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Another Sinkhole Swallows a South Florida Backyard in Less Than a Month

For the second time in a month a Florida family wakes up to find their backyard missing: a huge 105 feet long by 80 feet wide sinkhole had swallowed it…According to, when Robert Matheny woke up last Monday and opened the curtains to his backyard window his first words to his wife were “do you think it’s time to move? It just took them 12 hours to pack 37 years worth of stuff and move out.

Earlier this month another Florida family, from Windmere, had to move out of their home when a 100 feet wide and 50 feet deep sinkhole swallowed most of their backyard, including several trees and a hammock. Several neighbors were considering moving out as well.

Fairly Common Occurrence

Sinkholes are formed by the accumulation of water on karst terrains, which leads to the dissolution of the minerals that hold the underlying bedrock together, creating a hole large enough for the ground on top to cave in. Considering that most of Florida is formed by karst terrains, sinkholes are not uncommon here. Yet, we only hear about them when they occur near houses and threaten to swallow them.

Insurance Coverage?

Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover sinkhole losses automatically. As opposed to damages caused by “catastrophic ground collapse” (which many confuse with the damage caused by a sinkhole), the law does not require that insurance companies cover damages caused by sinkholes, unless the homeowner specifically asks for that coverage and pays an additional premium.

Please note that the legal definition of a sinkhole is “a landform created by the subsidence of soil, sediment, or rock as underlying strata is dissolved by groundwater”, while the legal definition of a “catastrophic ground cover collapse” is a “geological activity that results in the abrupt collapse and clearly visible depression of the ground cover”. We recommend you check our website’s Sinkhole Damage Insurance Claims page to familiarize yourself with our experience handling these claims.

We Can Help With Your Homeowner’s Insurance Claim

With more than 55 years of combined experience, the Miami Dade County Homeowners Insurance Claims Law Offices of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have helped thousands of Homeowners all over Florida review their policies, present their claims and get the compensation owed them by their insurance carrier.

You should always have an attorney help you review your policy and advise you on what coverage you should have and for how much. If you are about to renew your policy (with the same insurer or a new one), we can help you review it and make sure you are adequately covered and in a position to avoid costly expenses should disaster strike. Visit our website to learn more about our firm and contact us today for a free consultation.

Please note that our practice has been extended with a new satellite office in Aventura to better serve clients that reside in Ft. Lauderdale, Hollywood, Hallandale Beach, Dania & Dania Beach, Miramar, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Aventura, Miami Beach, Surfside, Sunny Isles and Miami Gardens.

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