Sinkhole law fixed little, officials and homeowners agree
Despite repeated attempts, the Florida Legislature has yet to write a sinkhole insurance law that prevents abuses yet ensures affordable coverage for homeowners with legitimate sinkhole damage.
That is the conclusion many readers and officials came to after reading "Cracks in the System," a Tampa Bay Times series revealing that hundreds of homeowners in Florida's "sinkhole alley'' — Hernando, Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas counties — received big insurance payouts but never made repairs.
Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, said recent changes to state law won't solve the no-repair problem because they still allow a "major out'' for insurers.
If tests show it would cost more to fix sinkhole damage than the policy covers, "insurance companies can just write a check'' to the homeowner, Fasano said. The result: Homeowners might still take payouts but use the money for something other than repairs.