Finding affordable home insurance in Florida can be a challenge; that’s a nice way of saying it is expensive.

Florida homeowners face a variety of natural disasters, sometimes year after year. Wind, storm, and hurricane damage account for the majority of claims in the state. Standard homeowners policy written in Florida do not cover these losses. You must purchase a separate wind policy.

If you purchase a home that is close to the coast, you may have to pay a hefty premium to insure it. We didn’t know this when we bought our home. Obviously, the real estate agent did not mention it; he just wanted to make a sale. Our house is 1.86 miles (as the bird flies) from the coast. That is too close for standard insurers to write wind coverage insurance. So we are forced to buy coverage from a state run insurer of last resort, Citizens Insurance. It is not inexpensive.

As a state agency, Citizens is always trying to cut costs and liability. This year, they notified us that our pool enclosure screen would no longer be covered. And no, they did not lower our rates.

Then there is the deductible for hurricane damage. That can range from 2% to 10% of the insured value of the dwelling, depending on the policy.

A standard homeowners policy does not cover flood damage, that also means damage caused by the storm surge from a hurricane is not covered. If your home is within the storm surge zone, it is wise to buy flood insurance from the federal government, through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Parts of the state are susceptible to sinkholes opening on a homeowner’s property.  That is another peril regular insurance will not cover. Back to Citizens again.

Some other things to make sure you are protected against include: mold, power surges and Chinese drywall.

Mold can be a problem in Florida and not all policies cover mold damage. Be sure to inquire about it when discussing coverage with an insurance agent.

Surge protection from the power company or from lighting is another danger. Florida is the lighting capital of the US.

The problems with Chinese drywall were well documented in the media. It probably would be wise to check on the coverage a policy may offer for this problem.

Keep in mind, we are not insurance experts. Consult several insurance companies before making any decisions.


FOG sez:

My insurance agent has only ever told me two things: “Your premium is due” and “No, that’s not covered”.