For first-time Florida homebuyers, and homebuyers moving to the state, the cost of hurricane insurance coverage is always a hot topic. Since hurricane coverage is typically part of a homeowner insurance policy, pricing can be a little difficult to quantify. Even for homebuyers that are forced to buy a separate policy to cover for hurricane damage, there are many factors that go into calculating your rates.
There are many coastal states like Florida that have wind pools. A wind pool is a designated area in the coastal area of the state (kind of like a flood map) where insurance companies will typically exclude wind and hurricane coverage because of the historical risk in those particular areas. These areas are typically low-lying areas with high exposure to severe storms and hurricanes. Although homeowner’s insurance is available to Florida homeowners, the insurance policy will typically exclude coverage for wind and hurricane damage and the homeowner will be forced to purchase this protection from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation of Florida.
If your home is located in an inland area and not in a wind pool, most insurance companies will offer hurricane coverage in their standard policy but, with a separate deductible.
Your home’s characteristics also play a large part in determining your insurance premium. Insurance companies typically offer lower rates for newer construction that are not coastal.
Many other characteristics come into play:
- Age of your home
- Roof Style – Homes with hip style roofs are charged less than homes with a gable roof.
- Age of Roof – Newer roofs are priced lower since they fair better during a storm.
- Home Construction – If your home is masonry, you’ll pay less than a wood-frame home.
- Wind Mitigation – Newer homes typically meet all the wind mitigation requirements, but if your home is older, a mitigation survey will need to be completed and then retrofitting may be required on the roof structure.
- Location – the further inland your home is located, the lower your insurance rates will be.
Your insurance deductible is the portion of the risk you choose to be responsible for. By electing to assume more of the risk, your rates will be reduced accordingly. It’s important to understand that most Florida homeowner policies contain two deductibles. One deductible applies to your wind coverage, and the other deductible applies to all other perils. If you are willing to accept a higher wind deductible, then your rates will be reduced accordingly. Wind deductibles are typically a percentage of the dwelling limit, such as 1% or 3%. The homeowner should understand full well that the deductible is what they are paying out-of-pocket, so choose wisely.
Although hurricane insurance is a popular subject among potential homebuyers in Florida, flood insurance costs need to be considered as well. Many homes in the coastal areas of Florida are also in a hazardous flood zone. When this is the case, the mortgage company is going to require flood insurance for the amount of the dwelling value as well. Because of re-mapping in Florida and the reduction of FEMA’s subsidized insurance, your flood premium could become a burden you’re unwilling to bare.
How much is hurricane insurance in Florida? Because there are so many factors to consider, there is not a valid answer to offer. Potential homebuyers should shop their insurance coverage online and round up as many quotes as possible. Always have as much information as possible about the home you need quoted so that the quote you are offered is valid.