Home insurance can be confusing when you’re trying to sort out your choices. If you’re in Florida, this is very true because you have other weather to consider and get coverage for, like hurricanes and floods. If you’re wondering which home insurance is best for you, we’re going to share everything important you need to know so you don’t go unprotected when you need it most.
Homeowner’s insurance will help you pay to rebuild or repair your home and replace any personal property you lose due to structural damage due to fallen trees, leaks, fire, water discharge, or a storm and theft. Water leaks are a major problem from water heaters, air conditioners, roofs, and plumbing.
Mortgage companies require you to have home insurance as part of the terms on your mortgage. If you’re financing your home, you have to have a basic policy attached as a minimum requirement.
The majority of these policies will cover the house and the contents inside the house. The standard home insurance policy will cover personal property, dwellings, other structures like sheds and garages, medical payments, personal liability, and loss of use or additional living expenses.
If you own a condominium instead of a traditional house, the condominium association will typically insure it. You’ll pay a portion of this insurance fee by paying association fees. If this is the case, you might only need a home insurance policy that covers the interior of your home. This is commonly referred to as the betterment and improvement of the contents of your condo and the unit itself.
Many policies include an excess or a deductible. This is the amount of money you’d have to pay to contribute to the replacement or repair of your property before insurance pays. Your annual premium will go down if you have a higher excess or deductible. However, this also means you pay more out of pocket if something happens to your home.
When you purchase your policy, go over it thoroughly. You have to ensure you get the correct coverage and have a good understanding of what it does and doesn’t cover. Along with the standard coverage, you might want to have additional coverage like pet liability, identity fraud, screen enclosures, pool cages, valuable items like electronics or jewelry, and mold cover.
There are several types of homeowner’s insurance in the United States, and not all of them are equal. There are three main coverage levels you can get for your home in Florida.
1. Actual Cash Value
This will cover the cost of your home along with your belongings value after you deduct the depreciation.
2. Extended or Guaranteed Replacement Value
This is an inflation-buffer policy that gives you the most comprehensive coverage. It’ll pay for whatever it costs you to rebuild or replace your home. Additionally, it’ll go over your policy limit. Extended replacement value will go 20% to 25% over the level of coverage you bought.
3. Replacement Cost
This policy covers the actual REPLACEMENT value of your home without the depreciation deduction. It allows you to rebuild or repair your home up to the home’s original value.
Homeowner’s insurance is fairly comprehensive, but there are a few things it won’t cover like acts of war, natural disasters, or “acts of God.” If you live in an area of Florida that has hurricanes or floods, you’ll want to find extra policies or riders that cover these circumstances. There is drain and sewer backup you can add as well.
Generally, windstorm or wind insurance will be part of your home insurance. This is a very important part of your policy if you live in Florida, so you want to have a good understanding of it. When Hurricane Andrew hit Florida in 1992, the different municipalities heightened their standards using building codes to help homeowners protect their dwellings from wind-borne debris damage and winds.
The most notable improvements include new ways to attach the roof to the house, installing hurricane-proof windows, and reinforcing garage doors. If your home has these features, it can lower the cost of insurance while making your home safer.
Older homes won’t resist wind damage as much as newer homes. You could lose shingles, walls can fall, doors can get knocked down, and flying debris can shatter these windows. You may have to install new windows, add hurricane straps to your roof, and install new doors. You want to have enough coverage in your home insurance policy to prepare for hurricanes and gale-force winds.
Your home insurance policy should cover flood insurance, especially if you live in a flood zone. There are two main types of flooding you can experience in Florida. The first type happens when a hurricane or tropical storm produces a tidal surge, and the water comes up onto what is normally dry land.
The second type of flooding happens when rapid, heavy rainfall from stormwater doesn’t have a place to go. Rivers, lakes, drainage systems, and streams can absorb the water quickly enough, and it starts to overflow into car parks, streets, onto land, and into your house.
Clogged drainage systems, outdated drainage systems, or a new development like a road, building, or car park can interfere with the land’s ability to absorb the water from the rain, and it results in a flood. You want your home insurance policy to cover both options.
When you’re looking for a home insurance policy in Florida, you want to go with a knowledgeable and reputable home insurance company. Large companies and agencies may try to sell you coverage you don’t need, or you may not get the best rates. This is why you should choose your coverage through Nsure.com. We work hard to ensure you get the coverage you need with disaster strikes.