We are one of the only agencies in the state to give you a live online home insurance quote from multiple carriers. We deal with multiple Homeowners insurance companies to help you save time and money in getting your policy started.
Your home is where you live, where you are in charge, and where you will find most of the material (and also intangible) things that are precious to you. Most likely, your home is also your most valuable fixed asset. If something were to happen to your home, it would affect you on many different levels, not just financially, but also in terms of emotional safety and security and impact on your lifestyle.
Is the Key to Peace of Mind
Some things in life we have no control over. We can’t control the weather for example. But some things we can control.
Enough Insurance = Peace of Mind
Having adequate insurance can buy you peace of mind in the event of a disaster.
To Take Your Time
The decision to purchase homeowners insurance is an important one and taking the time to do your research can save you not only money and time but also mountains of stress if the worst should happen.
Study the Smart Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Florida
We’ve put together the smart guide to Florida Homeowners Insurance. It will answer all your questions, provide in-depth information and help you think through all of your options.
Questions and Answers
How does Florida rank with regards to cost for homeowners insurance?
Insurance in Florida is 90% higher than the national average.
Why is Florida the most expensive state in terms of homeowners insurance?
That is because Florida, more than any other state, gets battered by natural disasters including hurricanes and tropical storms all of which can cause severe damage to your home.
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in Florida?
Insurance companies hear this question all the time. The cost of insurance depends on many factors including:
- Value of your home and possessions
- Location of your home
- Additional insurance such as flood insurance and structural insurance
- Improvements done to safeguard your home
- Size of your deductible
- Risk factors
- Claim frequency
Take a look at the infographic below to get a sense of all the different factors that affect the cost of homeowners insurance.
What is the State of Homeownership in Florida?
Homeownership continues to drop in Florida as the state works to recover from the foreclosure rates that decimated the housing market over a decade ago. Homeownership rates were at 73.2% in the first quarter of 2005 but now stands at 63.6% for the second quarter of 2017. However, many Floridians believe that it is a great time to purchase a new home due to low home prices, favorable mortgage rates, and a great selection of homes to choose from. For these reasons, many first-time purchasers are taking the plunge, and others are looking to upgrade their living environment, making it an excellent time to understand homeowners insurance.
What Types of Coverage Is Available for Homeowners Insurance in Florida?
Most mortgage lenders require a basic amount of homeowners insurance to protect their investment in your property. While this may be a good choice for some home buyers, for others the coverage is not enough to protect their home and belongings, or inflation-proof their replacement values. Fortunately you have choices, and there are three essential levels of coverage that include:
Actual Cash Value Insurance
Actual Cash Value Insurance covers the value of the house and personal belongings after deducting depreciation (loss of value over time). A homeowner is paid only the depreciated value of the items rather than the original purchase price.
Replacement Cost Insurance
Replacement Cost Insurance pays the actual cash value of the home or items without adjustments for depreciation. With this policy, the insurance company will pay to repair or rebuild the home up to the original value.
Guaranteed or Extended Replacement Cost/Value Insurance
Guaranteed or Extended Replacement Cost/Value Insurance is the most comprehensive coverage available, and serves as an inflation-buffer. Under this type of policy, the insurance company pays to repair or rebuild the home, even if it is more than your policy limits, usually limited at 20 to 25% above the limits.
At a minimum, most mortgage companies require a policy that covers the amount of the mortgage, but this is less than the value of the home. In the event of a disaster, the insurance will not pay the full cost of repair or replacement of your home and property. Therefore, you should consider these coverage types and select the ones that best fits your budget as well as the level of risk you are comfortable taking.
What Are the Key Elements of the Standard Homeowners Insurance Policy?
Typically, Florida homeowners insurance policies helps pay to repair or rebuild a home, and replace personal property due to loss. Most policies cover personal property loss from theft and structural damage from fire, water discharge, fallen trees, and storm damage. A standard policy will include the following sections:
- Coverage for the structure of the home, including the walls, roof, floors, or other aspects of the residence. If the damage is due to fire, hurricanes, wind, lightning, vandalism and other covered events, the insurance company will pay for the repair or rebuild of the home.
- Coverage for the contents of the home, including clothes, appliances, furniture, computers, televisions, etc., and is usually calculated as a percentage of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.
- Loss-of-use coverage for the additional living expenses you incur if your home is uninhabitable after a covered loss. There are often strict daily and total limits to what the insurance company will pay.
- Personal liability, which will pay claims and medical bills if someone is injured or their property damaged by you or someone in your household. This coverage includes injury or damage that occurs both on and off of your property, such as your dog biting the neighbor while walking on the sidewalk or your child hitting a baseball through someone’s window while visiting a friend.
- List of perils covered under your policy, including flood, hurricane/wind insurance, theft, and other specific items.
- List of perils not included under your policy, which identifies which potential problems will not be covered by your policy, including specific types of flooding or wind damage.
- Deductibles you will be responsible for in the event of a valid insurance claim.
How much you pay for this coverage will depend on several factors, including the amount of your deductible, the cost and location of your home, whether you are renting or owning, and additional coverages you may want to carry.
What Kind of Coverage Is Available Through Riders or Floater Policies?
Although standard homeowners insurance covers many risks, it may not include issues that are common in your area, or cover items to the degree you want. In these instances, riders or floater policies can be added to your base insurance plan. In Florida, these often include:
Although standard insurance policies do address water damage, it can include specific types of causes including flooding, which can result in thousands of dollars of out of pocket expenses for homeowners. For this reason, purchasing additional flood insurance is highly recommended for most Floridians and can save you thousands of dollars in out of pocket spending in the event of a disaster. Policy costs will depend on where you live.
If you have structures on your property in addition to your home, they will not be included in the homeowners policy unless you purchase a rider. These structures can include detached garages, sheds, piers, boat ramps, and more, and you may want to insure them from wind, flood, and other damage.
Jewelry, Art, Collectables Floater Policies
Most homeowners insurance pay for loss of property as a percentage of the cost of the home. However, if you have expensive jewelry, art or collectables, you may wish to include a floater policy to specifically protect your investment in these items.
There are many types of riders available that may fit your unique needs. Be sure to identify any atypical risks you may face, and request an estimate for coverage.
What Are Some Insurance Rates and Deductibles?
Every state has its own natural risks, which are insured separately and most Floridians have two deductibles, one for the standard homeowners policy and one for hurricane/flooding. The level of your deductibles will depend on your choices when purchasing your coverage. Homeowners with higher deductibles typically have lower homeowners insurance costs, which helps with the monthly bills but can be difficult to manage in the event of a disaster. For example, raising your deductible from $500 to $1,000 may save you as much as 25% on your policy.
In addition to the deduction levels and the amount of coverage you choose, there are other factors that will impact the cost of your policy. These can be broken into specific categories.
What Personal Status Factors Involve the Cost of Homeowners Insurance?
- Marital Status
- Dog Ownership and Breed
- Home-based Business Operations
- Credit History
- Claims History
What Property Conditions Determine the Cost of Homeowners Insurance?
- Age and Construction of the Home
- Size and Amenities of the Home
- Roof Condition
- Presence of Wood-burning Stoves
- Presence of Swimming Pool, Hot Tub and/or Trampoline
- Proximity to a Fire Station
- General Location
- Proximity to a Body of Water
Each of these factors can increase or decrease the cost of your insurance, and must be taken into account. Before applying for homeowners insurance know, have this information available so you can get accurate pricing information.
How Can You Cut Down On Homeowners Insurance Costs?
There are many steps you can take to minimize the initial cost of homeowners insurance, or reduce this expense later. In Florida, these include:
- Install wind-resistant features on the home, including storm shutters, on the home, to achieve as much as a 42% discount on the hurricane windstorm portion of your insurance premiums.
- Check your credit rating for accuracy. The better your score, the lower your premiums, so fixing errors can make a big difference in your premium costs.
- Look for multiple policy discounts, such as bundling home and auto insurance to save money.
- Install a monitored home security system, which can result in 15% discount with some insurers, because homes with these systems are 3 times less likely to be burglarized than those without them.
- Raise your deductible. The higher your deductible, the lower your rates – to a point.
- Evaluate your policy before renewal. Look for issues that have changed, such as you removed your swimming pool or sold an expensive piece of art. The insurance company won’t change your policy unless you tell them to do so, and being over insured wastes your money.
- Request discounts. If you have had your insurance with the same company for more than five years without a claim, ask for a discount. Some companies will try to accommodate their best customers rather than lose them to a competitor.
The important thing to remember is that there are factors you control with regard to your insurance rates. Be aware of your coverage, and review it before renewal to assure that you are receiving the most competitive rates available in your area.
How Can You Select the Right Insurance Company?
All insurance companies are not created equal and most companies offer multiple policy levels, so selecting the right one for your needs can feel overwhelming. When searching for homeowners insurance, it is important to get several quotes, but you need to look deeper than the cost and coverage options. Do this by following these steps:
- Review the home insurance company’s financial health through top credit agencies, such as A.M. Best, J.D. Power, and Moody’s. This information can protect you from paying premiums to a company that will not be around to pay a claim later.
- Identify who will respond to your claims. In the past, most companies had their own adjusters and claim managers, but now this service is often outsourced. Speak to your agent to assure that the company has a proven track record of fair and timely claims settlement.
- Check current policyholder satisfaction ratings. You will find some of this information on the sites listed above, but also from online reviews and company annual reports. The higher the insurer’s retention rate, the most satisfied the policy holders.
- Don’t go by price alone. Read the policies carefully to assure that the coverage is the same, rather than going with the lowest price. Sometimes that price is a great deal, but it can also indicate that coverage is not as extensive or complete as represented.
There are many quality insurance companies that can meet your needs. The struggle is weeding out the ones that promise one thing but deliver another, or have a claims response process that is slow and cumbersome. Homeowners insurance will protect your biggest investment, so you need to conduct due diligence to select the best company and policy possible within your budget.
Alliance Can Help
At Alliance, we can save you time and money by helping you sort through the tangle of homeowners insurance options and find the best one for you and your family. We represent the top insurance companies in the country and understand the unique needs and challenges of Florida homeowners. Our goal is to help you find the best coverage for the lowest cost from a premium provider. Call us today at (866)771-4751 to speak with a professional, or use our online quote service to begin the process.
A Startup Guide to Homeowners Insurance in Florida
If this is your first time to buy a home, or if this is your first time to deal with homeowners insurance Florida, chances are you are overwhelmed with the thought of getting it. However, homeowners insurance Florida is very important and there are many policies that you can choose from, requiring you to do a little homework to make sure that the policy you get is the best for your home. Here are some factors that you need to consider to make sure that the homeowners insurance policy you get is the best.
Elements of homeowners insurance policy
First things first, get yourself to know what are the elements of a home insurance policy. This usually includes:
- Coverage for structure of home
- Coverage for home contents
- Coverage for other property structures
- Liability coverage
- Perils covered
- Excluded perils
These items comprise the bulk of the policy and determine the extent of your protection.
The Cost of Homeowners Insurance Florida
For starters, the most difficult part is usually to assess the cost of insurance to purchase. Certainly, you do not want to lack in coverage and worst, pay for the coverage that you do not need at all. With this regards, get some help from a reliable homeowners insurance agent although it is still up to you to choose to how much to purchase.
Homeowners Insurance Companies
There are many options for homeowners insurance companies to make your selection a lot easier and faster. The wide array of options is a great factor since it helps establish competition. Competition creates lower prices for consumers.
Where to Shop for Homeowners Insurance
Just like shopping for goods and services, you can shop for home insurance online. It is fast and easy thing to do and you can obtain a lot of information from many resources, as well as get rate quotes to compare from one company with another. When gathering rate quotes online, use a site that offers a secure server for a guaranteed security of your information. Gather as many quotes as possible. The more quotes you have, the better your chances are of getting the homeowners insurance Florida that offers the best value for money.