Best homeowners insurance in Florida in 2021
Florida is a desirable place to live, with its subtropical climate, long coastline and ocean views. But if you own a home in Florida, are thinking about buying a home there or are considering a move to the Sunshine State, knowing that Florida homeowners insurance is more complicated than other states may help you better understand how to shop for coverage. Because of the risk of widespread property damage, many private home insurance companies do not write business in Florida or write in only very limited areas within the state.
Understanding the challenges that come with homeowners insurance in Florida could help you set realistic expectations when shopping for a policy. If you do qualify for private coverage, some of the best home insurance companies in Florida include Travelers, Chubb and Security First, according to Bankrate’s review of average annual premiums, available coverage and third-party customer satisfaction ratings. The average cost of these standard policies is $1,353 per year for $250,000 in dwelling coverage. However, the average rate will vary drastically based on your specific location within the state, the features of your home and the type of carrier with which you are able to get coverage.
- Florida presents a challenging insurance market, and many private insurers do not write in the state or only write in certain areas.
- Adding storm-resistant features to your home like hurricane shutters and roof straps might help you find coverage in high-risk areas.
- Homeowners who cannot purchase a private insurance policy might be able to get coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida’s last-resort state-run insurance provider.
Best home insurance companies in Florida
To help you find the homeowners insurance company that is right for you, Bankrate reviewed satisfaction scores from the J.D. Power & Associates U.S. Home Insurance Survey, which evaluates top property insurers based on customer satisfaction. We also evaluated data from Quadrant Information Services to identify current 2021 quoted Florida premiums. Finally, we reviewed each company’s coverage offerings, discounts and policy features. Based on the data, the following are our choices for the best homeowners insurance companies in Florida for 2021. These companies are more likely to be available for Florida homeowners in areas at lower risk for significant weather-related damage.
|Home insurance company||Average annual premium for $250K dwelling||J.D. Power customer satisfaction score|
Bankrate’s editorial team confirmed these five carriers are actively writing Florida homeowners insurance policies. However, because Florida homes face unique risks, coverage may be limited to certain ZIP codes, homes of a certain age or homes with specific safety features, like wind mitigation measures.
Working with a local insurance agent for guidance may be beneficial if you need home insurance in Florida. Some areas of the state present a particularly high risk of weather-related claims, which means that a local company representative may need to be involved in the quoting and application process.
Between having local agents in well over 150 Florida cities and its convenient mobile app that allows users to take full advantage of their policies, Allstate is an excellent property insurer for homeowners in the state and offers coverage underwritten by its Castle Key Insurance Company Florida subsidiary. There are multiple ways to save on your premium, such as being a new home buyer or having a good payment history. As Florida can be a popular location for vacation home rentals, Allstate’s HostAdvantage home-sharing insurance could come in handy, which offers coverage for damage and theft caused by renters.
Learn more: Allstate Insurance review
Chubb may be a good choice for Florida homeowners with high-value homes. A few of its policy highlights include extended replacement cost coverage to rebuild your home or a cash settlement option if you decide not to rebuild after a covered loss. For a storm-heavy state such as Florida, Chubb’s pre-included “extras” could also benefit homeowners with tree removal and home inspections to prevent problems before they escalate.
Learn more: Chubb Insurance review
Security First is a Florida-based regional insurance provider, which may be appealing to those looking to keep their coverage local. The company also offers the lowest average premium on our list. You can choose your insurance based on your home’s age and receive discounts for living in a secured community and having risk mitigation home features, such as reinforced roofs and wind-rated garage doors. Security First also has a host of optional endorsements, including coverage for flood damage, golf carts and screened enclosures.
State Farm has local agents in more than 100 communities throughout Florida. Homeowners looking for an in-person insurance experience might appreciate the local expertise State Farm offers. Although the company’s average premium is higher than Florida’s average, State Farm offers several ways to lower your insurance costs. For example, if you take extra precautions by installing impact-resistant roofing materials, you may qualify for a discount.
Learn more: State Farm Insurance review
Travelers’ average home insurance premium of $918 per year is well below Florida’s average. For homeowners looking for even more savings, discounts are available for having protective devices installed, a green-certified home and being loss-free for a period of time. Travelers also has optional coverage for water backup and sump pump failure.
Learn more: Travelers Insurance review
Additional companies to consider
American Strategic Insurance (Progressive Home)
American Strategic Insurance (ASI) is a Florida-based property insurer worth your consideration when you live in a high-risk area. ASI joined forces with the third-largest U.S. property and casualty carrier — Progressive — to make bundling your home policy and auto policy an option for homeowners in high-risk areas. Because finding home insurance in these areas can be difficult, residents may have a harder time finding a single company to insure both their homes and vehicles. ASI’s standard home policies offer coverage for additional living expenses and coverage for seasonal and investment home insurance. The company can also help you obtain flood insurance underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
Kin Insurance is among the new wave of insurtech companies, and offers property coverage in high-risk states. The carrier may be worth a closer look if you are seeking an insurer familiar with the coastal risks that impact homeownership. Kin’s coverage is available to homeowners in Florida, Louisiana and California, states known for significant impacts from natural disasters. Kin uses a different formula to price its insurance policies compared to traditional insurers, using local market values, property records and satellite imagery to assess value and risk. The company’s coverage is specifically designed to protect homeowners from hurricanes, sinkholes and floods for extra peace of mind.
Learn more: Kin Insurance review
How much is home insurance in Florida?
Home insurance prices vary based on where you are located in a state. Bankrate gathered 2021 average annual premiums from 519 ZIP codes in Florida to help you see how the average rates vary by geographic location. The map below shows how the average premium in Florida changes based on the risk level associated. We’ve also included a breakdown of the average cost of home insurance in various Florida cities. Keep in mind, though, that your premium will vary based on your individual risk factors, and not all insurers write for each specific city or ZIP code.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $1,353 per year for a home with $250,000 dwelling coverage. The average rate in your area may vary drastically depending on your proximity to the coast. For example, homes that are near Florida’s Atlantic and Gulf coasts have an increased likelihood of experiencing wind damage from tropical cyclones, making them riskier to insure. Because the risk of a large loss is higher in coastal areas, the average cost in those ZIP codes may be much higher.
Several factors can affect your Florida insurance premium. For example, you can expect to pay significantly more if you live in a hurricane-prone area. Hurricane Michael, a category 5 major hurricane, struck the Florida Panhandle in 2018 and caused an estimated $7.4 billion in insured losses. Your home’s location may have the most significant impact on your property insurance rate and the availability of standard coverage. However, your age, gender, marital status, credit-based insurance score and claims history can also impact your premium.
Home insurance in Florida
Florida’s location between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico is a prime area to be hit by tropical storms. Historically, Florida has endured more hurricane landfalls than any other state. Due to the high possibility of hurricanes and flooding, homeowners should consider the potential damage resulting from these occurrences when choosing their coverage.
Common causes of loss in Florida
Understanding the common causes of home damage could help you choose appropriate coverages. Homeowners insurance claims are frequent in Florida, especially for properties along the coastline. Here are some of the most common losses that Florida homeowners face.
- Floods and water damage: Floods often occur in Florida because of the state’s coastal location and near sea level terrain. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the average claim payout for flood damage in Florida is $28,900. Heavy rains and storm surges can cause extensive flooding and water damage, even to inland locations during a hurricane. However, flood damage is generally not covered in a standard home insurance policy, so you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
- Wind: 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 approximately 2.8 million Florida homes that are at risk of getting damaged or destroyed by a category 5 hurricane, the most severe type, according to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I). Home insurance typically covers wind damage, and in Florida, carriers are required to cover hurricanes. However, a separate hurricane deductible may apply.
- Fire: House fires are not uncommon in Florida. In 2020, FEMA indicates Florida experienced 69 home fire fatalities. Additionally, hurricanes and extreme weather can cause damage to your home’s electrical system, which might start a fire. The good news is standard home insurance policies cover fire damage. However, you may want to consider whether you have enough dwelling coverage to rebuild your home if it gets destroyed by a fire and personal property coverage to replace your items lost from a fire.
How to find home insurance in Florida
The Florida homeowners insurance market is complex and ever-changing. The high risk of catastrophic damage means that many property insurers don’t write coverage in Florida. Of the insurance providers that do write business in the state, many only write in certain locations and only if your home has certain damage-mitigation features.
If you live in an area further inland, the carriers above could be great options for your coverage. You may be able to get quotes online and purchase coverage in a more conventional way. But if you live in a higher-risk area, especially near the coast, your shopping process may be a bit different. You may have a harder time securing homeowners insurance coverage due to the risk of catastrophic damage in your area. However, it is possible to find the best homeowners insurance in Florida in your area, too. These tips could help you secure coverage in more high-risk areas of the Sunshine State:
- Start shopping early: When shopping for home insurance in Florida, you will likely want to give yourself plenty of time to secure coverage. You may need more time to find a homeowners insurance company that fits your needs due to the nature of the market.
- Check with your preferred provider: Although coverage in higher-risk areas may be restricted, asking if your preferred insurance carrier writes homeowners policies in your ZIP code can’t hurt.
- Talk with a local agency: Insurance agents local to your area are likely to have experience insuring homes in higher-risk zones.
- Work with a broker: An insurance broker works for you, not an insurance company. If you are not sure where to turn to get coverage in a higher-risk area, a broker could help you navigate the complex market.
If you cannot find homeowners insurance coverage, you may need to turn to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation as a last resort. This is Florida’s “Fair Access to Insurance Requirements” (FAIR) plan. Although premiums may be high and coverage might be limited, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation offers coverage to homeowners who have no other options. You may have to prove that a certain number of standard companies refused to write your policy, and you may have to make improvements to your home that limit your risk for damage. Florida’s FAIR plan may still be able to deny your coverage if you do not meet these conditions.
Frequently asked questions
What is the cheapest homeowners insurance in Florida?
The cheapest homeowners insurance company will vary based on a number of factors. Because rates in many areas of Florida tend to be significantly higher than the national and state averages, the cheapest company will vary by region. Other rating factors include the age of your home, if you have wind-mitigation features installed, how old your roof is and your claims history. If budget is a concern, getting quotes from several insurance companies may help you find a lower rate. The Triple-I recommends obtaining a minimum of three quotes when shopping for coverage.
What do I need to get home insurance in Florida?
First, you need to get a home insurance quote, or several, to compare companies. You can often get a quote online, or you can call a carrier and visit a local agency. You will need to provide some basic information, like your name, date of birth and address with ZIP code. You may also be asked for your Social Security number. Your insurance agent will also want to know some details about the home you are insuring, such as when it was built and other characteristics. There will also likely be some discussion regarding your home’s resistance to storm damage and whether there may be additional types of coverage needed for your home. Once you have received a quote and decided to purchase a policy, your agent will walk you through the next steps.
Do Florida homeowners insurance policies cover hurricanes?
Florida requires companies to cover hurricanes on standard homeowners insurance policies. However, Florida homeowners policies usually include a separate hurricane deductible for named tropical cyclones. This deductible is typically higher than the base policy deductible, often 1% to 5% of your dwelling coverage. However, checking your policy and adding additional coverage for non-hurricane storm-related losses could be helpful to ensure you understand how your policy would react if your home sustains storm damage. To avoid being stuck with significant out-of-pocket expenses following a storm, discuss your policy limit recommendations with your agent when you purchase a policy.
Can I receive a home insurance discount for wind-resistant features?
Florida requires that insurance companies offer discounts on the hurricane windstorm portion of insurance premiums for Florida residents who install hurricane-resistant materials or take similar precautions to reduce the risk of hurricane damage. Features like hurricane shutters, roof straps or wind-resistant building materials may qualify for a discount.
What if I am unable to purchase property coverage from a private insurer?
In certain areas of Florida, the private insurance market has become very challenging and there are situations where homeowners may not be able to find coverage. In these cases, you might be able to purchase coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state-run insurer of last resort, as long as you meet the requirements. Independent agents across the state represent Citizens.
Bankrate utilizes Quadrant Information Services to analyze 2021 rates for all ZIP codes and carriers in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quoted rates are based on 40-year-old male and female homeowners with a clean claim history, good credit and the following coverage limits:
- Coverage A, Dwelling: $250,000
- Coverage B, Other Structures: $25,000
- Coverage C, Personal Property: $125,000
- Coverage D, Loss of Use: $50,000
- Coverage E, Liability: $300,000
- Coverage F, Medical Payments: $1,000
The homeowners also have a $1,000 deductible and a separate wind and hail deductible (if required).
These are sample rates and should be used for comparative purposes only. Your quotes will differ.