A Florida homeowner’s insurance policy provides coverage to replace or rebuild your home. Do not rely on the purchase price, the amount of the mortgage loan, or the amount set by the property tax appraiser. Your coverage should not be based upon what your home is worth or could sell for.
In order to be properly covered, your home should be insured for the amount it will cost to rebuild the home at current prices for building materials and labor costs, including bringing it into compliance with current building codes. If your home is not correctly insured for at the time of loss, there may be a penalty or a reduction in the amount the insurance company will pay for.
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A homeowner’s insurance policy is for a home that is occupied by the owner. The policy generally consists of several parts as briefly explained below. We recommend you contact us for a quote and detailed review of your policy.
This coverage helps pay for damage to your home, the contents of your home and other personal belongings owned by you or family members who live with you. In some cases, it helps pay for damage to other structures, such as tool sheds, detached garages, small boats, guest houses and their contents.
Please keep in mind that certain special personal property such as jewelry, firearms, antiques and furs to name a few, may have limited coverage on your homeowners policy. You may need to specifically add this coverage on or purchase a separate policy to ensure proper coverage.
This coverage protects you against a claim or lawsuit resulting from (non-auto) bodily injury or property damage to others. For example, if a neighbor slips and falls in your house and sues you, and a jury finds you legally liable, this coverage would pay that claim plus legal fees up to the policy limits. This coverage applies to you and all family members who live with you. Please keep in mind, that this does not cover intentional damage or harm caused by you or family members who live with you.
Additional Living Expenses (Loss of Use)
Homeowners’ policies provide additional living expense coverage that will pay some extra expenses if damage to your home prevents you from living there while it is being repaired.
Most policies also will provide this coverage when a civil authority (law enforcement agency, emergency management service, etc.) prohibits the use of a residence due to direct damage to neighboring homes by a covered threat.
The items typically covered – above and beyond normal expenses – include extra costs for food, housing, telephone, transportation (to and from work or school), relocation and storage, utility installation and furniture rental for a temporary residence. Be sure to check your policy to find out what is specifically covered. This coverage applies only to differences in expenses. For example, it would apply to the cost of restaurant meals minus normal food expenses. It does not cover your mortgage, groceries and utilities or the monthly cost of a telephone in a rented space (since you normally pay for the telephone in your own home).
Please keep in mind that your policy does not obligate your company to pay this amount up front or in full if you suffer a total or partial loss. For this reason, you must keep receipts for additional living expenses and submit these to your company for reimbursement.
Condominium Unit Owners Insurance
Condominium Unit Owners insurance policy covers property and certain items not insured by the association’s policy. A condominium association may choose to cover some items in its policy, so make sure you are thoroughly familiar with its bylaws and policy to know what the association is responsible for.
Per the Florida Condominium Statute 717.111, the following items are the unit owners responsibility to insure and are covered under the “dwelling” portion of the unit owner policy (also known Additions & Alterations):
- Floor, wall and ceiling coverings
- Electrical fixtures
- Air conditioning and heating equipment
- Water heaters
- Water filters
- Built-in cabinets and countertops
- Window treatments, including drapes, blinds and hardware replacement
- Air conditioning compressors that serve only one unit, no matter where they are located
Other items not covered by the association would be personal property and other improvements made to your unit.
Condo associations can also require unit owners to insure items such as front doors and screened porches. In addition, unit owners should continue to insure interior additions or upgrades which are not the same kind or quality as the original building items.
Also included on the policy are: Personal Property, Personal Liability, Medical Payments and Loss of Use.
Condo associations may assess individual unit owners for damages to the commonly owned areas that are not covered by the association’s policy. Your unit-owner’s policy may provide limited coverage for such a “loss assessment.” An assessment by the condo association for the association’s policy deductible isn’t covered by your unit-owner’s policy. The minimum amount of Loss Assessment coverage required by Florida law is $2,000. Higher limits may be available depending on the carrier.
This type of policy is sometimes referred to as a “Landlord’s Policy”. This policy is meant to cover a home that you own and rent out to others.
It provides coverage on the primary structure and other structures, liability and minimal personal property. The personal property coverage is to cover things like appliances that are in the home. It does NOT cover any of the tenants’ personal belongings.
Florida renters insurance or tenants insurance (HO-4) insures your household contents in a home or apartment that you rent. It does not cover the dwelling or structure. This policy also provides Personal Liability and Loss of Use coverage.
Some apartment complexes or property owners may require this coverage in order for you to rent from them. Please remember: whatever insurance they may have on the home or apartment will not cover your belongings!
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