Are sinkholes covered by insurance?

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Things to remember...
  • Sinkholes can happen at any time
  • Basic car insurance will not cover sinkholes
  • It’s important to have comprehensive coverage in place to protect against the unexpected

Sinkholes are scary when they happen. They involve erosion of the earth that create holes of varying sizes. They have been known to swallow up cars, homes, and much more.

If your car falls victim to a sinkhole, you need to know if you have sufficient car insurance coverage in place.

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The Type of Insurance Required to Cover Sinkholes

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It’s important to have the right type of insurance in place when you file a claim for sinkhole damage. A basic auto insurance policy is only going to protect against auto crashes.

Since a sinkhole does not qualify, you need to explore the “optional” coverage that is available to you.

The state is going to require you to have liability insurance for property damage and bodily injury. Then, it’s up to you to add on comprehensive coverage. This type of coverage protects you against non-driving related incidents, including:

Comprehensive coverage should always be added to a policy if your vehicle is worth enough money to warrant it.

A sinkhole has the possibility to open up at anytime, anywhere. To avoid having to repair or replace your vehicle out of your own pocket, the best option is to have the financial protection in place with comprehensive coverage.

Adding this coverage is often only a small portion of your premiums. Getting quotes from multiple companies will show you just what it will cost.

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Filing a Claim with the Insurance Company

The moment you experience the damage with a sinkhole, you need to notify your insurance company.

Depending on the size of the sinkhole and the other damage it has caused, you might be focused on various other things. However, insurance companies have a specific window where claims need to be filed.

If your car is actually lost inside of the sinkhole, it might be necessary for an insurance claims officer to come down to the site in order to carry out some of the investigation.

You will also need to provide an official statement to attach to the claim records as to what happened.

Once the investigation is complete, the insurance company will pay to repair or replace the vehicle if it is approved. This might require visiting a specific body shop.

You will also need to pay the deductible that’s identified on your policy before the insurance company will pay their part.

Other Types of Insurance to Explore

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When it comes to car-related incidents, it’s best to have the protection in place on your car insurance policy. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t other types of insurance available to you, however.

In the event of a sinkhole, there may be other forms of coverage that could potentially protect you as well. It will all depend upon what you have and any riders that may have been added to a policy

Gap insurance is often provided by dealerships or the manufacturer. This is a benefit as it would provide a full replacement of your vehicle in the event of it being totaled. If your car disappears into a sinkhole, this would qualify you for gap replacement.

If your car is parked on your personal property, your home insurance might take care of the car repairs or replacement as well.

In many instances, this will require a rider known as earth movement, which is what a sinkhole is classified as. Otherwise, if you don’t have this particular coverage, a claim will often be denied.

Being a safe driver has nothing to do with your car being damaged by a sinkhole.

It’s important to have comprehensive coverage in place on your car insurance policy.

Since you never know when such a thing could happen, you need to have the financial protection in place with a quality policy. Otherwise, the cost of repairs could be substantial, making it difficult for you to afford to get your car back into a drivable state.

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