Are sinkholes covered under insurance?

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Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP®

UPDATED: May 22, 2019

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Common collision and comprehensive auto insurance coverages protect against sinkholes
  • Sinkholes are common and can also result in bodily injury
  • Know your policy and your coverages/limits before a sinkhole strikes

Sinkholes are surprisingly common across the entire United States. A sinkhole occurs when the ground falls out from underneath itself, leaving behind a massive hole.

Car insurance is a tricky thing to measure in regard to sinkholes. Whether or not the car insurance carrier that you have is going to cover damage caused by a sinkhole will depend on several factors.

The factors are going to include:

  • the types of auto insurance coverage that you have on your policy
  • what kind of damages
  • the extent of those damages

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Sinkholes are Common


According to research that was done by the U.S. Geological Survey, roughly 20 to 25 percent of the entire United States is at risk to suffer from sinkholes. The most common areas that you find sinkholes include in the following states:

  • Florida
  • Texas
  • Tennessee
  • Pennsylvania

Typical Coverages

The two basic coverages that are going to come into play when talking about sinkhole damage include both your comprehensive and your collision coverage.

As long as these are included in your policy, repairs for your vehicle, as a basic rule of thumb, are going to be covered.

If you were injured, that is when things get a bit trickier. Chances are the car insurance coverage that you have is only going to pay for the medical treatment required, nothing behind that. This extra is covered by your medical payments or personal injury protection insurance.

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Determining What is Covered

The coverage that goes into effect is going to depend largely on how the accident occurred. Collision coverage is what is most common when you are talking about sinkholes.

If your car hit the pavement that was created as a result of the hole’s formation, a collision claim would be filed to recover the damage.

If you are the car was just parked and not in motion, that is when comprehensive coverage is going to come into play.

The comprehensive portion of your policy will allow you to recover damages.

The medical bills discussed above are going to require med-pay and personal injury protection coverage on your auto insurance policy as well.

Deductibles and Limits


As a consumer, it is critical to know the limits of your policy and the associated coverages. If you do not have collision coverage, comprehensive coverage, even personal injury protection, start to consider them.

Perform price comparisons online to see where you get the most value for our premium dollars. If a sinkhole damages your vehicle, you’ll be glad you had the right coverage in place.

Compare quotes right here to find the best coverage for your car insurance needs.

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