In the wake of Hurricane Ian’s disastrous outcomes, many Florida residents are reviewing their hurricane home insurance coverage. However, depending on your chosen insurance company and the damage to your home, not all insurance has the same coverage.
If you’re considering applying for Florida hurricane insurance, this guide will tell you about how it works and what it covers.
How Much Is Hurricane Insurance In Florida?
On average, Florida residents pay roughly $2,043 a year for insurance for a home valued at $150,000, while condominium owners pay $600 a year for a unit of the same price. Renters pay an average of $180 a year. Home insurance policies in Florida already include hurricane coverage, so you won’t have to pay more than your premiums to get coverage for this specific natural disaster.
For mobile and manufactured homeowners, rates vary according to the structure’s size and complexity. In addition, the cost of hurricane insurance can vary depending on where in Florida you are. For instance, insurance will likely cost more in places like Fort Lauderdale, Key West, and Miami. Your home’s condition can also influence how much you pay.
Hurricane Home Insurance: What It Covers
Depending on your insurance’s coverage, you may be able to get financial assistance for the following:
- Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage can pay for rebuilds like foundations, roofing, flooring, walls, and HVAC systems. You can pick between two types of coverage. Replacement coverage replaces damages without deducting for depreciation. To calculate rates, your insurance company will rebuild using materials at current costs up to the coverage limit. On the other hand, market value coverage considers how much you’d pay for the home if you purchased it fresh off the current market.
- Personal property coverage: If your personal items are stolen, damaged, or destroyed, personal property coverage can replace things like furniture, clothing, and appliances.
- Loss of use coverage: Is your home too damaged that you are unable to inhabit it and need to move out temporarily? If so, loss of use coverage can provide for hotel rooms, meals, washing, and additional living expenses.
- Medical expenses coverage: If you incur injuries or illnesses due to the hurricane, your policy may cover emergency room expenses, ambulance rides, surgical needs, and take-home medications.
Note that hurricane insurance does not cover flood damage or storm surges. Instead, homeowners have to apply for additional flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
If you live in a high-risk area, you may have a hurricane deductible separate from your regular deductible. Once you settle this deductible, your insurer will pay the remainder of your repairs beyond that amount.
Your hurricane deductible is equivalent to a percentage of your dwelling coverage. You can calculate your dwelling coverage by getting the value of your home and multiplying it against your deductible percentage. A typical hurricane deductible ranges from 1% to 5% of your home’s insured value, though percentages may be higher in more vulnerable states like Florida.
Like other states along the East Coast, Florida requires homeowners to have a hurricane deductible as part of their policy. These deductibles become active 72 hours after the National Weather Service names a hurricane system.
Understanding The Reporting Process
Filing an insurance claim is not as straightforward as it seems. If you’re new to insurance claims, note these best practices for understanding the process.
- Call your insurer as soon as possible. Some companies enforce time limits on filing claims. If you can, provide videos and photographs of your home in as much detail as possible.
- Prevent further damages and save on your claim by making temporary repairs. Secure every receipt for reimbursement purposes.
- If possible, create an inventory of the salvageable items in your home and what requires replacing.
- Prepare for a professional walkthrough of your home to note the damage and determine an estimated cost of repairs.
- Get your documents in order. Your property management company can facilitate record preparation and coordinate with inspectors.
How To Prepare Your Home For A Potential Hurricane
Hurricane season in Florida typically lasts between mid-August to late October, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. While preventing significant damage from a hurricane isn’t always possible, taking precautions can account for most of your valuables and minimize defacement.
- Keep your yard clean. Strong winds can cause more damage by blowing stray items into your home.
- Fill clear water containers with fresh water. If your water supply gets cut off or your plumbing sustains damage, you’ll want to have fresh water on hand.
- Turn your power supply off. Doing this can decrease the risk of electrocution or fires.
- Cover up doors and windows. If you have storm shutters, use them to keep any openings from breaking or shattering.
- Prepare an evacuation kit. Pack essentials like medicine, canned food, spare clothing, and other helpful items. However, don’t overpack. You’ll want to keep your kit light in case you can’t travel by car.
- Know what to expect. In Florida, homes can sustain damage from winds as powerful as 74 mph. It isn’t unusual for roof shingles, fixtures, and signs to become loose. In addition, torrential rains and tropical cyclones can cause floods that exceed six inches. If you can anticipate a hurricane early enough, consider evacuating ahead.
Compared to other states in the US, the risk of hurricane damage in Florida is the highest. As such, purchasing home insurance for a hurricane can go a long way in protecting or rebuilding your home.
If you’re interested in a hurricane deductible, contact your insurance agent to learn more about the process.
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.