor who is on your insurance list of recommended contractors knows up front that this is how it will work.

Since: Nov 11

Warner Robins, GA

#16 Jan 8, 2012
Sorry people but I have to applaud the mortgage company here. Other wise what would have kept you from pocketing the money and moving out? Nothing, the mortgage company was just trying to protect their investment. I realize it causes a hardship in some cases but don't blame the insurance company or the mortgage holder instead why not blame the real culprits here.....the crooks that pocket the money and do not make repairs. We all know at least one especially if you have lived in Pasco County... I knew two while I lived there and tried to report both with no results, why because no law was broken.
drop n usa 2012

Saint Petersburg, FL

#17 Jan 8, 2012
I'm going to have to drop my home owners insurance all together.
It is getting too expensive.$2400 per year.
My house is paid off.
I plan on creating a mortage on it for $250,000 @ 10% interest for 30 years with all payments and interest due in 15.
I plan on having a stimpluation clause put in that if the home transefers hands the new owner has to pay it all in full.
Then I plan on selling it to a company that I own for $1.00
Now when someone tries to sue me for falling in my house or something stupid like that. They have to pay my company the $250,000 before they get any money.
I plan on getting the national flood insurance to cover my house that way FEMA will pay it off it something happens

Since: Nov 11

Warner Robins, GA

#18 Jan 9, 2012
I have serious doubts about your plan, however, I hope that it works for you.
drop n usa 2012

Saint Petersburg, FL

#19 Jan 9, 2012
Cannot afford there insurance anymore. I'm disable due to parkinsons.
Least this way I have no assets to sue for.
Stossel on Fox did not have insurance on his beach house. The natiopnal flood insurance program Fema rebuild it for him 3 timess
Learning everyday

AOL

#20 Jan 9, 2012
drop n usa 2012 wrote:
Cannot afford there insurance anymore. I'm disable due to parkinsons.
Least this way I have no assets to sue for.
Stossel on Fox did not have insurance on his beach house. The natiopnal flood insurance program Fema rebuild it for him 3 timess
Wow, that is interesting about Stossel to take advantage of our country when he is wealthy !

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