Florida Home Insurance Rates

No matter what state you live in, homeowners insurance is basically structured the same. A basic policy protects your home against loss. Based on the value and replacement value of your home you obtain coverage and select a deductible which comes out of pocket and the insurance covers the rest once an appraiser has put a dollar value on the replacement cost. However, in Florida there are two potential deductibles, the first covering all non hurricane perils and the second pertains to losses incurred by hurricanes. In the years 2004 and 2005 eight hurricanes hit the Sunshine State causing billions of dollars in losses. As a result, most homeowners are carrying homeowners with wind mitigation features that cover losses due to hurricanes and/or tropical storms.

How Non Hurricane Deductibles Affect Rates

Obviously if you have a homeowner’s policy that has wind mitigation features your premiums will be higher. However, the value/replacement value of your home will also affect insurance rates as will the size of your deductibles. A policy with wind mitigation will have two separate deductibles. The first one will be for all non hurricane perils and you can choose a $500, $1000, $2500 or $5000 deductible. A policy with a $500 deductible will cost more than a policy with a $5000 deductible. In other words, the higher the deductible the lower your premiums will be.

How Wind Mitigation Deductibles Affect Rates

If your home is financed, your lender will almost certainly require you to carry a homeowner’s policy with wind mitigation features; in other words, homeowner’s insurance that covers losses resulting from hurricanes and tropical storms. Those deductibles would be $500, 2%, 5% or 10% of the amount covered in portion A of your policy which is the insured amount – the value placed on your home. For example, if you have a policy that covers $300,000 to replace your home in the event of total loss, and you carry a 10% deductible, then you would be responsible for the first $30,000 as your deductible. Again, the higher the deductible the lower your premiums will be.

Optional Coverages that Affect Rates
Just like any other homeowner’s insurance policy in other states, there are optional coverages that you can purchase to protect against an array of other types of loss. For instance, many insurance companies offer dog liability, personal property replacement, personal injury, water backup and sump overflow, loss assessment, increased replacement cost on dwelling, and scheduled personal property. These coverages are added through endorsements and are also subject to the policy’s deductible. Take for example a homeowner’s dog bites a neighbor on the insured property. The homeowner could be held financially responsible to cover medical bills and any other losses unless a policy was in force with dog liability coverage. In this case, the only out of pocket money would be the deductible unless the amount of loss was greater than the amount of coverage carried on the policy.

Florida home insurance rates are also affected by whether or not the property had a claim against it within the previous three years. In some cases where loss has occurred during that time frame, certain coverages may not be available and in others the premiums may be significantly higher. In the end, if you live in the Sunshine State and own your own home or condominium, it is in your best interest to safeguard yourself against potentially catastrophic loss. The best way to check out Florida home insurance rates is to compare online quotes from several companies to see which one offers the coverages you need at the lowest prices. Keep in mind that not all insurance companies will offer wind mitigation features, so finding one that has that coverage should be a prime consideration for anyone living in Florida.

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