Finding low cost Florida home insurance can be difficult no matter where you live in the state. The situation is worse because most national companies will no longer cover homes here. Currently, only 40 companies out of over 400 that are licensed to write home insurance are still accepting new business in Florida.
If your home is located in a Southern Florida coastal county, it is even harder for you to find coverage. Most southern coastal counties have about 25 companies on average that are actively writing new business – and the nearer your home is to the water, the number of companies that will cover your coastal home decreases dramatically.
Many Florida coastal homes end up seeking coverage with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation where they are subject to higher premiums and special assessments. However, the fact that you own a Florida coastal home doesn’t always mean that insurance will cost you more. You can find other affordable options to cover your Florida coastal home if you know where to look.
While there are many factors that can affect your ability to find insurance for your Florida coastal home including its age and construction materials, the two main considerations are whether your home is located in the Citizens Wind Pool and the underwriting guidelines being used by private Florida home insurance companies for coastal homes.
The Citizens Wind Pool refers to the coastal areas across the State of Florida where homeowners are eligible to get a policy from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (the state run insurance company) that specifically covers wind damage. Homeowners located in the Citizen Wind Pool end up with two policies covering their home: one from Citizens for wind and another from a private home insurance company that covers losses from all other perils such as fire. In general, the Citizen Wind Pool includes all barrier islands plus about 1000 feet from the Florida coast in most counties. It is slightly bigger in Palm Beach, Broward, and Dade Counties where it includes the area from the coast all the way inland to Interstate 95.
Homeowners insurance companies in Florida typically state their guidelines on the distance a Florida home can be from the coast according to the following:
Whether or not the home is located in the Citizens Wind Pool
A specific distance (stated in either feet or miles) that the home must be away from the coast
A limit on how old the home can be if coverage is being offered for homes close to the coast
At the present time, most Florida home insurance companies are not offering coverage with wind in the Citizens Wind Pool – however a very limited number will if the home is 20 years old or newer.
Florida homeowners insurance companies that won’t cover homes on the coast currently have restrictions that range from 1000 feet all the way to 2 miles or greater from the coast.
Given the current scarcity of Florida homeowners insurance, it is still possible for many Florida coastal home owners to find private Florida home insurance – and at an affordable price.
Here are some things you can do to give your Florida coastal home the best chance at affordable home insurance:
Make sure your home has hurricane shutters. The tiny group of insurance companies in Florida that cover coastal homes will mandate that your home has shutters.
When you are shopping for Florida home insurance, it is essential that you work with more than one independent insurance agent – not just one. Why? Because at this time, out of the 40 Florida home insurance companies still writing new business, very few will write coverage in the Citizens Wind Pool or homes close to the coast. Working with more than one agent will give you the best chance to get quotes from all of the Florida insurance companies that are still covering coastal homes. If you miss even one of these companies you could end up paying thousands more for Florida home insurance.
If the policy on your Florida coastal home is cancelled by an insurance company that only works with captive agents that only represent that company, an independent agent will be able to present you with more options for covering your home. You should expect the captive agent to discourage you from contacting an independent agent in order to get more quotes on your coastal home. Don’t fall victim to this. Seek out an independent insurance agent and exhaust all of your options before allowing your home to be covered by Citizens.
If you follow the steps above, you will give yourself the most options for finding affordable insurance for your Florida coastal home.
By Mariamichelle from Pixabay