Florida homeowners insurance
One of the expenses of owning a home is homeowners insurance. While some parts of your policy are optional, most homeowners insurance policies also have mandatory provisions in them. For example, Florida homeowners insurance requires all homes to have coverage for hurricane damage thanks to the number of hurricanes that strike the area.
There are some mandatory coverage requirements that lenders will require on your homeowner’s policy. Some of these include:
- Replacement value: Florida homeowners insurance companies are not allowed to charge a homeowner excessive insurance based on anything other than replacement value. This is governed under Florida Administrative Code 69O-167.009. For example, if you purchase a home for $500,000 and your replacement value is $500,000, your insurance can be for $500,000. The replacement value insurance can be higher than (a) the amount of your loan or (b) the actual replacement value of your home, whichever is greater. This insurance is to protect the lender in the event your home is a total loss.
- Liability coverage: Liability coverage protects the homeowner against claims for injuries that occurred at their home or on the grounds of their home. Additional coverage may also be provided for trees falling and striking your neighbors home or vehicle. It is important to note that while many policies also cover liability for dog bites, you may be paying a higher premium for certain breeds, or you may have an exclusion for certain breeds.
- Medical coverage: Insurance will also cover medical costs for anyone injured on your property. This coverage does not include occupants of the home or relatives injured at your home. Again, it is important to determine if your insurer covers dog bites if you own a dog.
- Additional structures: If your property has a garage or a dock you may also be required to carry an additional structure rider on your policy. This is typical on nearly all homeowners policies.
- Loss of use: If your home is destroyed by a storm and you are unable to live in the home, you may be able to use your insurance to pay for shelter while your home is being repaired. Loss of use covers additional living expenses while your home is being repaired or rebuilt.
What you need to know
Because Florida is subject to hurricanes and other storms, you may be required to carry additional riders on your homeowners insurance policy. However, you can mitigate the cost of hurricane coverage if some basic criteria are met. For example, homes that had roofs replaced after 2002 were required to have hurricane code straps holding down roof trusses. If you have a newer roof, you can lower the cost of your homeowners insurance by requesting a wind mitigation inspection. While this inspection may cost you upwards of $150, you can save up to 25-50 percent on your coverage.
Homeowners insurance is important for both you and your lender. There are numerous riders that are available to help you save money and to reduce your financial risk. Depending on where your home is located, you may also be required by your lender to have flood insurance in addition to your Florida homowners insurance policy.
Call our office today to discuss your loan options toll free at 855-554-2673 or direct 239-431-5889. We have insurance companies and agents we can recommend you speak with directly.
This blog is for informational purposes only. We are not licensed insurance agents and only giving our opinion. Please call your insurance agent with Florida homeowners insurance questions. NMLS #849597