Florida homeowners insurance
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Finding the best Florida homeowners insurance
Finding the right homeowners insurance for your Florida residence may seem like a daunting task with so many variables and options to sort through. However, when you have all the information surrounding this important purchase, you can choose the best option for your specific needs. A bit of research will enable you to pinpoint the Florida homeowners insurance that fits your unique profile.
Reasons for home insurance in Florida
Florida's broad-based appeal and natural attractions have made it a popular place for retirees, singles and young people raising their families. There are over 10 million housing units in Florida, with a median value of $248,700. That makes for a lot of people and a lot of homes that need protection. There are several reasons for acquiring a Florida homeowners insurance policy.
Florida's geographic location between the Caribbean Sea and the south Atlantic Ocean makes it a prime target for hurricanes. In fact, six of the 10 costliest storms in United States history have done significant damage to the Sunshine State. The Florida cities of Bradenton, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Naples and Tampa are located in storm surge "eyes" and are among the top 15 cities in the nation at the highest risk for storm damage.
The population of the Sunshine State is currently over 22 million and is still rising, and three-quarters of them live in areas prone to coastal flooding. Florida's home insurance claims account for just 8% of the claims filed nationwide but the state accounts for over 75% of the nationwide lawsuits involving property claims. This excess litigation is creating issues for Florida homeowners insurance.
Requirements for Florida homeowners insurance
The state of Florida does not require homeowners to carry property insurance, but with the hazardous weather in Florida and the high potential for damage, it’s risky not to. Because of the issues with excessive numbers of claims and lawsuits, insurers in Florida are withdrawing coverage from the area or going out of business due to exorbitant payouts. A law passed in December 2022 was designed to tackle the issues of claims payments, fraud, litigation costs, flood insurance and the stability of insurance companies as well as the Citizens Property Insurance Corp, which is the insurer of last resort for the state of Florida.
Florida home insurance coverage
Florida homeowners insurance provides many customization opportunities for residents based on their individual needs.
Standard policy components
Standard policies are divided into multiple components:
• Coverage A: Dwelling Coverage.
• Coverage B: Other Structures.
• Coverage C: Personal Property.
• Coverage D: Additional Living Expenses.
• Coverage L: Personal Liability.
• Coverage M: Medical Payments.
Options for Florida homeowners property coverage perils
There are a number of property peril coverage forms from which to choose:
• HO-1: Basic form insurance covers aircraft damage, civil commotion and riots, explosions, fire and smoke, hail and wind, lightning, theft, vandalism, vehicle damage and volcanoes.
• HO-2: Broad form insurance policies cover the named perils in HO-1 plus water and steam damage, freezing of systems, electrical currents, falling objects, pipe damage and ice, snow and sleet damage.
• HO-3: Special form policies are open-peril policies that cover the structure of the home from any kind of peril that is not specifically excluded. Typical exclusions on HO-3 policies include earthquakes and flooding.
• HO-5: Comprehensive form policies also offer open-peril policies but cover Personal Property like belongings and possessions in addition to the structure of the home. The limits on HO-5 policies are also typically higher.
• HO-8: Older Home form policies cover homes that are more than 40 years old from the same perils that are covered in an HO-1 policy.
Florida home insurance costs
Florida has the third-highest home insurance rates in the country, behind Louisiana and Oklahoma, with an average annual cost of $2,380. The cost of insurance premiums depends on a number of factors.
Age of home
The older the home is, the more expensive it is to repair. Older homes need more extensive maintenance and are more susceptible to storm and flood damage than newer homes. The construction materials used in older homes can also create an issue and inflate the insurance rate.
If you live near a fire station or have close access to a fire hydrant, your Florida homeowner insurance rates may decrease up to 4%. Conversely, properties with fireplaces and wood-burning stoves may increase your premium by up to 2%.
Florida residents must contend with higher insurance rates than most areas of the country because of frequent storms. Rates within the state vary by location, down to the street, due to risk factors such as coastal proximity, the possibility of flood damage and local crime rate.
Married people are statistically less likely to file insurance claims than single people, so married couples are typically charged less for their Florida homeowners insurance premiums. Other personal factors that impact rates include credit history, outstanding debt, payment history and insurance claims history.
The deductible provides you with a straightforward way to lower the monthly payments on your Florida homeowners insurance policy. The higher your deductible, the more money you will have to pay out-of-pocket in an emergency — but you will pay less premium monthly. The decision about the amount of the deductible is based on the level of risk that you are comfortable with and the amount of money you are willing and able to pay for damage or loss in the event of an emergency.
This information is intended for general informational purposes only and is not intended to constitute legal advice.