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Sinkhole Coverage and Claims

Citizens offers Sinkhole Loss coverage as an optional endorsement for Homeowners 3 - Special Form (CIT HO-3), Homeowners 8 - Modified Coverage Form (CIT HO-8) policies, and Dwelling Property 1 - Basic Form (CIT DP-1) and Dwelling Property 3 - Special Form (CIT DP-3) policies with Building coverage. Tenant contents, condominium and mobile home policies automatically include Sinkhole Loss coverage.

Sinkhole Loss coverage protects homeowners from structural damage to their home resulting from confirmed sinkhole activity. Sinkhole Loss coverage is different from Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse coverage, which automatically is included in most Citizens policies. Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse coverage applies only when geological activity results in all of the following conditions:

  • Abrupt collapse of ground cover
  • A depression in the ground cover that is clearly visible to the naked eye
  • Structural damage to the building, including the foundation
  • Condemnation of the structure and order by government authorities that it be vacated

Since 2006, more than 15,000 sinkhole-related claims have been reported to Citizens. To protect our policyholders from the rising costs of Sinkhole Loss coverage, Citizens requires sinkhole inspections when policyholders add Sinkhole Loss coverage to their policy if the covered building is located in one of 16 sinkhole-prone counties or if the coverage application indicates that there have been prior sinkhole claims or activity on the property.

The cost of sinkhole inspections is split evenly between Citizens and the policyholder. Upon completion of the inspection, Citizens' underwriting team will review the results and issue a decision on eligibility for Sinkhole Loss coverage. Policies that do not qualify for Sinkhole Loss coverage still may be eligible for regular Citizens coverage, which includes coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse.