As a company that strives to educate and inform Florida property owners about all things involving property insurance and the laws that govern it, today on our blog Noble Public Adjusting Group would like to lay out the basics of a Florida homeowner insurance policy.
The first thing you need to be aware of as a Florida homeowner is that when you take out an insurance policy on your home, you are entering into a contract with your Florida insurance provider. A contract for property insurance in Florida will provide coverage or liability if a loss is sustained that is set forth within the coverage terms of the policy only.
What many Florida homeowner don’t understand is that your insurance policy provides coverage for physical damage to your home, but then the policy turns around sets forth a list of exclusions under which coverage does not exist. Then coverages are added back into the policy for certain perils, usually in the form of endorsements.
Understanding The Basics Of Florida Homeowner Insurance
Florida law does not require homeowners to have property insurance but your mortgage company will. Under the standard terms of most home mortgages, if you fail to maintain your insurance, the lender has the right to obtain coverage for you and place coverage on your property via a “forced-placed” policy and then charge you for the policy in addition to your loan premiums. This forced placed insurance is very expensive and should never be maintained if it can be avoided. You should be proactive and take out your own insurance on your Florida home.
Florida homeowner insurance policies are broken down with coverage limits that have labels such as Coverage A, Coverage B and so forth. Typically Coverage A represents the total coverage for the insured structure and Coverage B will provide additional coverage for attached structures.
Florida Homeowner Endorsements and Insurance Language
- Additional Living Expense Coverage, ALE, provides coverage under your Florida homeowner insurance policy for the expenses incurred should you be forced from your residence as a result of a covered peril. Most policies provide coverage for this loss on an as-incurred basis, meaning that your policy will provide reimbursement for your out of pocket expenses for alternative living arrangements up to a certain threshold. A Florida public adjuster like Noble can arrange for you to get an advance on these expenses.
- One of the most important basic concepts of your Florida homeowner insurance policy is the difference between replacement cost and actual cash value of damaged property. Replacement cost provides coverage for the amount needed to replace or repair damaged items in the event of a covered peril. Actual cash value (ACV) on the other hand only provides coverage for the amount needed to repair or replace an item less the applicable depreciation. This is especially relevant for older components of your structure like your roof. A depreciated value will significantly reduce your available policy benefits under Florida law.
- Sinkhole Loss and Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse are two very important provisions of your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy. Sinkhole damage is common in Florida and can and does devastate homes. People often believe that a sinkhole is a sudden depression that opens up in the earth. This is false. Sinkholes are the result of disillusionment of limestone over time that causes a floor slab foundation to move. Should you have the ability to afford sinkhole coverage, we strongly recommend that you pay the premium to obtain the endorsement and coverage.
- Ordinance and Law Coverage in Florida provides for the increased costs of a loss associated with the forced compliance with regulations in the Florida building code or any applicable government condition should you need to rebuild your structure or a part of it. This extra coverage is optional.
Noble Public Adjusting Group hopes this blog post covering the basics of Florida homeowner insurance has helped clear up any confusion you might have about your policy and how it works. Our best advice to Florida homeowners is that when you have a claim to file for a loss, hire a Florida public adjuster to handle it. There are so many more advanced additions and exclusions that can be taken advantage of in an insurance policy that only a public adjuster will know how to find and use in your favor.
Call us today to discuss your Florida homeowner insurance policy. Noble offers FREE policy reviews. Our main office is located in Panama City Beach, but Noble can handle an insurance claim anywhere in Florida. We also have offices in Texas and Georgia.
Noble Public Adjusting Group
107 Amar Place Suite 103
Panama City Beach (West End), FL 32413