Home insurance is no small cost no matter where you live, but Floridians pay the second highest home insurance rate in the country. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), the average annual home insurance premium in Florida is $1,951, which is significantly higher than the national average rate of $1,211 per year.
As a coastal state, Florida is susceptible to natural disasters such as hurricanes and sinkholes, which drives premiums sky high. But having homeowners insurance in Florida is essential. Without it, you would have to pay out-of-pocket to repair or rebuild your home if it gets damaged or destroyed.
It can be hard to find the top home insurance providers in Florida. There are dozens of companies on the market, and they each offer different rates. While shopping for the best homeowners insurance in Florida, use these tips:
- Make sure your policy includes flood and hurricane protection. If it doesn’t, buy a supplemental policy.
- Check insurance providers’ reputations on a site like Consumer Reports.
- Consider the value of your personal possessions. Most policies have a fairly low limit on personal property, so you may need to increase your coverage to protect items like engagement rings or fine art.
Best home insurance companies in Florida
There are plenty of options for home insurance in Florida, but not all are created equal. These J.D. Power ratings from the 2020 U.S Property Claims Satisfaction Study will be helpful when choosing the best homeowners insurance Florida provider.
Amica has ranked at or near the top of any list of home insurance providers for a number of years now. It is renowned for its quick and painless claims process, low rates regardless of the limits you’re looking for on your policy and award-winning service from expert agents. The only drawback users might point to with Amica’s offerings is the slightly limited endorsements and add-ons available on the policies.
For Florida residents, Amica’s high coverage limits will ensure your home is fully covered after costly hurricane or weather-related damages. You’ll pay for higher coverage limits upfront, but it will save you money in the long run.
The Hartford provides insurance to AARP members. If you’re 50 and older, you could save on your homeowners policy without sacrificing good coverage and excellent customer service.
Taking advantage of The Hartford’s discounts can help you save on your policy. Be sure to sign up for as many of the discounts as you can.
Farmers offers a wide range of home insurance policies to customers nationwide. One of the more unique riders is the eco-build coverage, designed to pay for replacement or repairs using green building materials.
You’ll be able to save more on your Farmers policy through the insurer’s claim forgiveness discount. Should you file a claim, it will be forgiven by Farmers so your insurance premium doesn’t go up.
Auto-Owners Insurance is one of the most reliable providers that users seeking homeowners insurance in Florida will find. It boasts top-notch financial ratings, including an “A++” score from AM Best and over $20 billion in assets as of 2016. Apart from its stellar financials, Auto-Owners Insurance has made a name for itself by way of its 35,000 independent agents who help users build policies that provide protection for seasonal dwellings, renovated homes and residences under construction, among others.
Though its service is limited at times, as users cannot purchase a policy or process policy change requests online, the affordability of its premiums and variety of its discounts makes Auto-Owners Insurance a great option for Floridians seeking homeowners insurance.
Nationwide ranks high in the J.D. Power survey but could do better in the customer service category. Its low rates still make the insurer worth a quote if you’re shopping for the least expensive and best car insurance in Florida.
Nationwide’s basic homeowners policies include free extras that would need to be added as a paid rider with other insurers. These include credit card coverage to protect you against identity theft and ordinance insurance that covers the cost of rebuilding your home according to current building codes.
Average homeowners insurance cost in Florida
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $3,643, based on data from Insurance.com. There are several factors that can affect your Florida insurance premium. For example, expect to pay significantly more if you live in a hurricane zone. Hurricane Michael, which hit Florida in 2018, caused $8 billion in insured losses alone.
Your home’s location may have the most significant impact on your home insurance rate. However, your age, gender, marital status, credit score and claims history will also impact your insurance rate.
Home insurance coverage options in Florida
There are several types of homeowners insurance available in Florida. The first is insurance that covers your home’s structure, which is called dwelling insurance. In your policy, you’ll find a list of perils that your insurance covers, such as wind and hail damage, fire, theft, falling objects and vandalism. Keep in mind that a basic Florida home insurance policy might not cover structural damage from hurricanes, floods or earthquakes.
Home insurance policies can also cover the belongings inside your home, which is called personal property insurance. Personal property insurance covers everything from your clothing, to electronics, to furniture. This can be extended to certain valuable items that are lost or stolen while outside your home. Ask your insurance provider about limits and think about high-value items you may want to purchase additional coverage for.
The last major portion of your home insurance is liability insurance. Liability insurance is a key part of a Florida homeowners insurance policy as it covers injury or damage caused by those listed on the insurance policy, including pets. Your policy should also cover additional living expenses, which pays for hotel and restaurant expenses in the event that your home becomes uninhabitable.
Common causes of home insurance losses in Florida
Homeowners insurance claims are frequent in Florida, especially for homes along the coastline. Here are some of the most common losses that Florida homeowners face.
Floods and water damage
Floods happen often in Florida because of the state’s coastal location. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Florida homeowners were paid for 34,995 flood claims in 2019. After a major hurricane, it’s possible for heavy rains and storm surges to cause extensive flooding and water damage. However, standard home insurance doesn’t cover flood damage, so you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
High winds and wind-related damage are most commonly associated with hurricanes and tropical storms. In Florida, wind-related damage can be incredibly costly. There are about 2,830,201 Florida homes that are at-risk of getting damaged or destroyed by a category 5 hurricane, the most severe type. Home insurance does cover wind damage but homes located in hurricane zones may be exempt from coverage. In that case, you would need to purchase a hurricane policy.
House fires are surprisingly common in Florida. Every day, firefighters respond to more than 209 house fires across the state. Additionally, hurricanes and extreme weather can cause damage to your home’s electrical system, which can start a fire. The good news is, fire damage is covered by standard home insurance policies. However, it’s important to ensure you have enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home if it gets destroyed by a fire.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in Florida?
As it’s the most expensive state in the U.S. to purchase homeowners insurance, it’s not easy to find a cheap home insurance policy in Florida. Instead, ask yourself what your potential losses are in the event of a major weather event, and purchase a plan that best protects your home and your family.
What do I need to get home insurance in Florida?
To purchase homeowners insurance in Florida, you’ll need your personal identifying information and financial records. Your Florida insurance agent will also want to know several details about the home you’re insuring, such as when it was built and what renovations or improvements have been made.
Do Florida homeowners insurance policies cover hurricanes?
In many cases, basic Florida home insurance policies do not cover hurricane damage. Check your policy and talk to your insurance provider. If you don’t currently have hurricane coverage, you should purchase a supplemental policy sooner rather than later.