If you're a homeowner in Missouri, you can now purchase sinkhole coverage through the FAIR Plan, the state's insurance of last resort. The plan started issuing the standalone Sinkhole Loss policy earlier this year to supplement the homeowner's primary coverage.

"The availability of sinkhole coverage through the FAIR Plan is a positive step in the right direction," said Missouri Department of Insurance Director John M. Huff in a statement. "I applaud Governor Nixon and the legislature in enacting Senate Bill 691 that gives consumers more insurance coverage options."

What is a sinkhole? It's a depression or hole in the ground caused by collapses in the layers below the surface that can form gradually or suddenly. Most homeowners policies exclude coverage for sinkholes, and it's difficult to find an insurance company that offers the coverage even on an optional basis.  

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Rosalie Donlon

Rosalie Donlon is the editor in chief of ALM's insurance and tax publications, including NU Property & Casualty magazine and NU PropertyCasualty360.com. You can contact her at [email protected].