Florida is the second most populous state in the U.S. Most of them live in the state’s coastal area, which means getting home insurance is a big challenge.
You can find different insurance companies as your possible provider, but it still won’t come cheap. We’ll take you through what home insurance costs and why it’s so expensive in the Sunshine State.
What risks does home insurance cover in Florida?
Florida sits on the Gulf Coast, making it prone to significant risks, ultimately leading to the most expensive homeowners insurance nationwide. When you’re buying home insurance, we recommend getting coverage against the most obvious perils, meaning the most common and the most expensive (winds, storms, flooding).
Hurricanes and storms are among the most frequent causes of property damage in Florida. So, wind damage is almost always a staple coverage with any homeowners policy. But if you own a coastal home that’s at a greater risk of high winds and wind damage, you may need to buy a special wind endorsement.
Fortunately, insurance providers are legally required to offer discounts for homeowners who buy and pass an optional wind mitigation inspection. You get a list of ways to minimize the risk of storm damage to your home, and if you pass, you’ll qualify for home insurance discounts that are well worth the inspection cost.
Although it’s quite common in Florida, a standard homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover water damage due to rain or flood. Make sure you purchase flood insurance, especially if you live in an area with a high flooding risk. It may even be a requirement to qualify for a home loan in some areas.
There’s too much to worry about with natural disasters. Extreme weather and hurricanes can cause power outages and damage your home’s electrical system. Thankfully, a standard home insurance policy covers accidental fire damage. But you should make sure you have enough coverage in case an event results in a total loss.
What does home insurance cost in Florida?
On average, homeowners insurance can cost you $2,385 per year, or about $199 a month. Frequent natural disasters and legal fees that insurers charge customers contribute to the rise in rates in recent years with it set on increasing more.
Many insurance providers have either hiked up their rates, stopped selling policies in Florida or simply closed shop. This comes as a direct result of the claim losses from recent hurricanes adding more pressure on the struggling market.
My Safe Florida Home Program
Let’s peel the curtains back a little. There was major concern about what was costing Florida insurers the most. It shed light on fraud and legal system abuse that spiked insurance costs through the roof.
In response, the Florida Legislature passed two bills, effective from May 2022, to combat the exorbitant home insurance prices in the state. This new law ensures that homes with roofs less than 15 years old also get proper insurance coverage.
They also introduced and allocated $150 million to the My Safe Florida Home Program, which provides funds for homeowners to install hurricane-resistant features, such as exterior doors and reinforced roof-to-wall connections. For every dollar you spend, the program provides $2 up to $10,000.
Check your eligibility here:
- Single family homes insured at $500,000 or less.
- Homes located in the wind-borne debris region as listed in the Florida Building Code.
- Homes must be available for inspection after the mitigation project ends.
- Building permits for your home’s initial construction must have been made before January 1, 2008.
- Homes must have passed the hurricane relief inspection after July 1, 2008.
Why is home insurance so expensive in Florida?
Coastal areas tend to be prone to high-risk natural events. That alone makes insurance costs high for both the insurers and insurance seekers. There are several other factors that contribute to increased risks and potential damage. Here are some factors that make home insurance in Florida relatively costly:
Florida’s location on the coast and proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico makes it highly prone to hurricanes and tropical storms. The state experiences a higher rate of severe weather events, such as strong winds, storm surge, and heavy rainfall associated with hurricanes. The increased risk of hurricane-related damage contributes to a surge in insurance premiums.
High property values
The coastal communities in Florida are home to many high-value properties. The higher the property value, the higher the cost to repair or rebuild them and replace valuable belongings, resulting in higher insurance premiums.
Florida has stricter building codes to ensure structures are more resilient against hurricane forces. While these codes help mitigate damages, it raises the initial construction cost, ultimately raising premiums.
Frequency of claims
There’s a relatively higher frequency of insurance claims in Florida than other states due to the significant rate of hurricanes and other weather events.
Insurance market dynamics
The insurance market in Florida can be volatile due to the unique risks it faces. Some insurance companies have scaled back their presence, stopped selling insurance in Florida altogether or increased premiums to better navigate through potential losses. This reduced competition can contribute to higher insurance costs.
You should note that home insurance premiums can fluctuate depending on various circumstances, such as your location, the age and condition of your home, coverage limits, deductibles, and the insurance provider you choose. Shopping around and comparing various insurance products can help you find the most suitable coverage at the most lucrative rates.
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Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Florida by Insurance Provider
While the average homeowner’s insurance rates vary by state, the current national average is $1,820 per year or $152 a month. The average cost in Florida far exceeds the national average, going for $2,385 a year, or $199 a month.
Cheapest Home Insurance in Florida
|Insurance Provider||Average Annual Rate||Average monthly cost|
You can also check Farmers Insurance, Amica, Kin and USAA for home insurance. However, their rates weren’t publicly available on their website.
Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Florida by City
|City||Average annual rate||Average monthly rate|
|Port St. Lucie||$2,800||$233|
|West Palm Beach||$2,900||$242|
Hurricane Insurance in Florida
If you own and carry a mortgage on your house or condo, you must have hurricane insurance in the form of a windstorm insurance policy. This policy is bundled into Florida homeowners, condo and landlord insurance policies at the time of purchase and is legally required in Florida. Since it’s already bundled when you buy an insurance policy, you won’t have to buy extra coverage either.
You can also exclude hurricane coverage in your policy. You must submit a written request to your insurer to do so. This can slightly reduce your rates but is not a recommended action. It will give you lower rates but will also leave you financially vulnerable in the event of hurricanes and the subsequent damage.
What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover in Florida?
Hurricane insurance covers your home, belongings, and other living expenses damaged by any wind-related event up to your policy’s maximum limit. So, it’s essential to make sure you have adequate coverage.
- Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage protects the structure of your home, including walls and roofs against hurricane or wind-related damage.
- Other structures: This coverage only applies to landlords and homeowners since they own the property. It pays for structures that aren’t attached to the house, like fences, sheds and pools.
- Personal belongings: You get personal belongings coverage with every type of home insurance policy, including renters’ insurance. It covers the replacement cost for damaged furniture, appliances, electronics, clothing, and other items.
- Additional living expenses: If you’re forced to move out or relocate temporarily due to hurricane damage to your home or condo, additional living expenses coverage covers all expenses. In Florida, your car insurance covers hurricane damage as long as you have comprehensive coverage.
- Availability: Keep in mind that hurricane insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. You’ll need a separate policy for coverage against flood-related damage. Since there’s a substantial risk of storm surge during hurricanes, flood insurance is highly recommended for Florida residents.
Florida Peninsula offers robust hurricane insurance with unique benefits. However, it has high rates and has received higher than average customer complaints. Nonetheless, it has good policies for coastal homes and covers water backup, a common occurrence after major storms.
You can also get private flood insurance with coverage up to $2 million for your home. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has set a $250,000 flood coverage limit, so Florida Peninsula’s high limits should suffice everyone except the most high-end homes in Florida.
How to Find the Best Home Insurance in Florida
Florida has a tough insurance market. Understanding this will help you set realistic expectations. Homes in coastal areas can have a more challenging time shopping for insurance than if you live inland. Here are some tips to help you buy insurance in Florida:
- Start early! You’ll want to give yourself a head start, so you get plenty of time to secure coverage. You may need more time to select an insurance company that offers the home insurance policies that fit your needs best.
- Check with your preferred provider. Ask your preferred insurance provider if it writes homeowners policies in your ZIP code.
- Talk with a local agency. Local insurance agents know the market best and will likely have experience insuring homes in your area or high-risk zones.
- Work with a broker. Insurance brokers work for you, not an insurance company. They can help you navigate the market better and get suitable coverage.
If you’d like help comparing rates and finding the right insurance coverage and insurer, we can help you match with an insurance agent in your locale. You can talk to one or compare rates from multiple agents to find the rates that suit you best. Talk to a local insurance agent in Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is home insurance needed in Florida?
Legally, no. However, if you have a mortgage or any type of home loan, your lender might ask you to buy a home insurance policy. This ensures that if your home is damaged or destroyed, you will have the financial means to rebuild or repay the loan. Even if you own your home, it’s a good idea to have home insurance. Florida is prone to significant home damage risks, making it crucial to have insurance to safeguard your finances for unexpected losses.
How can I save money on homeowners insurance?
Several carriers offer discounts, especially if you purchase multiple policies or install security systems in your home. You can also opt for a higher deductible if it’s an amount you could cover in a disaster.
What is the average cost of home insurance in Florida?
Homeowners insurance in Florida can cost up to $2,835 a year or $199 a month on average. It is well above the national average cost of $1,820 per year or $152 a month.
- What risks does home insurance cover in Florida?
- What does home insurance cost in Florida?
- My Safe Florida Home Program
- Why is home insurance so expensive in Florida?
- Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Florida by Insurance Provider
- Cost of Homeowners Insurance in Florida by City
- Hurricane Insurance in Florida
- What Does Hurricane Insurance Cover in Florida?
- How to Find the Best Home Insurance in Florida
- Frequently Asked Questions
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