Mar 27, 2024

Sinkholes Reported in St. Augustine: How to Identify One and What to Do About It


If your insurance protects your property against sinkholes, you may want to file a claim after sinkhole damage. The claims process seems pretty straightforward on paper, except when it's time to implement it in real life. The truth is that your insurer will not immediately approve your claim. Instead, they'll most likely try to frustrate the whole process. 

But why would they do this despite knowing that you're covered against this kind of damage? Here's why.

Insurance is business. Even though insurance companies seem caring and understanding in their commercials, most are not who they claim to be. Such companies always put their interests first before anything else. 

Back to the business aspect, insurance providers know that sinkhole claims are usually expensive to settle. For his reason, they'll try anything they can to dismiss or undervalue your claim. Remember, these companies make billions of profits a year through the insurance premiums their clients pay. So the less they spend on claims, the more profits they make. 

When you file a sinkhole claim with your insurer in St. Augustine or anywhere else in Florida, the insurer will most likely send a claims adjuster and a team of geologists to investigate the site. The geologists focus on whether the damages derive from sinkholes. On the other hand, the claims adjuster will evaluate the claim's value. 

But there's one more thing you need to know. 

These claims adjusters and geologists mostly work directly with insurance companies. Therefore, it's not unusual to come across biased reports about the sinkhole. The adjuster might undervalue your claim, while the geologist might not conduct thorough investigations. All these tactics are meant to make insurance companies even richer. 

If you or someone you know has been denied compensation or offered far less than what they deserve following damages caused by a sinkhole, an experienced sinkhole attorney can help. 

When you contact an attorney for a case evaluation, they will determine whether you have a valid claim against the insurance company. Once they've established that you have a valid claim, they'll conduct independent investigations to prove the validity of your claim. 

It should be noted that when insurance companies deny such claims, chances are they did not conduct thorough investigations. Instead, they conduct what's commonly known as a 'drive-through' investigation, meaning they don't dig into the deeper details of the accident to find out the facts. As a result, their decision to deny a claim is usually based on assumptions and not facts.

When you have an experienced sinkhole lawyer fighting for your rights, you'll rest assured that the attorney deals with facts and not assumptions. And as long as you have facts on your side, you have a right to file a claim. 

An attorney can also help file an appeal if the initial claim is denied. Unfortunately, the appeals process is usually complicated. It requires additional investigation, complex paperwork, hours of research, and so much more. This process can be overwhelming, especially if you're still struggling to recover from the damages caused by the sinkhole. 

Working with an attorney is also beneficial because they understand the various tactics insurance companies use to deny such claims. As mentioned earlier, when your claim gets denied for a particular reason, you may not realize that the insurance company didn't even investigate the incident as they should have. This is something an attorney should be able to tell just by looking at the reason for denial. 

Contact a Morgan & Morgan Sinkhole Attorney in St. Augustine

Sinkholes occur when you least expect it. And they are expensive to fix. If your insurance protects you from such damages, you shouldn't beg for compensation; you're entitled to it. 

At Morgan & Morgan, we have the resources to fight for you or your loved one if the insurer denies the claim based on assumption rather than facts. The same applies if they offer way less than required to fix the damages caused by the sinkhole. 

Call our St. Augustine office at 904-417-4170 right away or fill out our free, confidential online case evaluation form if you need expert legal assistance.