What’s not covered by my Florida homeowners insurance policy?


Discussing what is NOT covered in your Florida homeowners insurance policy isn’t something many insurance companies like to do. But the truth is – it’s a pretty important subject. Your policy can’t cover everything. If it did, insurance companies would have to raise premiums so dramatically to pay for losses you wouldn’t be able to afford the policy. What you can do, is gain a better understanding of what is and is not covered ahead of time.

1. YOUR LOSS MUST BE SUDDEN AND ACCIDENTAL

A Florida homeowners insurance policy is for sudden and accidental losses, events that people cannot prevent. If your loss is something that’s developed slowly over time it is not considered sudden and accidental.

2. WEAR AND TEAR

Normal expected wear and tear is inevitable and not covered under your policy. Insurance is designed to protect you from unforeseen losses. If you have a roof that is 25 years old and is already at the end of its useful life because of its age, it is not covered under your Florida homeowners insurance policy. It’s the same concept as car insurance. If you owned an automobile that had old tires and they were going bald, you would need to purchase new ones. It wouldn’t be covered under your car insurance.

3. MAINTENANCE NEGLECT

If you notice something is wrong and don’t take corrective action to prevent further damage, the loss is not covered by your Florida homeowners insurance policy. For example, if you notice a small water stain developing on your ceiling or wall, you can stop the area of the leak with calk, a waterproof filler and sealant. If you decided to do nothing and the water damage continues, it would not be covered.

4. SUB LIMITS ON PERSONAL PROPERTY

Most Florida homeowners insurance companies have sub limits on personal property depending on the peril. It’s important to understand what those limits are. That way, if you have any personal property which exceeds the limit, you can decide how you want to manage that risk. It might be in your best interest to purchase a personal articles floater policy for that specific item.

5. REMOVAL OF TREES FELLED BY WIND

If a tree falls in your yard as a result of a windstorm but does not hit the house or another covered structure, your Florida homeowners insurance policy will not pay to remove the tree. However, if your tree falls and damages even a portion of a covered structure, there is limited coverage to remove the tree from the property.

6. VACANT HOMES

If you have a standard Florida homeowners insurance policy, often referred to as a “HO-3”, it is intended for owner occupied homes. If you haven’t moved in yet because you’re still living in a home you’re trying to sell or if you just own the property for investment purposes, you will need to change the policy type. Vacant homes are higher risks. If you file a claim, it will not be covered if your home is vacant and not carrying the correct type of policy.

7. SURFACE WATER RUNOFF

After heavy rains, some lawns collect or pool water in one location. If too much water accumulates in an area around your home it may seep into the foundation and cause damage to your home. The damage would not be covered under your Florida homeowners insurance policy. So, if you notice your lawn has a tendency to pool in one location, it would be wise to contact a landscaping company for possible solutions.

8. FAILURE TO TAKE ACTION AFTER A LOSS

If you experience a loss and fail to take reasonable actions to prevent further damage, your loss might not be covered. For example, if a tree falling creates a hole in your roof, it would be reasonable to expect you cover the hole with a tarp until it is repaired. If you left the damaged roof exposed it would create a much larger interior loss and your failure to prevent the additional damage may not be covered.

9. FAILURE TO REPORT A CLAIM IN A TIMELY MANOR

It is important to submit claims in a timely manner. The more time that passes, the more difficult it is for the adjuster to determine the cause of the loss, which is essential in determining if the loss is covered under the policy.

10. MATERIAL MISREPRESENTATION

If you provide inaccurate information on your application for insurance, your policy may be voided as soon as the company finds out – which is often while researching a claim. If the misrepresentation is material to the acceptance of the policy, the policy may be voided and any claims denied. This includes not admitting to prior losses, providing the incorrect occupancy type, and not disclosing existing damage to your home.

Source: Amanda Richter/American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida

 

Citizens Florida Homeowners Insurance


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Are you currently insured with Citizens Insurance in Florida? Have you been told Citizens Insurance is your only option for Florida homeowners insurance? If you are looking for alternatives to Citizens Insurance, for your Florida homeowners insurance, you’re in the right place. Statewide Insurance represents the top Florida homeowners insurance companies actively writing in Florida. If anyone can find a way out of Citizens Insurance for you, it’s us. We are an independent homeowners insurance agent located in Central Florida and we provide alternatives, to people insured with Citizens Insurance, throughout the state of Florida. No matter what situation got you into Citizens insurance, we can usually get you out.

 

Citizens Wind Mitigation Inspections


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If you are currently insured with Citizens Property Insurance and lost wind mitigation credits due to a re-inspection by Citizens, you may be eligible for a new inspection by Citizens. Citizens has announced that they will reinspect homes free of charge if you dispute the initial findings of their wind mitigation inspection. It appears they will honor this for those that have had their Citizens inspection completed in the last 12 months.

You may also be eligible for a new inspection if you have upgraded your home against storm damage and may now qualify for wind mitigation credits.

The wind mitigation inspections can substantially decrease your Florida homeowners insurance premiums. In order to get the credits you deserve you must contact your agent to verify the accuracy of your policy premium or give us a call and we will review your policy and wind mitigation inspection for you.

 

Florida 4 Point Inspections


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Most Florida homeowners insurance companies will require a four point inspection for homes that are built more than 30 years ago. Some Florida homeowners insurance companies won’t require these unless the home is over 50 years old. Nevertheless, it is a good idea to have the four point inspection completed if your home is close to these ages.
You may find a local home inspection company in your phone book. Be sure to ask if they are NACHI or ASHI certified as well. Most Florida homeowners insurance companies require them to be certified as well. While you are having the inspection completed it would be a good idea to ask if you are eligible for wind mitigation credits. Most of the time the inspector will provide for a small additional fee while he/she is there. Wind mitigation discounts can save big on your Florida homeowners insurance policy.

 

Citizens Homeowners Rate Filing

Citizens has filed for a 26.6% rate increase on their Florida homeowners insurance policies and a 447% increase on their sinkhole coverage. They also filed for a 12.2% increase for their coastal wind exposures. You can email with your thoughts on this RateHearings@floir.com or visit the Office of Insurance Regulation at http://www.floir.com/. We will keep you posted as things progress.