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What Is Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse Insurance?

Catastrophic ground cover collapse (CGCC) is a severe form of sinkhole loss when layers under the ground’s surface abruptly collapse, cause a visible depression in the ground, and make a home uninhabitable. 

Catastrophic ground cover collapse insurance kicks in when all these conditions are met:

  1. Ground cover abruptly collapsed.
  2. A depression in the ground cover is clearly visible to the naked eye.
  3. There’s structural damage to the home and its foundation.
  4. A government agency condemns the home and orders it to be vacated.

All Florida home insurance policies are required to include catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage. It offers key protection when your home faces extreme sinkhole damage. 

Catastrophic Ground Collapse Coverage vs. Sinkhole Insurance

Catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage is way more restrictive than sinkhole coverage. As we mentioned above, all four conditions must be met before your coverage can help out. Your home has to be so devastated by a visible depression in the ground that it’s legally uninhabitable. 

By contrast, sinkhole insurance can cover smaller damages caused by sinkholes, like cracks in the foundation and buckling floors or walls. Your home can still be inhabitable and this coverage will still kick in. 

Neither type of coverage pays for sinkhole damage to driveways, sidewalks, swimming pools, patio decks, or open land.

Is Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

Yes, catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage is included in your standard Florida homeowners insurance policy. Sinkhole insurance is not, but we can easily add it on for extra protection if you’re in an area prone to minor sinkhole activity.

Signs of Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse

Sinkholes happen without warning, but the severity varies. You may suddenly see a hole in your front yard. You may see small cracks in the floor or ceiling – a sign that the foundation might’ve moved and strained the structure of the home. Or you might notice water pooling in an area that was previously draining properly. These could be signs that layers under the surface of the ground are moving and eroding – it could lead to a big hole in the future. 

Here are other signs that a sinkhole may be growing under your home:

  • Floor displacement.
  • Foundation un-leveling and displacement.
  • Buckling walls.
  • Ground depressions.
  • Cracks in the wall and ceiling.

Learning the early signs of a sinkhole can help you take action before the damage gets out of hand.

What to Do After Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse

If your home has damage from catastrophic ground cover collapse, there’s almost no mistaking it. To meet this threshold, the hole in the ground must be clearly visible, and the home has to be so damaged that it’s inhabitable.

Once you experience this type of loss, get yourself, your family, and pets to safety and call your insurance company to begin the claims process. We’ll consult a professional engineer or geologist to confirm the damage and provide a sinkhole report for the claim.

Remember that sinkholes are unpredictable, so you don’t want to be stuck in the house when the floor collapses out from under you. 

In the event of a catastrophic ground cover collapse claim:

  • Evacuate immediately.
  • Remove personal items at risk if you can do so safely.
  • File a claim with your insurance company.
  • Notify the city or county building inspector.
  • Tape or rope off the area for safety (if you’re able).

Don’t enter the area because the ground is unstable and dangerous. 

Areas Prone to Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse

Sinkholes tend to form in regions with limestone deposits and underground water supplies. These states have the highest sinkhole risk

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Alabama
  • Missouri
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Pennsylvania

Geologists predict these areas have a one-in-100 chance of a catastrophic sinkhole occurrence in a year. Sinkhole activity is highest after a storm with significant flooding that doesn’t drain. 

There may not be much you can do to prevent a sinkhole, but you can make sure that you have the right coverage to protect yourself.

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