Homeowners Insurance in Florida
Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, major insurance carriers have stopped writing home insurance in Florida. Most of the national companies you see on TV are gone from Florida. Many companies limit the areas where they will offer coverage. Some exclude the perils of wind and hurricane completely from their policies. As many Floridians have experienced, companies cancel policies for “Reduction of Exposure" in their zip codes.
To buy Homeowners insurance in Florida can be challenging. With this article, we would like to explain the Who What When Where and Why of Home Insurance in Florida. Here are the answers to your questions about Home insurance. And we would like to offer you Cronin Insurance Agency as your solution to the problem of finding affordable Homeowners insurance in Florida. So lets get started.
Who needs Home Insurance?
You do if you:
When should you buy Home Insurance?
The best time to buy home insurance is before you take occupancy of your home. This may seem obvious, but many people delay buying home insurance. Its an extra expense when they are already laying out a lot of money for moving expenses. It behooves you not to wait though because:
Many companies will not write a home policy if there is a lapse in coverage. This limits the number of competing companies and makes it likely you'll pay more for your coverage.
The companies, who do allow lapses, will surcharge a policy 10% because of the lapse.
When people don't buy home insurance right away, there's a tendency to forget about it. When a hurricane is heading your way, it's no time to start looking for home insurance. Most companies will not bind new policies once storm watches begin.
How much does Homeowners Insurance cost in Florida?
If you check national companies' websites, you would get the impression that Florida is not that expensive for Homeowners insurance. They like to quote “Average monthly prices". The problem is the smaller homes located inland are averaged with the larger homes located on the coast. Most Floridians live in coastal counties. So they pay more than these low, advertised prices. As a matter of fact:
Why is insurance for homes so expensive in Florida?
Location, location, location.
Being surrounded by 1350 miles of coastline, every hurricane targets Florida. Most hurricanes don't make landfall. The ones that do can cause billions in damage. This hurricane exposure is why insurance companies in Florida charge so much. With the ever-increasing cost of labor and materials, expensive repairs are inevitable. When repairs go up, so does the cost of Home Insurance.
What is an insurance peril and which perils do Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Home Insurance covers perils such as:
whether caused by nature or accidents
Wind from storms and hurricanes
Water damage from burst pipes
Theft of your property
Lawsuits arising from slips and falls on your property
Homeowners Insurance Coverages Explained.
Here are the main homeowners insurance coverages shown on the declaration page of the policy:
How much Homeowners Insurance Do I Need?
You should insure your home for the amount it will take to rebuild it.
Many homeowners estimate by subtracting the value of their lot shown on the appraisal from the price of the home. For example, if they paid $250,000 and the lot is worth $50,000, they would insure the home for $200,000 in Dwelling Coverage. This oversimplifies the process, but gives you a starting point.
There are other factors involved and that's where an agent can help you. What if you got a great bargain and pay $250,000 for a home worth$300,000? Then this simple calculation will not work because you'll be under-insured.
At Cronin Insurance, we use each Company's Replacement Cost Calculator. These calculators rate the building grade of your home -Custom, Standard,or Basic. To calculate this grade, they will consider factors like:
- The shape of the house,
They determine a cost per square foot in your zip code. Then multiply by your square footage to come up with a Replacement Cost to rebuild your home. This Replacement cost determines the Dwelling Coverage on your homeowners insurance policy.
How does a Homeowners Insurance deductible work in Florida?
When a homeowner suffers a loss, the company will subtract the deductible before settling the claim. Let's use an example of a home policy with a $1000 deductible. If the insured suffers a $50,000 loss, the insurance company will deduct $1000 first, before paying the loss. So, in this example, the insured would collect $49,000 to settle the claim.
In Florida, most policies carry two deductibles. The first deductible is an All Other Perils (AOP) deductible. This deductible covers most of the bad things that can happen to your home. Fire, theft, vandalism, and pipes bursting are a few perils it covers. AOP deductibles are usually a Flat amount- $500, $1000, or $2500.
The second kind of deductible is a Hurricane deductible. This can be the same as the AOP, but usually is quoted as a percentage of your DwellingCoverage – 2%, 5%, or 10%. For example, a homeowner with $300,000 in Dwelling coverage, and a 2% Hurricane deductible will pay the first $6,000 in damage before the company will pay any settlement.
The higher the deductible means the more you will pay out of your pocket. The more you pay, the less the company charges in premium. So a higher deductible saves you money on your premium, but costs you more out of pocket when you need to make a claim.
What kind of Home Insurance Discounts are available?
- Florida Building Code Roof Material Discount
- Roof Deck Attachment Discount
- Roof Wall Attachment Discount
- Roof Shape Discount
- Opening Protection- Shutter Discount
- Fire Alarm Discount
- Burglar Alarm Discount
- Sprinkler Discount
- Gated Community Discount
- Home and Auto Bundle Discount
- Home and Flood Discount
- Sensors for Leaks Discount
Not all discounts are available from all Insurance Companies, so you need to ask your agent.
How can you buy Affordable Homeowners Insurance?
There is no such thing as Cheap Florida Homeowners insurance. Not compared to places without our Hurricane exposure. Here are 5 things you can do to get the Best Homeowners insurance quote:
- Raise your deductible. The average homeowner has one claim every 10 years. By raising your deductible, you save hundreds of dollars a year in premium. You might make up the difference of a higher deductible in a couple of years. For instance, if you raise your AOP deductible from $1000 to $2500, you can make up the $1500 difference in a few years of savings.
- Make sure you are getting Wind Mitigation Discounts . A Wind Mitigation Discount Report tells the company how Hurricane- proof your home is. This reports can get you great discounts on your premium.
- Make sure your not over-insured for Dwelling . Sometimes Mortgagees will request you cover the mortgage amount on your home. If that's greater than replacement cost, you can be over-insured. Have your Agent do a Replacement Cost Calculation to make sure.
- Lower your Personal Property Coverage . Many companies automatically quote 50% of Dwelling for Personal Property. If you have $300,000 on Dwelling, they'll give you $150,000 on Contents. You may only need $75,000. Always check with your agent first, because you could lose valuable coverage like replacement cost on contents.
- Shop your Home Insurance to multiple companies every time your policy renews. Companies change rates all the time. It makes sense to shop to make sure your company is still competitive.
There are three ways you can do this.
DIY method- do it yourself .
Make a list of home insurance companies that do business in Florida. Assemble your coverage page, your documentation for discounts, and claim information. Contact each insurance company one by one. Give each one your personal information, and wait for them to contact you with their home insurance quote. Track each quote for amounts of coverage, deductibles and discounts. Make your decision and pick your best insurance quote. Then next year, and every year after, repeat the process.
Lead Generation Sites.
These are websites with heavy online advertising that promise access to unlimited quotes. You click a button and then you go...where? You have no idea. A different website picks you up or worse. They sell your personal information to multiple agents, who then start pestering you with emails and phone calls. They now have your information so they can contact you year after year for other lines of insurance too.
Beware the Lead Generation Site.
Best Way to shop your Home Insurance is to contact the independent agents at Cronin Insurance Agency.
Our licensed agents shop dozens of Home Insurance Carriers to find you the lowest price and the custom coverage that you desire. We never share your personal information with outside marketers and companies. Why do it yourself when we can shop for you.
And we can shop each time you renew.
We track our clients renewals for spikes in prices. If a company raises your rate, we can find you another. If a company cancels you, we never leave you on your own. We'll find you a company that wants your business. Our goal is to be your home insurance agency for life. We give you 24/7 online access to your policy information. And you can download your coverage to your phone, desktop or tablet.
Why do so many Floridians trust Cronin Insurance for their Home Insurance?
- They have acquired a new house or town-home.
- They are in a panic because their current company canceled them.
- They are sick and tired of their current company raising their rates.
- They have been taken out of Citizens and don't trust the take-out company.
- The company they've had for years up north won't write their home insurance in Florida.
- They have had it with bad service from their current agent.
- They don't have the time to spend shopping their Home Insurance.
When you shop with Cronin Insurance Agency, it costs you nothing, but could save you a lot of money.
The insurance company who wins your business pays the cost of our service. You pay nothing. Let us do the work so you can concentrate on what's most important to you. Don't waste another minute of your valuable time searching for Florida home insurance. Let us do it for you.