Florida Homeowner’s Insurance FAQ’s

1.   WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HOME INSURANCE AND DWELLING INSURANCE?

Dwelling insurance is commonly used to insure only the structure, or ‘dwelling’. This coverage is primarily used with properties that are considered a second home or investment property.  Homeowners insurance provides dwelling coverage, but also includes, as standard coverage, personal property and personal liability protection.

2.   IF I OWN A HOME, AM I REQUIRED TO GET HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE?

The simple answer to this question is… it depends.  Homeowners insurance offers you protection from many of the risks you have as a homeowner.  If someone were to injure themselves or if damage was caused to your property you could be held liable for those damages. If your home and all its contents were destroyed by fire or even stolen, you might not be able to afford to replace the entire contents of your home.  Many homeowners still have mortgage payments and mortgage companies will require the homeowner to obtain and keep a homeowners policy.

3.   DO I NEED FLOOD INSURANCE?

Congress mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding, “V” and all “A” flood zones. Homes and businesses located in moderate-to-low risk areas, “B”, “C” or “X” zones, that have mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are typically not required to have flood insurance. Even though flood insurance isn’t federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods.  A lender can require flood insurance, even if it is not federally required.

For more information click: HERE

4.   DO I GET A SHUTTER DISCOUNT IF I HAVE SHUTTERS?

Simply having shutters for the windows is not always enough to qualify for a discount.  The shutters must be up to current codes and all windows in your home must be protected.  If you have a window in your garage or your front door, it must be shuttered, have metal bracing or have impact resistant glass.

5.   WHAT IS A WINDSTORM MITIGATION INPECTION?

This is an inspection of your home by a qualified licensed inspector that will identify potential mitigation measures and verify improvements.  The state requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home against damage caused by hurricane winds. Securing your roof so it doesn’t blow off and protecting your windows from flying debris are the two most cost effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your hurricane wind premium. A mitigation inspection can help you reduce your premium by determining all eligible discounts.

For a Windstorm Mitigation form click HERE

6.   WHY IS MY HOMEOWNERS PREMIUM DIFFERENT THAN MY NEIGHBORS?

There are many factors that can affect why your home insurance premium is higher or lower than your neighbors. Coverages and Deductibles are the primary reason.  Age of the home, location, features; pets or amenities are just a few factors that would impact your premium.

7.   WHAT KIND OF DOGS ARE HIGH RISK?

All homeowner’s insurance companies have a list of breeds that are considered high risk. Check with your company to determine if you dog falls into a high risk category. Some dogs such as Rottweiler’s, Pit Bulls, German Shepherds, Doberman Pinschers, Akitas, Chow Chows, and Wolf Hybrids are considered high risk by most insurance companies.

8.   WHY IS THERE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ACTUAL CASH VALUE OF MY PROPERTY VS. REPLACEMENT COST?

Actual Cash Value or ACV: The replacement cost of the item minus depreciation.

Replacement Cost: The cost of replacing an item without deducting for depreciation, but limited to a maximum dollar amount.

9.  IS MY JEWELRY AND GUN COVERED BY MY HOMEOWNERS POLICY?

There is basic coverage for both items on the homeowner’s insurance policy. However, if you have expensive jewelry or specialty guns, it is advisable to consider additional coverage.

10. WHAT IS CONDO INSURANCE?

Condominium-Unit Owners’ insurance covers property and certain items and perils not insured by the association’s policy. It also includes personal liability coverage. A condominium association may choose to cover some items in its policy, so make sure you are thoroughly familiar with its by-laws and policy to know what the association is responsible for.

11. IS MY MOBILE HOME INSURANCE DIFFERENT THAN REGULAR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE?

YES! Mobile home policies may not provide coverage as broad as a homeowner’s policy. You should review your individual policy to determine what is covered and what is excluded. There are three settlement options available on a mobile home policy:  Stated Amount, Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost.  All three are subject to the limits shown on your policy.

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