Home insurance costs in Florida 2021

Home insurance costs in Florida

 

Florida is considered to be a sort of paradise for its amazing and immense beaches, the warm climate all-year-round, and its luxury properties almost typically equipped with their swimming pools. One can also have access to parks and a diverse environment to explore, a metropolis with lots of things to do at every hour of the day: you probably know Miami Beach as ‘the never-sleeping city’. Being wealthy enough to have a home here opens many possibilities for a life rich in many aspects. Thus, you must protect it for it’s your most valuable asset: home insurance shouldn’t definitely be missed in Florida, because the State faces frequent and severe phenomenons yearly, not to mention that will be required by mortgage lenders.

The location on the Atlantic Gulf makes Florida constantly exposed to extreme weather phenomenons: the most important of which are windstorms including hurricanes, followed by floodings and wildfires. There have been repeated disasters in the recent weather history of Florida, and the numbers of claims are among the highest in the U.S. That’s why you should expect quite high costs for your homeowner’s policy.

After extensive research*, we found an average annual premium for Florida of $1,837, quite above the national average and ranking behind few other States, like Oklahoma, Texas, and Louisiana. Premiums vary dramatically among cities, which tells you of their totally different risk profile; there is also a big jump of a premium rate between subsequent amounts of coverage, e.g.from $300,000 to $350,000 (of home’s insured value) and so on. For the eleven most populous cities in Florida, we gathered and averaged quotes from major insurance companies as Auto Owners, Amica, Chubb, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Progressive, Statefarm, Travelers, and USAA. See the table below to get the idea and eventually identify a house close to your characteristics.

 

City Country Home median value Square ft Premium
Jacksonville
Duval
$170,000
1,400
$1,480
Miami
Miami-Dade
$290,000
1,400
$3,750
Tampa
Hillsborough
$215,000
1,570
$1,720
Orlando
Orange
$220,000
1,550
$2,085
St. Petersburg
Pinellas
$140,000
1,100
$2,425
Hialeah-Carol City
Miami-Dade
$260,000
1,370
$5,620
Tallahassee
Leon
$165,000
1,410
$1,190
Port St. Lucie
St. Lucie
$225,000
1,700
$3,290
Fort Lauderdale
Broward
$330,000
1,400
$3,875
Cape Coral-Fort Myers
Lee
$230,000
1,780
$1,920
Miami Beach
Miami-Dade
$475,000
1545
$3,925

 

 

In each city, the sample house has the median home value for that city with average square footage. All houses are furnished for at least 3 beds and 2 bathrooms; the deductible applied is $1,000 and liability coverage is $300,000. Premiums refer to dwelling coverages adequate for the value of houses: repairing or rebuilding a house in Florida most of the time costs much less than the purchase price.

Home insurance related perils in Florida

 

All kinds of windstorms occur in Florida, and frequently, causing extensive damages, so they are certainly a concern for homeowners. Hurricanes of high grades have to be expected. Wind is a named peril on the home policy paperwork, which means you are covered against tornadoes, cyclone, and hurricanes; however, living in a high-risk area such as in a coastal residence asks for an additional layer of coverage, whether in the form of endorsement or add-on, which is anyway recommended. Besides, this specific coverage can be mandatory for home loans providers. You will have to check carefully the conditions set by your insurer because they differ from an insurance company to another.

The law demands the application of a hurricane deductible: to be applied, houses are first to be damaged in a certain area of the State, and the National Weather Service has detected the hurricane and qualified its entity. Then, in order to get the insurance settlement, the homeowner pays this ‘second deductible’: he/she must file a claim for a hurricane before 72 hours since it has been declared (otherwise the suffered damage might not be attributed to the hurricane, since it would lapse the condition of sudden and accidental peril). The deductible can be $500, or 2%,5%,10% of the home’s insured value, as appropriate. You are recommended to see further explanation on iii.org.

If you can’t obtain insurance through a private company due to the high risk associated with your home (and demonstrate you couldn’t), you can rely on Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC), a public program aimed to provide property coverage to homeowners, that also include other perils.

– Hail is also an issue, typically coming with windstorms, or alone, and is peril regularly covered at a standard level, without any add-on, except for an eventual willingness to extend amount limits of the coverage.

– Floodings are a major issue for Florida inhabitants, because of proximity to the Ocean, as a consequence of heavy rain triggered by the very high rate of constant humidity, and are brought by strong winds. Unfortunately, there is no place in a standard home policy for flood coverage, so you need to buy flood insurance either through a private specialized company or the National Flood Insurance Program*. Premiums will vary, depending on many factors, above all the level of risk to which your house is exposed: usually, the private option is more flexible overall, but might not grant you a policy; that is not the case with the NFIP*.

– Wildfires occur every year, especially in wildland that has been occupied by new communities, but also in the cities where they can be provoked by lightning, or being arson. The risk for fire through the State is low overall, with some areas with a moderate one. Fire is commonly a covered peril unless you live in a very risky area: being the case, you might be denied of the standard policy, and required to purchase private insurance, or, as a last resort, through the above mentioned CPIC.

– Sinkholes are quite common in Florida because of its geological characteristics: they can manifest especially after a flood or heavy rain that provoke erosion and subsidence of a frail soil, with loss of elevation or even swallowing of buildings. This dramatic hazard is definitely not covered in a standard policy, but you will need an endorsement for it. It covers both the building and its contents, and can include a car (in this case it becomes a standalone policy); in case of partial damage, such as the inclination of the house, it can take action directly by the means of adequate works.

An appraisal of the homeland can be a good investment, to understand its risk: sinkhole insurance is costly, and it can be avoided if not necessary.

How can I save on home insurance in Florida?

 

Several measures are possible to save on the high premiums of Florida: every improvement to your house against the explained dangers will go a long way to grant you comfortable rates, along with the intrinsic value of safety. Let’s see a few examples.

 

  • Wind mitigation: a series of adjustments for defense from all windstorms. If you can pass a dedicated inspection, you will get discounts.
  • Reinforcing walls and ways of access to the house as preparedness for floodings
  • Equipping with a fire extinguisher and smoke/fire alarm
  • Strengthening the foundation
  • Retrofitting the house if older than forty-years: in Florida most houses are relatively recent constructions, but the last ones are more prone to undergo damages, and repairing or rebuilding them is more costly compared to modern homes.
  • Improving your roof: it can be old and obsolete materials are generally weaker than newer ones; how it is made is also important, since it might not be the best suitable to face some hazards to which your house is most exposed. The roof is taken into great consideration by insurers.
  • Protection against property crimes: not a special issue of Florida, but if you have a high worth property, just take some countermeasures and you will get a cheaper premium.
  • Swimming pools and trampoline presence: this poses a liability concern. If you give a party and someone gets hurt, he or she may decide to sue you and insurance will come into play. Your company will want to know if you have those amenities, and this will add some hundreds to your premium.
  • Pets: depriving of eventual dangerous animals can make the difference between actually getting the policy or not at all.

 

Besides, be mindful of the real necessity of filing a claim: for every presented claim, percentages of increase will be applied to your premium.

Your credit score is also a strong factor: you can try to improve it if you had a less than ‘good’ score, that is to say below 669. Doing so will guarantee more comfortable rates and discounts; insurers always reward good creditors who can rely on their resources.

Choosing a high deductible can be a successful yet risky strategy: you pay less, but assume the risk to spend more out of your pocket if you underwent damage or loss and so forced to ask for a settlement.

Lastly, more general but essential moves are: shopping around for multiple quotes, bundling home with car insurance (you may get discounts around 25%), and staying with the same company at policy renewal.

Now, you can check the online comparison tool at floir.com to get fast quote samples for your home (along with other information), or the home insurance calculator on this website, where you can also see which coverages are roughly best for you, based on the values you input. Then you will be ready for real quotes that you get from the most experienced insurance companies on the market.

*Methodology: we aggregated and averaged multiple quotes for every city of the State, assuming a 35 years old individual, married, with a good credit score. Our effort is to keep data always updated and the most accurate possible, so as to satisfy at best the consumer’s expectations.