Florida homeowners insurance rates keep rising – thanks to hurricanes, sinkholes, and rampant home insurance fraud, homeowners insurance in Florida is more expensive than in any other state (according to the Insurance Information Institute.)
What the standard homeowners (HO3) policy covers has also undergone some changes. Your previous policy may have provided coverage that is not included in your new policy, and you may not have even realized there are some things missing.
Making sure you understand your homeowners insurance policy and what it covers is important; no-one wants to file a claim and be informed that their loss isn’t covered.
Here are five types of claims you should ask your agent about – just in case you suffer a loss.
Non-weather-related water damage
Water damage from a burst pipe may or may not be covered depending on your carrier and their specific restrictions on water damage claims. Olympus polices often cover water damage even if the leak has been ongoing for weeks with the homeowner blissfully unaware. Ask your agent if water damage is covered, and what (if anything) you might want to do to increase your level of protection.
Ask your agent if your carrier offers wind coverage. Not all policies cover wind related damage, and those that do can vary in the type and amount of coverage offered. Your policy may include a special wind deductible (2% is customary). Lower deductibles may be available, and cost less than you expect. Olympus offers $1000 hurricane and wind deductibles.
Flood insurance must be purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program. Many homeowners opt out of flood insurance unless required to carry it by their mortgage holder because they live in a high-risk zone. However, thousands of homeowners living in low to moderate risk zones still incur tens of thousands of dollars in flood damage every year. Ask your agent about obtaining flood insurance in Florida.
In case of severe damage or a complete loss, find out if your policy covers the cost of replacement. Also ask if there are any restrictions on rebuilds – in some cases, extensive home customizations or renovations can lead to exclusions when it comes to covering the cost of replacement.
If a tree takes down your pool enclosure, are you covered? What about the tool shed at the back of your property? Ask your agent if structures aside from your primary building are covered, and what the limits and deductibles are.
Being informed about your homeowners insurance policy and what it covers can help you decide if you need extra coverage to help you be prepared for more loss than a typical HO3 will cover. Talk to your agent and they can help you build a policy that fits your unique needs.
About Olympus Insurance Company
Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and founded in 2007, Olympus Insurance Company specializes in Florida property insurance. Through its independent agency force, Olympus insures $45 billion worth of residential and investment property including homes, condos, rental property, and valuable personal property, with umbrella coverage and Spartan Enhanced Coverage available. Coverage for individual risks up to $5 million in total insured value is provided on one of the most comprehensive coverage forms in the industry.
For more information, visit olympusinsurance.com.