Florida Homeowner's Insurance
In Florida, the average premium for home insurance is $1,390, as opposed to $791.00 nationally. This is for a standard home insurance policy, but might not include all of the coverage you need to be protected against Florida's unique set of potential perils. Before you start buying insurance you don't really need, take a look at what your insurance covers and what perils are likely to affect your home.
The dwelling is the primary residence or main building on the property. This is where the home owner lives, and probably contains most of their personal property. The dwelling includes any structures that were built permanently into the primary dwelling, such as a utility room or garage.
Other structures include every other building on the property other than the dwelling. A brick fence is an "other" structure, and so is a guest cottage. As long as it is not permanently affixed to the dwelling, it is considered an "other" structure.
Personal property includes your jewelry, furniture, and everything else in the home that you would take with you if you left it tomorrow. It also includes any personally owned items in the yard or in the other structures on the property. If your property is destroyed or stolen, you will be able to settle the claim faster if you have a home inventory to prove your possessions with.
Loss of Use
If you cannot use all or part of the home, it is called loss-of-use. Loss of use can be limited to a single room, such as a bathroom or kitchen, or it can include the entire home. A broken water pipe, for instance, could deprive you of the use of a room, while a tornado might destroy the entire home, depriving you of the entire dwelling. In order to be reimbursed for costs associated with loss of use, you should save all of the receipts from places you are forced to go to maintain your accustomed way of life.
Average Florida Homeowner Insurance Rates vs. US
Cheaper Florida Home Insurance
In your state, the average cost of homeowners insurance is $1,390. Your own costs may be higher or lower than the average, and there are a few basic tips that can help you keep it as low as possible. Bear in mind that the square footage of the home is an important factor in determining insurance premiums, so owners of large homes are going to pay more for insurance no matter what they do.
Avoid Unnecessary Claims
The more claims you file against your insurance policies, the greater the risk you are seen as posing for the insurance company. To keep your premiums as low as possible, avoid filing any claims against your home or auto insurance policies unless you must. Whenever possible, go ahead and pay for the repairs out of pocket, it may cost you a little cash up front, but the savings on your insurance premiums will remain low, and that saves you money indefinitely.
Smoke and Home Insurance
Smoking is a considered a major cause of house fires. Because of that, you can get a discount on your home insurance by quitting smoking. Not only will kicking the habit help you live longer, it will also reward you with lower homeowner's insurance rates.
Credit Score and Insurance Risk
If your credit score is higher than 678 you have a better score than the state average. But regardless of what the average is, if your credit score is higher than 650, the insurance company will give you lower rates on your home insurance. The higher your credit score is, the lower your premiums can be.
Home Characteristics Affecting Florida Insurance Rates
Florida is subjected to heavy rains and wind on a regular basis, and your home needs to be insured against them. This can be especially important if you live in a wood frame house, because wood can be easily warped or broken in extreme winds.
Defending Your Home Against Crime & Vandalism
In Florida, the crime rate is 9.00/1000 people, which is nearly double the 5.17/1000 that is the national average. To reduce the risk of burglary or vandalism in Florida, start by installing a security system that is monitored 24/7 by a professional monitoring company. Follow that up with a fence around the property and deadbolt locks in your entry doors, and not only will you be deterring most criminal activity, you will also be earning discounts on your home insurance.
Local Natural Disasters Florida Homeowners Should Consider Protecting Against
With the exception of earthquakes and volcanoes, Florida is subject to experience most of the list of possible home perils. Perhaps the biggest danger to a Florida home, though, is flooding, and it is imperative that you plan ahead to prevent this peril from leaving your dreams in ruin.
Ranked at 45 out of 51, Florida has almost no chance of being hit by an earthquake. However, movements of the earth also include erosion, and that is a common occurrence along Florida's coastal regions.
Florida residents filed 1,994 claims in 2009, while the nation as a whole filed 46,621 flood claims. Florida is one of the most flood-prone states in the country and every home should be insured with flood coverage, even those which are situated on high ground.
Hail storms are relatively common in Florida, but hail damage is typically part of the standard home insurance policy. Unless your policy specifically excludes hail, you are probably covered, but read your policy carefully to make sure.
Florida is subjected to more hurricanes than any other state in the country. And while the wind damage from a hurricane is included in your standard coverage, the flooding that almost always accompanies the winds is not. Flood insurance may not be available through traditional channels but can be purchased through special flood insurance high-risk pools.
With 49 tornadoes expected in an average year, Florida is not a high risk location for tornadoes. Such storms do happen, and they can pop up in any portion of the state, but tornado damage is part of the wind damage covered by your standard homeowner's policy.
Around 74,749 wildfires affect our country each year and Florida usually experiences more than its fair share. To reduce the chances of wildfire damage, keep brush and shrubbery away from the structure of the home, and set up sprinklers to dampen the area any time wildfires threaten your area.
Florida Homeowners Insurance Optional Coverage
Among the optional coverage you might want to get in Florida are additional personal property coverage and replacement value insurance. Most homeowner's policies only cover a certain amount of personal items, and getting more coverage is usually necessary to be properly protected. Where replacement value is concerned, that type of coverage is the difference between receiving a check that will only cover a portion of the repairs or having the confidence that your insurance can handle the disaster for you.
Important Contact Information
Florida Department of Insurance
200 East Gaines Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-4288
Phone: (877) 693-5236
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