Making sure your home has coverage can be a hassle if you happen to live in the sunshine state. While insurance carriers are often skittish about taking on new customers and increasing their exposure, lenders will require some form of coverage on your property if they are going to take on an interest in your land. If you have property in Florida and want or need coverage, here are five things to remember:
- Expect to hear carriers turn you down. This is especially true if your property is located in the southeast part of the state or if you own a modular or manufactured home. Many carriers will no longer take on new business in Palm Beach or its surrounding counties and the closer you are to the coast, the more likely a carrier will not do business with you. Many standard insurance carriers who cover manufactured homes are not taking on new business in the state at the time of this writing. But, while many of the bigger names in property insurance shy away from storm exposure, nonstandard carriers who will provide coverage are available on the market.
- Good inspection scores can do wonders for your premium. When you find a carrier to take you on, your next step will be to have your property inspected. Most, if not all carriers, will require inspections for all new business, but many contract the services of independent inspection companies and will send someone for you. The two main types of inspections that a carrier will require are a 4-point inspection and a wind mitigation inspection. A 4-point is a short inspection of your property’s heating/ventilation, plumbing, wiring and roof to ensure that your building is compliant with the carrier’s standards for business. A wind mitigation is a more thorough look at the construction of the building to ensure it can stand up to storm weather, focusing on the roof and opening protection.
- Little things can make or break a policy. Not all insurance carriers are created equal, and each company will have its own standards for whether or not your property is an acceptable risk for them. Every carrier calculates an insurance score for an individual, and decides a policy premium based on your likelihood of reporting a claim. Your own credit is a factor in this. On a positive note, having operational and current burglar or smoke alarms can reduce your policy premiums.
- Consider additional coverage for flood damage. Your homeowner’s policy will not cover damage caused by flooding, so it is recommended that you seek separate coverage. Many, but not all lenders, will require flood coverage on top of your existing policy. Flood insurance is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and available under many carriers. Depending on where your property is located, you may need to obtain an elevation certificate, which will require an additional inspection. Many home inspection companies will provide this service as well.
- If your Florida property is a secondary home, make sure that your carrier is aware of this. If you are insuring a secondary home, carriers will often require you to provide the name and contact information for a caretaker that cares for the home in your absence.
We can help you find affordable coverage for your home. Give Pro Player Insurance Group a call at 855-367-7744 to get a free Fort Lauderdale home insurance quote.