When Sinkholes Attack

When Sinkholes Attack

Sinkholes on East Cherry Street in Palmyra. Paul Chaplin | pchaplin@pennlive.com

3 Things a Homeowner Needs to Know

Hershey, Annville, Palmyra, and surrounding areas are riddled with sinkholes – just look at the Cherry Street sinkholes for example. Lately, sinkholes have been opening up with Harrisburg city limits from Uptown to Allison Hill. Sinkhole damage has been widely discussed pertaining to the roadways as we recently saw in a discussion on PennLive.com, with Today’s the Day Harrisburg. What does it mean to a homeowner when you see a sinkhole near your home? What happens when it becomes damaged by a sinkhole?

  1. Damage to your home caused by sinkholes is not covered by the standard homeowners policy. In Pennsylvania coverage for damage due to sinkholes must be added to your policy with an endorsement. An endorsement is insurance language for an added coverage or change to coverage. You may purchase the Sinkhole Endorsement for an added fee which varies per policy, just as people are – each policy is different.
  2. If a sinkhole opens up on your property and does not damage any structure on the property there is no coverage to repair the land. A homeowners policy is just that – for the home & other structures.
  3. If you wait until a sinkhole opens up near you it may be too late to purchase the coverage. As a broker, we utilize a number of carriers to ensure the best fit for each of our insureds and each carrier handles their procedures differently. Across the board we have seen companies shying away from writing a sinkhole endorsement on a home that is within a certain range of a current sinkhole.

Sinkholes are a very real problem in our area and with action being taken on the infrastructure of the city to remedy the problem, homeowners should be aware of what it means to them as property-owners. Taking into consideration the geography of our area and the ever-increasing occurrence of sinkholes it is definitely a coverage that is worth looking into.

Most of our insurance carriers offer sinkhole coverage. We can help you find the right fit for your family. Our team has decades of experience working with sinkhole coverage and how to put it onto your policy. Let’s work together to review your coverage – meet our team.