Homeowners Insurance Coverage Options*
- Dwelling — Also known as Coverage A, this is the up-to amount the property will be covered for in the case of a claim. The dwelling amount is usually calculated by a replacement cost estimator (RCE).
- Other Structures — This coverage will protect structures not attached to the home like a fence, detached garage, or shed. Pools are typically an exception since they're almost always covered under the dwelling.
- Personal Property — Covers the contents of your house, including furniture, clothing and appliances, if they are stolen, damaged, or destroyed.
- Liability — Protects you against financial loss if you are sued and found legally responsible for someone else's injury or property damage.
- Medical Payments — Covers medical bills for people hurt on your property. Medical Payments coverage also pays for some injuries that may happen away from your home, such as if your dog bites someone.
- Loss of Use — Pays for additional living expenses if your home is too damaged to live in during repairs. Most standard home insurance coverage pays 10 to 20 percent of the amount of your dwelling coverage.
Optional Florida Home Insurance Coverage*
- Replacement Cost — Is the complete value of your home if it needs to be re-built after a catastrophic event. This includes the cost of upgrading it to current builder's code, the cost of materials, the cost of labor, and even debris removal. Because of this, it is not reflective of the current market value of the property.
- Inflation Guard Endorsement — Automatically adjusts your home insurance limits during your policy period so they are at 80 percent or more of your home's replacement cost, which is the amount most home insurance companies require you to have. This coverage is beneficial if your home's replacement cost is increasing with inflation.
- Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement — Also called a personal article floater. With this coverage, possessions, including jewelry, furs, stamps, coins, guns, computers, antiques, etc., are covered. Each article is itemized and detailed in the floater, and excluded perils also are outlined. Personal article floaters often do not have deductibles.
- Increased Limits on Money and Securities — Increases coverage amounts for money, bank notes, securities, deeds and more.
- Watercraft Endorsement — Expands personal liability and medical payments coverage for small sailboats and outboard motor boats only.
- Theft Coverage Protection Endorsement — If items from your motor vehicle, trailer or watercraft are stolen, theft coverage protection broadens theft coverage without requiring proof of forcible entry.
- Credit Card Forgery and Depositors Forgery Coverage Endorsement — Coverage applies if your credit cards are lost, stolen or used without permission, or if someone forges a check, draft, promissory note, etc. Certain restrictions apply and are noted in your home insurance policy.
Possible Coverage Exclusions*
- Animal Liability - Most Florida homeowners insurance companies will exclude or limit the amount of coverage for an animal related claim. Other coverage can be obtained to cover animal liability, so check with your agent.
- Sinkhole Coverage - It's difficult to get sinkhole coverage here in the Florida Panhandle. Most Florida homeowners insurance companies offer catastrophic ground collapse coverage which will trigger coverage if certain criteria is met.
- Dangerous Conditions/Activities - Trampolines, skateboard ramps, diving boards, slides, ungated and unscreened pools, or other unusual or dangerous conditions may be uninsurable or excluded from coverage.
Florida Homeowners Insurance Discounts
- Multi-Policy Discount – Combine your homeowners with your flood insurance.
- New Roof Discount – Roofs updated in 2002 or after are eligible to receive a Florida Builder's Code discount upon verification.
- Wind Mitigation – An inspection that verifies significant discounts based on criteria such as age of roof, roof-to-wall connections, roof-to-deck connections, hurricane shutters, and more.
- Gated Community – If your home is located in a gated community.
- Protective Device Discounts - Provide a variety of ways to save by having devices such as: Smoke detectors and alarms, Interior sprinkler systems & Home security systems such as deadbolts, alarms and 24-hour security guard.
Other Factors That Impact Homeowners Insurance Premium Include
- Home Features and Characteristics — The age of your home, type of structure, wiring, roof, etc., can affect your Florida Homeowners Insurance premium. Older homes can often cost more to insure, and those costs can differ depending on whether your home is brick, frame, masonry, or has synthetic siding.
- Location — Where your home is located can change your Florida Homeowners Insurance premium. For example, your home insurance rate can be affected if your home is in close to a fire station; is exposed to extreme weather, such as hurricanes, tornadoes or earthquakes; or is in a neighborhood more prone to theft.
- Protective Devices — Burglar alarm systems, smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems and deadbolt locks can lower your Florida Homeowners Insurance premium.
- Personal Factors — What you do can affect your Florida Homeowners Insurance premium, too. Credit history and insurance history are two major factors that can play a role in determining the premium for your home insurance.
- Claims History — If you have a history of claims on a Florida Homeowners Insurance policy, you may pay a higher premium.
Standardized Homeowners Insurance Policies
- HO-3 - Special form homeowners policy. Covers the structure for all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy.
- HO-4 - Renters insurance policy. Covers contents for 16 named perils and includes liability coverage. It does not insure the dwelling itself. Also includes liability coverage for the renter.
- HO-6 - Insurance for owners of co-ops or condominiums. Provides personal property coverage, liability coverage and specific coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit. Insurance provided by the owner’s association normally covers most of the actual structure.
- HO-8 - Policy for older homes. Covers the same perils as HO-2, but pays only for repair costs or actual cash value, since replacement cost could make the policy costly. Well-suited for older homes whose market value is considerably less than the cost to rebuild them.
Classes of Homeowners InsuranceFor each policy, there are typically 5 to 6 classifications of coverage. These are based on standard Insurance Services Office or American Association of Insurance Services forms. The first four classes - A, B, C and D; relate to property insurance. The last two classes (E and F) are for liability insurance.
- Coverage A – Dwelling: This insures the value of the dwelling itself, though it does not insure the land the dwelling is on. In order to guard against inflation and fluctuation in the cost of replacing the dwelling, a coinsurance clause is generally inserted that provides for full replacement (up to policy limits) as long as insurance has been purchased for up to 80% of the cost of the dwelling.
- Coverage B – Other Structures: This insurance covers damage to other structures on the property as long as they are not related to business. The default insurance policy limits for other structures are normally limited to a percentage of the main dwelling (between ten and twenty percent). However, additional coverage can be purchased using a rider (otherwise known as an endorsement).
- Coverage C – Personal Property: Insurance for personal possessions that are located on the property (coverage may extend off the property in certain situations). The coverage is against theft or damage, but there are loss limits on certain types of personal property, such as cash or jewelry. Specific riders can be purchased to expand coverage in these areas. Many insurance companies tie the liability associated with Coverage C to that of Coverage A. Depending on your situation (the relative value of your dwelling to your personal property), this may be more or less coverage than desired.
- Coverage D – Loss of Use: Additional Living Expenses: Reimburses the policyholder for living expenses that are associated with a loss event that prohibits the policyholder from living in the dwelling. In other words, if you are unable to live in your home, Coverage D reimburses you for the cost of alternate accommodations. This insurance may also cover loss of income from a rental property.
- Coverage E – Personal Liability: This insurance covers homeowners from loss in the event that you are found to be legally responsible for an injury to others. This coverage generally extends to accidental injuries and does not apply to intentional actions. The coverage may include legal defense fees and damages, but will vary by policy.
- Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others: As with personal injury insurance, this covers you against medical liabilities resulting from accidental injury where you are found legally responsible. However, this insurance does not apply to the policyholder or residents (those events fall into the category of health insurance). Accidental injury related to business activities are generally not covered by this insurance either.
Additional CoverageThere are numerous other insurance features that can be purchases as part of a homeowner’s insurance policy, including damage to landscaping, removal of debris from storms, identity theft, loss assessments, etc. It is generally a good idea to settle on a level of A through C Coverage levels, compare insurance quotes to find the most affordable policy with a provider you trust and then price out the additional features.
ExclusionsAny items that are specifically excluded from an open perils policy will be listed in the Exclusions section of the policy. Any event can be excluded, but the most common include events such as wars, nuclear hazards, intentional damage or destruction and earth movements.
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