5 Things Floridians Should Know About Homeowners Insurance
Out of the fifty states, Florida stands third in population, is the nation’s top tourist destination, and has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country.
What is so different about Florida compared to other states when it comes to homeowner’s insurance?
Florida Homes are Extremely Vulnerable to Storm Damage
Florida’s “highest elevation” is the lowest high point of all states, and Florida also has the least difference between the highest and lowest elevation statewide.
The average height above sea level is only 6 feet, with large areas of the state existing only 3 feet above sea level. Florida also has the most coastline out of the
lower 48 states, bordering both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. All these factors put Florida homes at a higher level of risk for storm damage than
homes in most other states.
Florida Homeowners Insurance Policies Don’t Cover Flood
Homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage done by flood. Flood insurance must be purchased as a separate policy, and is available through many
insurance carriers via the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is designed to keep flood insurance rates affordable. The national average for an
annual flood insurance policy premium is $700, although rates go up and down depending on location. All Floridians are urged to obtain flood insurance.
High Florida Property Values Lead to High Rates
Houses and condominiums in Florida – especially along the coast – are typically high in value and more likely to be considered luxury residences than in
many other regions. Repair or replacement of a home damaged by a storm can be extremely expensive, and home value / estimated cost of replacement
influences homeowner’s insurance rates. Securing an accurate home valuation can help ensure you are adequately covered but not overpaying for your
Homeowners Insurance Fraud in Florida has Skyrocketed
It is extremely important to always call your insurance agent first if you suspect damage to your home has occurred. A significant reason behind high
homeowners insurance rates in Florida is the ever increasing issue of homeowners insurance fraud. Assignment of Benefits (AOB) fraud accounts for
a huge percentage. Don’t sign an AOB form or allow contractors access to your home or roof without your agent’s and/or insurer’s approval.
Not all Homeowners Insurance Policies are the Same
While there are certain basics that most standard homeowner’s insurance (HO3, owner occupied) policies adhere to, not all policies or insurers are the
same. A slightly higher premium can make a big difference in coverage and could also lower your deductible. When shopping for a Florida homeowners
insurance policy, discuss your situation with an agent and look beyond pricing to help ensure you are getting the best policy for your specific needs.
Floridians live in a unique state, so it is not surprising that their homeowner’s insurance needs may also be unique. Understanding the ins and outs of
insurance and the specific challenges Florida poses can help you make an informed choice.