Sinkholes and Your Right to Know

Posted On: September 01, 2017

One area of specialty in our firm is representing homeowners when there is a dispute between the insurance company and the insured.  In particular, we have handled a multitude of claims regarding sinkhole coverage and homeowners’ rights to have insurance coverage in these situations.  As a part of our practice, we work with homeowners and businesses whose homes and offices have been damaged as a result of sinkhole activity.  Many times, there is no insurance that covers these types of losses unless it was specifically purchased.  Knowledge of where these sinkholes are located and whether they have been filled or not, is a way for individuals to learn about the property before they purchase, make an assessment of risk, and secure the proper insurance if necessary.  Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-212, passed by the legislature in 2015, requires sellers to disclose the presence of a known sinkhole on the property.  Here are a couple of pointers if you are purchasing property in middle Tennessee: (1) Check the plat maps for sinkholes (2) check the Tennessee Residential Disclosure Form to see if there is a known sinkhole on the property that you are purchasing (3) before purchasing insurance for your new home, check the policy and make sure you have coverage for sinkholes, if you don’t consider asking your agent about coverage.  While you can’t prevent nature from taking its course, by being more informed, you can protect yourself and your home.

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