Homeowners Insurance Blog

September 15, 2015 - 02:42

In order to be a truly informed consumer, a prospective homeowner must ask a few questions before they purchase their home insurance policy. Speaking to experts about the type of coverage needed, the amount you are supposed to spend and other specific factors will help you to make the right decision. The following are five basic questions that should be asked prior to selecting a home insurance plan.

How Much Would It Cost To Rebuild?

A home insurance policy should provide total coverage in case your home is lost. Speaking to insurance company representatives will help you to gain knowledge of your neighborhood and the costs of the materials that you would need to rebuild your home. Policies should cover you in the instance of fire damage, hurricanes, hail, lightning strikes and all other natural disasters that are listed in your specific policy. Earthquake and flood insurance is usually sold separately.

What Is My Personal Property Worth?

Your appliances, your clothing, your furniture, all of these items should be covered by a home insurance policy. As long as the items are destroyed by a disaster that you are insured against, you are entitled to collect the full value of the items. In most instances, an insurer will suggest that you purchase a policy that covers up to 70 percent of the total value, although some may recommend a policy in the 50 percent range.

Do I Need Liability Coverage?

Liability coverage is crucial, as it protects families from lawsuits that are filed due to bodily damage and property damage caused by you or the family members who reside in your home. A liability policy covers any damages that are rewarded by the court, up to the limit of your policy and you are also covered anywhere in the world. The majority of insuring experts and representatives recommend the purchasing of a liability policy. Limits start in the $100,000 range, but in certain cases, a $300,000 policy is best.

Should I Buy The Earthquake/Flood Policy?

As mentioned before, earthquake and flood insurance is sold separately. As a result, very few people purchase either form of insurance. Depending on the region where you will be residing, you may need flood and earthquake insurance or you may be able to survive just fine without it. Speak to an insurance agent in your area, so that you accurately gauge your risk level.

Am I Eligible For Discounts?

Dead bolt locks, smoke detectors and burglar alarms will all net some form of discount. Retirees who are at least 55 years old often qualify for a 10 percent discount, as well. Modernization of your electrical systems and plumbing also lead to insurance companies offering a break in pricing. 

October 4, 2014 - 01:09

Living on the coast definitely has its upside. Spontaneous visits to the beach, picnics, and leisure time on the beach is something you’d be able to do all the time. You can’t avoid the dangers that come with living on the beach. Florida is a state which is prone to natural disasters like floods, hurricanes, windstorms and tornados, with floods being the primary cause of destruction in this state.

If you’ve been thinking about moving to Florida, we can tell you about some of the top cities which are the best at flood control and have minimized flood risk. A ranking was determined for the top 5 flood safe cities in Florida based on flood insurance rates, costs and reconstruction value.

The top 5 cities fit to be called flood-safe in Florida are:

1.     Fort Lauderdale, FL

Fort Lauderdale faces similar threats like its neighbor, Miami; however, it has taken a lot of different steps to reduce the threats. They have drain valves for diverting flooding and have secured a high rating on Federal Emergency Management.

2.     Miami, FL

Miami has avidly avoided hurricanes and flooding, and since 1964, Miami has not been directly hit from a hurricane. It has an impeccable flood management system and you’re also able to enjoy the great night life, beaches, and culture.

3.     St. Petersburg, FL

Known as the sunshine City, it has no flood events recorded since 2004. They have complied with the NFIP guideline to prevent floods and also allows residents 20% discount on flood insurance.

4.     Cape Coral, FL

It has the highest community rating score and has received a Storm Ready Status which means it is able to prepare well for an upcoming storm, minimizing danger.

5.     Jacksonville, FL

The city has safely avoided recent floods, has proper flood management controls in place, and is also a part of the NIFP.

September 24, 2014 - 21:55

Homeowners in Florida have the required insurance according to their region being prone to natural disasters but only a few really understand the coverage offered under each the policies. The Insurance Information Institute says it is only after damage caused by natural disasters that exclusions are caught in the policy. Florida home insurance policies should have coverage for natural calamities as the primary focus.

It is essential to know what your insurance policy covers to be protected properly. Do not miss out on some of the important coverage that your policy should include just to save some money; you will come to regret doing so later. Florida insurance law states that specific points need to be covered in all insurance policies.


The three important requirements that have to be present in your Florida home insurance policy are:

1)    Importance of Flood Insurance

A standard Florida home insurance police does not cover flood damage even though most of the natural disasters occur because of floods. Coverage is only available through the separate federal government policy. It is also important to know that flood coverage has a waiting period of 30 days before the coverage begins. Flood insurance for residential and commercial homeowners are separate; inquire about the various policies being offered before purchasing.

2)    Purchasing Law and Ordinance coverage

It is important that the policy has a law and ordinance coverage because Florida has many homes which were built decades ago. Upon damage, these homes will now have to be built to comply with the current building code. Most insurance policies do not pay all the costs associated with  building the house to make it according to the latest building laws and codes, therefore it is essential to purchase law and ordinance coverage with your insurance policy.

3)    Separate deductibles for hurricane losses

The options for Hurricane deductibles can go as high as 10%. Higher deductible would receive a premium credit but also increase the out-of pocket costs that need to be paid. It is a bad idea to opt for a deductible you cannot afford, if you feel the deductible is too high, change it right away.


September 16, 2014 - 21:51

Security First Insurance has issued a rate reduction for policy holders in the Sunshine State.  They offered a statewide average rate decrease of 4.7% for HO-3 policies, 9.1% for HO-4 policies and 5% for HO-policies.  These rate changes became effective this summer for all new applications and for August renewal policies.  

Security First is truly trying to help out the Florida consumer of home insurance.  They are offering a maximization of wind mitigation benefits to all new policies with specific credits for high roof slopes and wood soffits.  These types of features within a home have been scientifically tested and proven to offer a reduction of wind damage during a strong hurricane.  You will find these types of features in older homes... So if you are shopping for a new plan you might as us about Security First to make sure you a maximizing your premiums.



November 14, 2013 - 03:04

If you just knew the basic elements of home insurance you would be able to make better buying decisions. These days most people lack knowledge about insurance which is why they often have to pay more. Realistically there are a lot of ways you can save money on home insurance. Here are a few tips from the experts to help you out.

Compare Prices

There are a lot of insurance companies out there which means finding a cheaper one shouldn’t be too difficult. You should compare rates of different companies and then make a decision accordingly.

Home Security 

If you want to lower your home insurance costs then you should consider investing in a good home security system. If your home is secure with an advanced alarm system you can cut your premiums considerably. Knowing that your home is at less risk of vandalism and theft the insurance company is likely to offer you better rates.

Don’t Make Claims

If you want to save your money then avoid making claims on your home insurance policy. The fewer claims you make the lower your insurance premium will be. Some companies even offer a special claim discount. If you want to avail such a discount you should consult with your insurance agent.

Pay Higher Excess Fee

Excess is the fee that you are supposed to pay before the insurance cover actually kicks in. A lot of people may view excess fees as an additional cost but it really isn’t. If you pay a higher excess fee at the start you can lower your home insurance premium amount by a considerable margin.  

Stay at Home

The more time you spend at home the lower insurance premium rate you will be able to get. Insurance companies offer cheaper insurance rates to those people who occupy their homes most of the time. If you stay out and leave your house unoccupied for longer periods you are likely to get higher insurance rates than normal.  



October 24, 2013 - 22:09

A lot of people these days are considering buying old homes in Florida to save money. Given the rising prices of newly built homes this may seem like a wise decision. But buying an old home is also an art, not everyone can pull it off. Most homebuyers these days are amateurs. But if you really want to buy a home on a budget then an old home maybe the best option for you. Let’s discuss some of the benefits of buying an old home.  Before your final purchase, make sure you know how much your homeowners insurance premiums will set you back....

Calculate the Costs

Calculating the actual cost of the house that you are about to buy should be the first thing that you should do. This means knowing the cost of repairs, insurance and maintenance. Remember that when you buy a newly built home you won’t have to get anything repaired or installed but in an old home these additional costs will have to be paid for. Compare the costs of both the options and if an old home is cheaper than there is no reason you shouldn’t buy it.

Bigger in Size

If you compare houses that are built now to the ones that were built in the previous century you will realize that there is a huge difference between them in terms of size. An old house is likely to have very large back and front yards. Newly built houses are smaller in size and have less room for gardening. Older homes are also built to last a longtime. These homes have been built with high quality craftsmanship and can withstand storms and other natural disasters.


Most old homes have very convenient locations. Schools, shopping centers and offices are all generally located close by. You can talk to your realtor for advice on locations and neighborhoods. There are a lot of good affordable houses out there and with the help of a realty expert you can find one.   

October 22, 2013 - 02:08

Buying a home in a down market could be one of the best decisions you ever make as a homebuyer. The real estate market fluctuates a lot these days which is why buying a home on the cheap could benefit you later on. Most people are reluctant to buy homes in a down market as they are afraid that prices may fall even further. But if you are willing to take the risk then you could buy a home under its original value and save a lot of money. Here are a few tips to help you buy a home in a down market.   

Research Thoroughly

In order to buy a home successfully in a down market you will first need to research thoroughly. Start by deciding a location where you want to buy a home. You should consult your family members as well when making this decision. Go and have a look at the neighborhood and find out as much as you can about the area. You should also take advice from your realtor about property prices in the area and then proceed accordingly.

Motivated Sellers

Every home buyer should be aware of the seller’s motivation. Some people are in a hurry to sell their homes and these are the sort of people that you have to look for. If a seller is in a hurry to sell the property you will have bargaining power on your side. You can negotiate a better price in such circumstances.

Be Patient

It is often said that patience is a virtue and when it comes to buying property in a down market this statement is certainly true. As a home buyer in a down market you should take your time because it is likely that a lot of people will be selling. You will have the upper hand so analyze all the available options before making a decision.       


June 18, 2013 - 19:28

Whether it is home, auto, medical or life, most of us have an insurance policy. Many of us even have multiple insurance policies, even from the same insurance provider. Did you know that insurance policies can be combined? Did you know that there are multiple benefits to combining your insurance policy?

Can you combine them?

More often than not, your insurance policies can be combined. However, depending on your insurance provider, the terms of your combined policy may be different. In most cases, similar types of policies are usually combined, for example: health with life insurance or property with auto insurance. But why combine them?

Why combine Insurance Policies?

The biggest reason why people combine their insurance policies is to pay reduced premiums. When you pay more overall, you receive discounts to both insurance policies. In essence, you are paying less for both policies. In fact, many combined policies may offer discounts up to 45%.

People also choose to combine their insurance policies because they receive various benefits. These benefits are usually incentives that give customers the ‘push’ they need to combine their insurance policies.

Finally, people choose to combine their insurance policies because it makes policy management and payment easier. When their premiums are due, it makes it easier to simply pay one premium rather than two. This is particularly important if you have multiple policies from different providers.

Evidently, there are many benefits to combining your insurance policies. Most importantly though is the fact that you can, quite easily, combine your insurance policies. Combining your insurance policies is not only possible, it is highly recommended. When you combine your insurance policies, you receive a significant discount on the total premium you pay. Additionally, you also receive various incentives to aid your decision making process.

June 13, 2013 - 19:17

Home insurance is a great tool to keep homeowners protected from a variety of problems, natural or otherwise. However, for many homeowners with insurance premiums, it can be rather expensive. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce the cost of the policy you take. Here is a look at the top 3 ways to reduce your home insurance premiums.

1 - Install a Home Security System

The easiest way to reduce home insurance premiums is to install a home security system. By doing so, your home is less of a ‘risk’ to the insurance company and they will therefore reduce the amount you pay in your premiums. However, remember to provide complete documentation of the home’s security system as well as the types and number of services you have been given by the security company.

2 - Join the Neighborhood Watch

For homeowners who live in a neighborhood with a neighborhood watch program, it is advisable to join it. Just like the home security system, neighborhood watch helps keep your neighborhood safe and therefore reduces the risk to home insurance providers. Subsequently, you pay lower premiums.

3 - Combine your Insurance Policies

Many people are likely to have separate insurance policies on their home and on the items in it. A little known fact is that if you combine both these insurance policies, you will pay a reduced premium. While this may not be as significant in smaller homes, it becomes quite significant in larger homes.

If you are paying high insurance premiums, with the above 3 methods, you can significantly reduce your premiums. Remember one thing though. Whether you choose to install a home security system, join the neighborhood watch or combine your insurance policies, always let your home insurance provider know. Moreover, always provide documented evidence, such as receipts.

May 9, 2013 - 20:11

Well... the answer to that question would be, not likely!  Finding cheap insurance in Florida is like winning Powerball for most.  

Lawmakers recently passed a new bill that focused on citizens and homeowners insurance in Florida.  The members of lawmaking in Tallahassee have been reviewing Citizens Property Insurance company and the home insurance market in its entirety for the Sunshine State.  A proposal, Senate Bill 1770 has been cited as a highly controversial issue within the states Legislature. 

The largest insurance company doing business in the state is Citizens Property Insurance.  This state-run organization accounts for the majority of the policies insured in the state.  This new bill would forced the state run insurance company to considerably raise rates on coverage.  For obviously reasons, Floridians didn't really take to the increasing in premiums Citizens wanted to apply.  Due to the up rise by consumers in Florida, the bill as it stands has been thrown out of Legislature until they come up with a better program for residents in the state.  

A recent updated Senate Bill 1770 this week passed with flying colors.  The Governor and the house worked closely to figure out a consumer friendly bill that would address the financial issues of Citizens, without offering a huge increase in premiums.  In short, the bill aims to reduce the liability exposure for Citizens, thus offering more financial security to the state.  This new bill has offered some changes to the homeowners insurance sector while looking our for the little guy.  

So, while you probably won't find cheap homeowners insurance in Florida, at least our state legislative is working in the right direction to fix it.  What are your thoughts on Citizens Property Insurance?

Read More Here:  http://www.liveinsurancenews.com/florida-homeowners-insurance-bill-passes-this-week/8524944/

by Morgan Moran