Florida Homeowners Insurance Policies

How Much Does Florida "Homeowners Insurance" Cost?

Florida homeowners can save significantly on their homeowner's insurance premiums by taking advantage of wind loss mitigation credits available for those who take measures to protect a home from wind damage.

Florida homes that are located closer to the coastline are more exposed to damages caused by the high winds experienced during a hurricane. Insurers have calculated that higher amounts are paid in these areas due to wind damage, and have raised their premiums accordingly for homes located in these areas.

In Florida, policyholders must consider two sections of the premium. The first section is charged for wind coverage caused by a hurricane, and the second is for all other causes of loss. Under Florida law, policyholders can choose their own deductible from either $500, or a percentage of value of the home, which can be 2 percent, 5 percent or 10 percent. If you want to save premium it makes sense to choose a higher deductible, however it means that if a loss occurs you will have to pay more of the loss yourself.

Insurance companies operating in the State of Florida are required to provide discounts to homeowners that protect their homes against wind damage. Securing roof structures and protecting windows from flying debris are the two most common hurricane wind protections employed. Those who take such measures will see a reduction in the hurricane-wind portion of their homeowner's insurance premium.

In order to qualify for discounts, an inspection will need to be conducted by a licensed professional such as a building inspector, building contractor, architect, engineer or building code official. This professional will have to certify that proper wind mitigation steps have been taken.

The cost of wind mitigation improvements can vary. For best results, homeowners should seek estimates from qualified and licensed professional contractors.

Some characteristics of buildings that will qualify for discounts include how the roof structure is built. Nailing patterns of plywood and connections between framing members are evaluated. Sometimes these can be modified to meet code. The use of special metal clips can also be considered as wind mitigation techniques. These clips are most often used to secure the edges of rafters or trusses to the top of a wall structure. They can also be used to secure a wooden wall structure to a concrete foundation.

The shape of your roof will also play a factor. Hip roofs are shaped more like a pyramid than a gable style roof, and are more resilient to wind damage. It would be costly to modify a roof from a gable to a hip roof however.

Homes with shutters are considered more wind resistant as well. Not all shutters are created equally however. Be sure to have your shutters evaluated by a professional to obtain the maximum protection, and maximum wind mitigation discount available.

Consult a professional insurance agent for more information on the discounts that can apply to the hurricane-wind portion of your homeowner's insurance premium. Remember that wind mitigation steps can only affect the hurricane-wind portion of the premium however.