Homeowners Insurance In Florida: Explained

May 6, 2022

With the total annual incurred losses for home insurance in the United States being well over $65 billion and the median single-family home price in Florida nearing $350,000, protecting your home in the Sunshine State is just as important as safeguarding your life and health.

Prone to hurricanes, floods, and fire, Florida is unique in terms of homeowners insurance. For instance, Florida is the only state – along with Tennessee – where insurance carriers are required to offer sinkhole damage coverage.

Read on to learn how to protect your home and get the peace of mind you deserve.

What Does Homeowners Insurance In Florida Cover?

Homeowners insurance in Florida is no different from homeowners insurance in other states. It reimburses the insured against damage caused to the physical structure of the home and its contents. Outbuildings, such as garages, sheds, barns, swing sets, fences, fireplaces, and similar constructions are also covered.

A typical homeowners insurance policy provides:

  • Coverage from fire, smoke, vandalism, theft, wind, lightning, hail, and explosions
  • Liability coverage: if someone gets hurt on your property
  • Additional living expenses coverage: required to find temporary lodging while your home is being repaired or rebuilt

With most carriers, you can expand your coverage at the expense of a higher premium.

What Is Not Covered By Homeowners Insurance In Florida?

While theft and fire are always included in homeowners insurance policies in Florida, there are over a dozen situations and items that may not be covered, among which are water damage, floods, plumbing issues, falling trees, leaking roof, termites, jewelry, earthquakes, identity theft, artwork, and collectibles. Therefore, make sure to check whether your policy provides enough coverage.

Homeowners Insurance: What Might Not Be Protected?

Must-Have Coverage for Homeowners Insurance In Florida

Aside from the perils covered by Florida’s standard homeowners insurance policies, it’s wise to consider buying coverage for wind, floods, and fire.

  • Wind. With a few million homes at risk of being damaged by wind, mortgage lenders may require homeowners to obtain wind insurance, though it isn’t mandatory in Florida. Make sure to double-check your policy to verify if you have wind insurance.
  • Floods. Sea-level terrain and coastal territories make Florida homes prone to floods, water damage, storms, and heavy rains. Carriers in Florida are not obliged to include coverage for floods in their homeowners insurance policies, even though the average claim for flood damage reaches $30,000. To determine the flood risk in your area, use the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
  • Fire. Most standard homeowners insurance policies in Florida cover fire damage, but make sure you have enough coverage to feel safe. Otherwise, consider extending the limits of your fire coverage.

Homeowners Insurance In Florida

How Much Is Homeowners Insurance In Florida?

The average annual cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is approximately $1,600. However, the actual cost of homeowners insurance in Florida depends on the specifics of the policy – the particular cases that are covered and the amount of coverage – as well as the insured’s age, claim history, and the total cost of the dwelling and outbuildings.

Is Homeowners Insurance In Florida Too Expensive?

Contrary to popular opinion, Florida is not even in the top-5 most expensive states regarding homeowners insurance. With the average annual cost of homeowners insurance being about $1,600, Florida is well behind Oklahoma ($3,500), Kansas ($2,700), Nebraska ($2,800), Arkansas ($2,100), Texas ($1,900), and a few other states.

What Determines The Cost Of Homeowners Insurance In Florida?

Homeowners insurance costs more in the states and areas prone to natural disasters – hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and fires. The other factor is the carrier itself. The home insurer with the most expensive average annual premiums in the United States is Amica ($2,785); the least expensive is Erie ($956).

How Much Homeowners Insurance Coverage Do I Need?

There’s no universal recipe for choosing the right amount of homeowners insurance coverage. It depends on your risk tolerance, budget, area, the age of your home, the total square footage of the structure and outbuildings, and other factors.

To find out how much homeowners insurance you need,

  1. Consult with your insurance agent. You can listen to your agent or educate yourself and then check whether your calculations line up with your agent’s advice.
  2. Determine how much insurance you need for:
    1. Your home’s structure. Take into account the total square footage of your dwelling, construction costs, house/exterior/roof type and style, and other factors.
    2. Your possessions. Conduct an inventory of your personal belongings. The typical coverage for personal possessions is 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage.
    3. Liability. To protect against damage caused on your property to third parties, consider purchasing at least $100,000 liability coverage.
    4. Additional living expenses. Think of how much money you would like to have if you were to be forced to live somewhere else until your house is repaired or replaced. Most policies establish additional living expenses at about 20% of the dwelling coverage.
  3. Purchase umbrella insurance if needed. Excess liability insurance, also known as umbrella insurance, can increase the amount of your liability coverage up to $300,000 or more.

Homeowners Insurance In Florida 2

But then again, you can skip the lengthy choice of your homeowners insurance coverage by entrusting it to your insurance agent in Florida.

Possible costs for various types of coverage for homeowners insurance include:

Type of Coverage Rates
A: Dwelling $100,000 – $300,000
B: Other Structures $10,000 –$50,000
C: Personal Possessions $50,000 – $150,000
D: Loss of Use $10,000 – $100,000
E: Liability $100,000 – $300,000
F: Medical Payments $1,000 – $10,000

How To Shop For Homeowners Insurance In Florida?

  1. Research as many carriers in Florida as you can. In addition to industry-leading homeowners insurance companies – State Farm, Allstate Corporation, USAA Insurance Group, Liberty Mutual, Farmers Insurance Group of Companies, etc. – there are dozens of smaller carriers that may be a better choice.
  2. See if you can purchase several insurance policies from a single insurer. Many carriers offer discounts when you buy several policies at once – for example, an auto insurance policy and a homeowners insurance policy. Check which home insurers provide this option.
  3. Adjust the premium, deductible, and amount of coverage for a win-win. The three interrelated parameters with all insurance policies are the premium, deductible, and amount of coverage. Try to get the best ratio between these three based on your budget and risk assessment.

5 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies In Florida

Carrier Advantages
Tower Hill Arguably the cheapest insurer in Florida charging $1,200 annually.
State Farm Arguably the optimal choice of an average Floridian. Offers relatively flood, earthquake, and sewer backup coverage.
Florida Peninsula Arguably the best insurer for storm-related coverage. A good choice for those living on the coastline.
USAA One of the most known carriers in the United States. Available only to USAA military members.
Nationwide One of the most known insurers in the United States. Offers multiple discounts.

Note, however, that in Florida, houses of a certain age or homes in specified ZIP codes – as well as houses without wind or flood mitigation measures – may not qualify for coverage due to unreasonable risks for insurance companies.

The Cheapest Homeowners Insurance In Florida

It’s hard to accurately determine the cheapest insurer in Florida since there are many factors in play, including your area, features of your home (protection against wind, floods, fire, etc.), your claims history, and more. The ballpark rate is $1,200 annually for the cheapest homeowners insurance policy with minimum coverage.

Homeowners Insurance In Florida: Explained 3

Oleksandr Rohovnin is a Content Marketer at Phonexa.com and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. His passion is digital marketing, innovative technologies, tech industries, and – above all – distilling vast amounts of complex information into engrossing narratives anyone can relate to. At CoverExplore, Oleksandr stokes passion for auto insurance and the automotive industry in general in every story he curates.