Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products, including home, life, auto, and commercial, and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, mainly in the insuranc...

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UPDATED: Oct 19, 2021

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Important facts to know...

  • Cars can be seriously damaged or even totaled by sinkholes
  • Depending on the circumstances, collision and comprehensive insurance may cover losses caused by unexpected sinkholes
  • In rare instances, liability insurance might cover losses

Once seen, the images of catastrophes involving sinkholes are impossible to erase from the mind. Video footage capturing sinkhole disasters do make the news and anyone viewing the footage likely feels a sense of shock.

The imagery appears like a horror movie come to life. The scariest aspect of sinkholes derives from the holes’ ability to occur without warning and cause damage, serious injuries, and even fatalities.

So, what exactly are these mysterious sinkholes? A sinkhole involves a massive hole in the ground emerging rapidly due to anomalies deep in the dirt. The surface collapses and the resulting hole can take whatever rests on ground level with it.

A vehicle being absorbed by a sinkhole, while uncommon, is a possibility. In the aftermath of a sinkhole disaster, a car could be completely destroyed. The obvious financial loss can be a further shock to a sinkhole sufferer. Will an insurance policy pay for the loss?

Compare car insurance quotes and options to find the right coverage at the right price. Enter your zip code into our free comparison tool above.

Insurance Coverage for Sinkholes

Confusion exists over whether automobiles are protected against sinkholes. With auto insurance, additional insurance is required to cover damage resulting from a sinkhole.

However, the added insurance won’t be a “sinkhole-only” coverage. Rather, the addition of specific insurance types should be enough to cover losses related to sinkhole mishaps.

A basic auto insurance policy contains the all-important liability coverage necessary to satisfy state minimum requirements.

Wise drivers, hopefully, will engage in comparison shopping to find good deals on increases in limit amounts.

Bare minimum liability coverage likely won’t be enough to protect the assets of many drivers.

A point must be made here. Basic auto liability coverage, no matter how significant the amount, won’t cover losses that fall under the collision or comprehensive coverage categories.

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A Natural Disaster by Any Name

Sinkholes are, essentially, a form of natural disaster. While a human element may contribute to the development of a sinkhole, this would be irrelevant as far as insurance coverage is concerned.

Comprehensive insurance should assist those whose cars are wrecked by a sinkhole under certain conditions.

With a sinkhole situation, comprehensive coverage would be accessible if the vehicle was either not in motion or not occupied by the driver. So, a parked vehicle absorbed by a sinkhole could be recovered financially under a comprehensive claim.

Comprehensive insurance has limits. A different coverage option must be accessed when the driver takes the car out on the road.

A Strange Accident

With collision insurance in place, any damage to the vehicle that occurs while the car is being operated should be covered.

Drivers think of collision insurance as only covering at-fault losses. Such scenarios involve a driver damaging his or her own car would be deemed at-fault.

Driving and running into a sinkhole would generate a collision claim.

A claim filed under either collision or comprehensive insurance would cover the damages minus the deductible. The insurance company’s adjuster investigates the claim to both make sure the filing is legitimate and to assess a proper value for the loss.

The Liability Situation

If a negligent driver were to contribute to damage related to a sinkhole collision, then a claim could be filed against that driver’s auto liability policy.

For example, a safe driver stopped right in front of a sinkhole, but a speeding negligent driver crashes into the stopped vehicle forcing the car into the sinkhole. In the aftermath, a claim may be filed against the at-fault driver’s policy.

A partial exception to this would be in a no-fault state in which personal injury protection and medical payments would cover bodily harm. The potential does exist to file a liability claim depending on the seriousness of the accident.

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Protections against Calamities

The following types of auto insurance coverage plans protect against all sorts of unexpected dangers:

  • collision
  • comprehensive
  • liability

Sinkholes are among those dangers.

Since no one can predict what might happen on the road or even in front of a house, putting the right coverage in place prevents disastrous financial losses.

As always, comparing different policy quotes increases the chances of getting a solid deal on added coverage options.

If it has been six months since any comparison shopping was performed, maybe today is a right time to ask for some quotes. Enter your zip code below to get started.