Florida Homeowners Insurance Guide
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The Sunshine State is the southeasternmost state in the U.S., bordered by the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. This peninsula is not only known for its miles upon miles of coastal beaches, but also its vibrant and diverse cities. Florida definitely lives up to its moniker the Sunshine State; attracting retirees, families, college students, and everyone in between. There are not many downsides to calling Florida home, or if you’re lucky enough, simply owning property in the Sunshine State. That said, six of the ten costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida. In fact, Florida leads the nation in number of flood policies in force. Needless to say, homeowners and renters policies are necessities when owning property in the Sunshine State.
The standard homeowners and renters insurance policy does not cover much of the typical damage caused by catastrophic events such as hurricanes or tropical storms. They are intended to cover less severe perils such as theft and vandalism. As a result, coverages such as windstorm and flood are crucial to any property insurance coverage package. Due to the inherent risk of severe loss in the Sunshine State, many standard insurance carriers do not offer flood or wind coverage in the state. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a non-profit, tax exempt, government entity, was formed in 2002 for this very reason. It began as a haven of last resort for those property owners that could not find adequate property coverage in the standard market. Now, its simply a viable insurance option for Floridians. Often times, the first choice for some homeowners, as shown by its 5.2% market share.
Given Florida is a peninsula and surrounded by water, it is highly susceptible to natural disasters. As a result, Floridians on average, find themselves paying significantly more for homeowners and renters insurance than the rest of the country. In fact, inhabitants of the Sunshine State pay the second most in homeowners insurance cost in the U.S. The number one spot goes to Louisiana.
Average Premium for Homeowners and Renters Insurance
Source: Insurance Information Institute (2017)
About 98% of the total population residing in Florida lives in one of the coastal counties. Hence why so many standard carriers stay clear from providing catastrophe-type coverages in the state. This is also why coverage for flooding, windstorms and hurricanes should be included in just about every homeowner or renters insurance package provided in the state.
Due to the risk associated with owning property in the Sunshine State, finding adequate coverage at a favorable rate, can be difficult. As you can see below, no one carrier controls a double-digit percentage of the market, which essentially reflects the insurance industry’s desire to spread the inherent risk of insuring property located in Florida among as many carriers as possible.
|Universal Insurance Holdings Inc.||9.8%|
|Citizens Property Insurance Corp.||5.2%|
Source: Insurance Information Institute (2019)
As you begin the process of finding the right carrier and coverage, make sure to seek out every available discount, given the premium you may be quoted could be comparatively high due to the risk associated with the region. Also, make sure to consider a carriers financial stability and track record of paying claims. Catastrophic events within the Sunshine State has put quite a few insurance carriers out of business. So, you want to make sure the carrier you ultimately choose to place your business with, is around if you ever need to file a claim. Furthermore, you want to make sure they will actually abide by their contract and pay what is required to make you whole again.
Florida is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful states to call home, or own property in. Its climate combined with scenery and diversity makes it perfect for relaxation. The cost of these benefits is undoubtedly its predisposition to natural disasters. Fortunately, over the years, the state has been able to create and nurture a market whereby all property owners are able to find adequate coverage. This way, Floridians can enjoy their paradise with peace of mind.
Florida Department of Insurance
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