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Sinkholes Here in The Villages

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As most of you have heard and read, as in past years, sinkholes have opened up here in The Villages. (Last year, we heard about sinkholes in Sunset Point and Belvedere.) This year, we made national news with the sinkhole in Buttonwood.

Here are some links to the national and local coverage of these most recent sinkholes.

Orlando Sentinel:
     Sinkhole in The Villages threatens 2 homes
     Sumter Sinkhole Reopens Video
     Large sinkhole reopens at The Villages, crews refill chasm
Bay News 9:
     Sinkholes in Florida
     More homes in The Villages could be in danger from sinkhole
Christian Science Monitor:
     Florida sinkhole: Massive hole between two homes is plugged
Mail Online:
     Retirement community sinkhole reopens four days after it was filled in and has now doubled in size to 65 feet wide
Travelers Today:

     Florida Sinkhole [VIDEO]: Massive Sinkhole In ‘The Villages’ Neighborhood Reopens And Frightens Residents. What Can This Mean For Future Sinkholes In Florida?

The Villages Daily Sun reported on this most current sinkhole in its Sunday, April 20th, issue in an article by David R. Corder, "They've got it plugged; we're making progress". The paper also had an excellent article, "The Science of Sinkholes". Unfortunately, the paper no longer archives its stories online so I can't share it here.

Sinkhole & Sinkhole Insurance Information

Sinkholes and Catastrophic Ground Collapse — Florida has more sinkholes than any other state in the nation. A recent change in Florida law requires authorized insurers to cover “catastrophic ground cover collapse,” but damage caused by a sinkhole may not be covered by your policy.

That’s because the law defines catastrophic ground cover collapse differently from sinkhole.

Fox News — My Fox Tampa Bay:
     Sinkholes: what insurance does and doesn't cover

The state of Florida is unique. In Florida, home insurance policies must include coverage for what's known as "catastrophic ground cover collapse." ‘Ground cover’ is a phrase that describes the area of the earth (covering the ground) that opens up. Under the Florida law, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services, if a sinkhole occurs under your home, you would be covered if the incident meets four criteria:

1. The collapse of the ground cover in an abrupt manner.

2. A resulting depression in the ground cover that can be seen by the naked eye.

3. Damage to the building’s structure and foundation.

4. An order that the building be condemned and vacated.

In other words, a Florida homeowner’s policy would likely cover the extreme case where the back of the house disappears into a sinkhole, but it might not cover cracks in the foundation if your home is still habitable. To have coverage for the latter under Florida law, you may need optional sinkhole activity coverage, which is typically available through a rider, or addition, to your home insurance policy.

For more information about sinkholes:

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