Frequently Asked Questions About Blasting Insurance Claims

Home and business owners with property that may have been damaged by quarry blasting probably have a lot of questions. Here are some answers to the most frequently asked questions about quarry blasting damage:

There are cracks in my ceiling and walls. Were they caused by quarry blasting?

If your home is frequently rattled by explosions from a nearby quarry, cracks in the interior or exterior walls, and ceilings may have been caused by the blasts from the quarry. The only way to determine if your home was damaged by quarry blasting is to have it examined by experts. At Morgan & Morgan, we have a team of experts who will examine your home at no cost to you and determine the cause of the cracking.

How did quarry blasting cause damage to my property?

Quarries use explosives to break rock, but some of the energy escapes during the blast. Some of that energy escapes into the atmosphere to generate air-blasts or air vibrations, while the remainder of the energy leaves the blast site through the surface soil and limestone in the form of ground vibrations. Repeated exposure to these vibrations damage structures. If you can feel the vibrations from the explosions, then the vibrations could be powerful enough to damage your structure – even if the quarries are miles away from your home or business.

Will insurance cover damage caused by quarry blasting?

Most homeowners and business owners insurance policies provide coverage for cracking damage caused by blasting. If you believe your home or business may have been damaged as a result of blasting, then contact us for a free evaluation.

IMPORTANTLY, even if your insurance company has denied your claim, let us review that denial for free. If your insurance company is right, we will tell you. But, if they are wrong, we will let you know that, and what we can do to help. The most important thing to do is not be intimidated by a denial. Even if your insurance company had your home or building inspected by an engineer who said the blasting did not cause your damage, let us review your case for free. Many times, we are able to use that engineering report against the insurance company. "No" is not the end of the inquiry. It’s just the beginning. In fact, every case we’ve ever won all have one thing in common. They all started with “no.”

Do I need to file a claim FIRST in order for your firm to help me?

No, you do not need to file a claim first. You will be assigned a case staff member who will look into the matter first and let you know when to file the claim with your insurance.

Will my insurance drop me?

Every situation and insurance company is different. Your attorney will be able to assess your situation. This is just the first step for us to look into your matter further; no action is going to be taken on your behalf until you speak with your case staff to further evaluate your claim.

Will my insurance raise my premiums?

A: Every situation and insurance company is different. Your attorney will be able to assess your situation. This is just the first step for us to look into your matter further; no action is going to be taken on your behalf until you speak with your case staff to further evaluate your claim.

How much will this cost me?

There are no out of pocket expenses or costs to you. In most of our cases, if we win, the insurance company must pay all of our attorneys’ fees and costs. If we lose, we will work for free.

I have already made repairs to the damages caused by the quarry blasting. Can you still help me?

We may be able to assist, our attorneys’ just need to look into the matter a bit further to determine whether or not we can assist.

Why aren’t we suing the quarry mines?

Florida law essentially protects mines from being used over blasting.

What is a quarry?

Quarries extract rock from the earth with the use of explosives. When the explosives are detonated, large chunks of rock break off, and that rock is crushed into smaller pieces for use in construction, or for use in construction materials. In Florida, rock quarry mining is a billion-dollar business, and companies extract tens of millions of tons of limestone annually. All that blasting takes a toll.

What if the State, County or City says the quarry didn’t cause the damage?

Even if the State, County or City says that the quarry didn’t cause the damage, let us look at your case for free. We have found that many so-called “experts” say that a blast is not strong enough to cause damage. But, they often ignore the cumulative effect that repeated blasts over time has on structures. No matter what, do not be intimidated by anyone who says that the blasting is not causing the damage. Let our team of professionals review your case, so we can figure out what is causing the damage.

What if I’m miles away from the blast sight?

If you can feel the blast, so can your house. We have proven that blasts can cause cracking miles away from a structure.

How do quarries monitor blasts?

Every rock quarry is monitored by a seismograph — an instrument that measures ground movement — and a seismologist. These records are often powerful evidence we can use against your insurance company.

Why was a quarry built so close to my property?

Quarries have been operating extensively in Florida for decades, but they weren’t always located so close to homes and businesses. Some neighborhoods now located near quarries did not exist when the quarry originally opened, and were only built after.

Today, there are homes and businesses in Florida located within as little as 1,000 feet of a quarry.

Why do I feel blasting from the quarry?

While most of the energy from a quarry blast is used to break rock, some of the energy will travel from the blast site in the form of ground and airwaves. Because humans are sensitive to all vibrations, you may feel your house shake even at low levels.

What happens AFTER the blasting claim if my home gets damaged again due to the blasting? Will I have to file another claim?**

In addition to getting all existing damage from blasting repaired, we also include in the claim an estimate to retrofit the foundation of the home to protect against future blasting damage. In most insurance policies there is language that states that after a loss the insurance company must make reasonable and necessary repairs to protect the property. And yes, if there is damage to the home after it has been repaired they can file another damage claim.