Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or you recently moved to Florida, you’ll need homeowners insurance to protect your home against natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and other hazards. Though, if you’re new to Florida, it’s important to understand how homeowners insurance here is different than in other states. From roof requirements to higher-than-expected premiums, new Florida homeowners may be caught off guard when searching for a policy in the Sunshine State.
To help you get started, read on for your complete guide to getting homeowners insurance in Florida. Afterward, if you’re ready to start exploring your options, contact our team at FIB Insurance for a free homeowner’s insurance quote.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance includes several coverages that can help protect your property and personal belongings against hazards like theft, vandalism, hurricanes, and fires.
These coverages include:
● Dwelling coverage: Pays for damages to your home’s primary structure.
● Other structures coverage: Pays for damages to detached structures, which may include sheds, detached garages, or guest houses.
● Personal property coverage: Pays to replace or repair personal belongings, including furniture, electronics, clothing, and appliances.
● Additional living expenses (ALE) coverage: Pays for additional living expenses you may incur while your home is being rebuilt after it is damaged or destroyed by a covered hazard.
Homeowners insurance also includes personal liability coverage, which can help pay for medical bills and legal expenses if you’re found legally responsible after a guest is injured on your property.
To understand what specific hazards are included in your policy, contact your insurance carrier or review your policy’s declarations page, which will name which hazards are or aren’t covered.
Why Are Premiums Higher in Florida?
New homeowners in Florida are often surprised by how much higher home insurance premiums are than in other states.
Due to Florida’s coastal location, the state is particularly vulnerable to natural disasters like hurricanes. According to the Insurance Information Institute, over two million single-family homes in Florida are at risk of storm surge damage.
As the risk of hurricane damage is much higher in Florida than in other states, homeowners insurance premiums are higher to compensate for the increased risk that carriers take on when insuring a home.
This is exacerbated by the fact that hurricanes typically cause damage to large areas, meaning insurance providers typically receive a large number of claims all at once, which can be very costly for carriers.
Some insurance companies have stopped offering home insurance in Florida. As a result, there are fewer home insurance carriers in the state, which causes premiums to increase even more.
Roof Requirements for Homeowners Insurance in Florida
As Florida is very susceptible to damage from hurricanes and tropical storms, many insurance carriers would only insure homeowners whose roofs were relatively new and in good shape. This led to many homeowners having their policies canceled or being refused coverage due to the age or condition of their roofs.
To combat this, Florida legislators have implemented new roof requirements for homeowners insurance in Florida.
Homeowners can no longer be denied coverage because of a roof’s age if the roof is less than 15 years old. If your home’s roof is older than 15 years, insurance companies are still required to allow an inspection to evaluate the roof’s condition before denying coverage.
New insurance laws also dictate that roofs with more than 25 percent damage can be repaired rather than replaced as long as they comply with the state’s building code.
Homes that don’t meet roof requirements may be eligible for a $10,000 grant to retrofit their homes, making them less susceptible to hurricane damage.
Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Damage from Storm Surge?
In most cases, yes, Florida homeowners do need flood insurance in addition to homeowners insurance.
While homeowners insurance may cover damages caused by strong winds from hurricanes, they do not cover flood damage caused by storm surges that occur after a hurricane.
Floods can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home, and without flood insurance, you will likely have to pay for repairs out-of-pocket as home insurance only covers water damage in a select few instances.
Homeowners can get affordable flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
When to Find a Policy
Generally, you need to secure homeowners insurance before moving into your new home.
If like most homeowners you are getting a mortgage, your lender will almost always require you to have home insurance that meets their requirements before closing.
By getting coverage before closing, you are protecting yourself and the lender from any hazards that could damage or destroy your home.
Depending on your location, mortgage lenders may require you to purchase extra coverage or coverages like flood insurance to protect against specific hazards. Florida homeowners may find that mortgage lenders require more coverage than in other states.
Tips for Finding the Best Homeowners Insurance Policy
To find the best homeowners insurance policy for you, it’s important to consider your needs and risk factors, compare quotes from multiple lenders, and review each policy to ensure they all meet your needs.
Some of the top-rated home insurance providers in Florida include:
● FIB Insurance
● Tower Hill
● State Farm
● Chubb Insurance
FIB Insurance Has You Covered
If you’re new to Florida, first of all, welcome to the Sunshine State! Or, if you’re a long-time resident who just purchased a home, congratulations! At FIB Insurance, we understand the importance of finding a homeowners insurance policy that fits your budget and meets your coverage needs. We have over 20 years of experience working with new homeowners in Florida to help them find affordable homeowners insurance policies that protect them against a wide range of common disasters.
Located in beautiful Miami, FL, our team works with homeowners in the city and surrounding metropolitan area to find comprehensive policies that protect homes against hurricanes and other common hazards. If you’re ready to start exploring your coverage options, contact our team at FIB Insurance for a free personalized quote!