5 Things Floridians Should Know About Homeowners Insurance
Florida Homes are Extremely Vulnerable to Storm Damage
Florida’s “highest elevation” is the lowest high point of all the states, and Florida also has the least difference between the highest and lowest elevation across the state. 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 of 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 has an effect on homeowners’ insurance rates. Securing an accurate home valuation can help ensure you are adequately covered but not overpaying for your homeowners’ insurance.
Homeowners Insurance Fraud in Florida has Skyrocketed
A huge 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 of this kind of fraud. It is extremely important to always call your insurance agent first if you suspect damage to your home has occurred. Don’t sign an AOB form or allow contractors access to your home or roof without your insurer’s approval.
Not all Homeowners Insurance Policies are the Same
While there are certain basics that most standard homeowners’ insurance (HO3) 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 shouldn’t be surprising that their homeowners’ 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.
-Via Olympus Insurance