As a Florida homeowner, you know you need to insure your home. Not only is it required by your mortgage company, but it just makes good sense.
When you’re searching for insurance coverage, it can be confusing to understand which companies write homeowners insurance in your state. Not only that, but with so many insurers pulling out of Florida, it can be challenging to even see who is offering coverage right now.
In this post, you’ll learn about the top companies writing homeowners insurance in the Sunshine State. We’re sharing need-to-know tips to find the right insurer for your needs.
IS HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE REQUIRED IN FLORIDA?
Unlike auto insurance, which is legally required by most states, no states require home insurance — including Florida. However, when you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will undoubtedly require you to have coverage.
Plus, in a state where there are plenty of natural disasters, having protection for your investment is simply a smart homeownership move.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN RISKS FOR HOMEOWNERS IN FLORIDA?
Many of the most common home damage insurance claims are due to the weather conditions in Florida, but there are plenty of other reasons you’ll need homeowners insurance.
Here are some of the more common Floridian homeowner risks:
- Burglary: With a fair number of reported robberies per year (the 4th highest state in the nation, according to a 2020 Statista report), you’ll certainly want to cover your Florida home against unwanted visitors.
- Fire: Though it may not be obvious, electrical fires are commonly caused by events that plague Florida homes, including wind, lightning, and hurricanes.
- Water Damage: One of the most common claims in the home insurance business is damage from broken or burst pipes. It became such a problem in Florida, that many insurance carriers put a cap on water damage claims or potentially exclude coverage altogther.
- Wind Damage: Not only will hurricanes cause wind damage in this Southern state, but so will tornadoes.
WHAT DOES HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COVER IN FLORIDA?
Now that you know what risks and damage you’ll need to cover your home from, what do insurance companies in Florida actually cover?
Florida home insurance will cover damage from the 16 common perils, including fire and theft. However, while some carriers offer wind damage coverage, flood damage is always excluded and often available as an endorsement or separate policy.
Additionally, here are the types of coverage that will generally be included in your Florida homeowners policy:
- Property damage: This part of the policy includes repairs for damage from a covered hazard to your home or detached structures (like a storage shed or garage), up to the limits of your policy.
- Personal property loss: This part of your coverage handles reimbursement for covered personal items from theft or another covered peril. However, specialty items — like collectibles or antiques — need “riders” or special endorsements for adequate coverage.
- Personal liability: Your homeowners insurance may cover medical bills if you, another relative who lives with you, or even a pet injures someone or causes damage.
- Additional living expenses: If your home is damaged due to a covered peril, this coverage may handle any expenses outside of normal living costs, such as a hotel stay.
HOW MUCH DOES FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE COST?
Just like every home, every home insurance policy is unique. That’s simply because there are so many factors that will affect your premium for your Florida home, including:
- Your location in Florida
- Your home (size, type, age, security features, replacement cost)
- Your insurance-related history (credit score, claims history)
- Policy deductible
- Age of your roof
That said, according to insurance data professionals (like the Insurance Information Institute), an average homeowners insurance premium across the United States is anywhere from $1,250 to $2,100 per year, while an average homeowners insurance premium in Florida will cost about $1,950 to $3,350 or more.
With statistically more weather-related damage than other areas across the country, insurance providers offset claims with a slightly higher premium. In fact, you’ll find Florida has the second-highest average insurance rates, second only to Louisiana.
HOW TO FIND THE RIGHT COMPANY FOR YOUR FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE
Whether you’re searching for home insurance for a new home or your existing home, the same thing is true: it can be challenging to find the right provider.
Here are five steps to make the process a little less stressful:
- Determine what type of coverage you need, including the types and amount needed. Use online resources to determine what natural disasters have the highest risk in your area. (For instance, you can search for flood zones on the FEMA website.)
- Go shopping with multiple insurance providers. Get quotes from multiple services or work with an experienced home insurance broker to find the right potential company.
- Make a side-by-side comparison of all the quotes you received. You’ll likely find differences in several areas — such as limits, exclusions, and premium — so it’s important to identify what matters most for you and your family.
- Reference other customers’ reviews to ensure the company has a good standing with customer service, claim payments, and more.
- Time to choose! After reviewing the options carefully, consider which company will work best for your property.
FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE CARRIERS
As of the writing of this post, here are the top insurance companies that offer homeowners insurance policies in Florida:
- Tower Hill
- American Integrity
- Universal Property & Casualty
Finding the right homeowners insurance for your Florida home may not be easy, but when the next natural disaster happens, it will certainly be worth it.