Getting an accurate home insurance proposal doesn’t have to be difficult. Contacting a Licensed Florida property and casualty agent today could save you time and money. 

When it comes to home insurance, it is very important to fully understand what coverage you are purchasing, and what type of risk you are trying to insure. There are several different home insurance options depending on your personal needs, for example, Renters insurance, DP1, DP3, Condo Insurance, Typical Home Insurance.

To find out what policy and coverage is right for you, you should contact a Florida licensed property and casualty agent so that they can carefully review your home information and write the correct policy for your specific risk.

Different types of Home Insurance Policies

  • Renters Insurance: Renters Insurance is a type of property insurance that covers your personal belongings in the case of a fire, theft, or vandalism. This type of policy may also have liability coverage for damages that were out of your control or due to negligence. This type of insurance is available to people renting or subletting a regular single family home, manufactured home, apartment, condo, duplex, or townhouse.
  • Condo Insurance: Condo Insurance is a type of property insurance that will cover you from the walls in, and will repair your condo unit or replace your personal content if they are damaged or stolen by a covered peril, such as fire or vandalism.
  • DP1 Insurance — DP1 Insurance is an actual cash value dwelling fire insurance policy, available for primary homes and rental properties. With this type of policy, much like car insurance, the older your dwelling gets, the less your property is worth and, over time, the value of your home depreciates.

For example, let’s say your screen enclosure is torn off due to storm damages, and it needs to be replaced due to a leak. If your screen enclosure’s current state before the storm was not in good condition, typically your screen enclosure would not be worth much. So, in this example, if it would cost you $10,000 to replace your entire screen enclosure 15 years ago, the insurance company may only grant you up to $5,000 due to the materials depreciating by 50%.

  • DP3 Insurance — DP3 Insurance is a dwelling fire replacement cost policy, usually written for owner-occupied homes. This is a named peril insurance policy and, unlike a standard HO-3 policy, it does not include the following coverages: Water damage, Power failure, Neglect, War, Intentional Loss, Mold.
  • HO-3 Insurance — Homeowners Insurance is voluntary insurance that offers replacement cost for your personal property on a named peril basis, meaning your insurance provider may only payout for specific damages that have to be proven to be caused by events listed in the policy. This insurance is available for homeowners who currently hold a mortgage through a lender, or homeowners who do not hold a loan and own their home outright. This type of insurance policy typically includes the following coverages, depending on the company you request coverage from.

Different types of home insurance coverages

Coverage A Dwelling — This coverage may help pay to repair or rebuild the physical damage to your home or any structures that are connected to the home, such as an attached garage. 

Coverage B Other Structures — This coverage protects structures on your property other than your home, for example a fence or shed.

Coverage C Personal Property — This coverage covers damage to or loss of personal property including household contents and other personal belongings.

Coverage D Loss of use — This type of coverage can pay for additional living expenses that may occur after a loss or your home is deemed uninhabitable. For example, this coverage may pay for food, clothes or a hotel room as a result of a covered peril like a house fire.

Coverage E Personal Liability — This portion of your homeowner’s insurance coverage provides a safety net for you and the people in your household in the event of a lawsuit for injury, property damage, or for damages caused by yourself, your pet or someone in your household. It is important to not only make sure you have this coverage, but also to contact your agent and assess your assets so that you can discuss what limit of personal liability insurance is right for you.

Coverage F Medical Payments — This portion of your homeowner’s insurance coverage provides a payout, first, in the event that someone is injured on your property and needs to be seen by a doctor.

There are also optional coverages for certain home insurance policies that you can add as an endorsement if you need coverage for things such as a: Carport, fence, or screen enclosure. Ordinance of Law is also another important optional coverage to consider when insuring your home because this insurance covers the cost to rebuild a home up to code after it has been destroyed by a covered peril.

You may also receive a discount for having a burglar alarm, being a senior, or for providing a wind mitigation inspection. Discounts and surcharges are different depending on your current insurance provider. If you are not sure what discounts are available for you or what surcharges are on your policy, you should contact your licensed agent to discuss your specific risk coverage options.

Also Read: Why You Should Invest Into Life Insurance

Does my policy cover actual cash value or replacement cost?

Replacement cost coverage pays for the full replacement cost of your items in the case of damage or theft. Actual cash value pays for the depreciated value of the item. Finding out and understanding which type of policy you have is crucial when insuring a home. If you are not sure if you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage, you should contact your agent to discuss your specific policy characteristics.

How do I make changes to my home insurance policy?

You can make changes to your home insurance policy by calling your agent and signing a change request form. They will process the change for you and you will see the changes reflected on the next declaration page you receive.

Am I covered if someone gets injured at my home?

A standard home insurance policy will have liability coverage. This coverage will pay out in a situation like someone getting hurt on your trampoline or a slip-and-fall accident. 

Will it cost less to insure a newer vs an older home?

It costs less to insure newer homes due to the fact that older homes require extensive reconstruction work to restore them to original condition.

What will insurance providers ask for to provide me with an accurate quote?

Insurance agencies will require the following information to provide you with an accurate quote:

First and last name

-Date of birth

-The address of the home

-If it is primary, secondary, rental, for sale, vacant or builders risk

– If it is a new purchase and, if so, your closing date

-The current company you are insured with

-How much your home is insured for

-The year your home was built

-The square footage of your home

-The construction of your home

-If you have an attached garage, fence, shed, pool, trampoline, screen enclosure over pool etc.

-The last time your roof, heating, electrical, and plumbing was updated

-Your roof type and shape

-If you have solar panels or skylights

-If you have a fireplace or chimney

-If you have any unrepaired damage

-If you have a mortgage 

-The age of your hot water heater

-If you have had any claims in the past five years

-If you have had any bankruptcies, foreclosure, repo or judgements in the past five years

-To provide any copy of a recent 4 pt or wind mitigation inspection

Do I really need insurance for my home?

Homeowners insurance is not required by law. However, most lenders will require some basic form of homeowners insurance.

How do I know if I am in a flood zone or need flood insurance?

Call your agent and ask them to see if you are located in a high flood risk area. Typically, if you need flood insurance and you have a mortgage, your lender will advise you that it is required.

What inspections do I need and why?

If your home is over 30 years old, you will need a 4 point inspection to receive an accurate home insurance proposal. A 4 point inspection will tell the insurance company the last time your roof, heating, electrical and plumbing has been updated. This type of inspection is a tool insurance underwriters use to determine risk. 

If you have had your roof recently replaced, you may want to also purchase a wind mitigation inspection. This type of inspection will tell the insurance company how well your roof is secured, as well as any relevant wind resistance features. This type of inspection can also give you a discount towards your home insurance premium.

How do I know if I am over or under insured?

Most insurance companies have tools to help calculate the specific replacement cost of your home. The general rule of thumb for calculating replacement costs is $100 per square foot, but can vary based on location and what type of material was used to build your home.

How do I file a claim, and what is the process like?

To file a claim, you should contact your insurance agent and explain how the claim happened to the best of your knowledge. They will contact your insurance provider and advise them of the claim. After a claim is filed, your agent will provide you with a claim number and your adjuster will contact you and advise you of the next steps to take in the process.

The process should run smoothly, and typically does not take more than 2-3 months. Your claim will be assessed and the damages will be inspected by a field adjuster who works for your insurance provider. You will pay out your deductible (hurricane or AOP, depending on the type of claim) and then your insurance provider can either accept liability and pay out if your claim is considered a covered peril, or they can reject it if what you are claiming is not considered a covered peril. This is why it is essential to have knowledge of and understand the coverages you are purchasing when shopping for home insurance. 

Does home insurance have water/ mold coverage?

Home insurance policies usually don’t cover mold if it resulted from a preventable water leak or flooding. Mold is only covered if a covered peril is the cause of it and, in that case, your home insurance policy will most likely pay for the repairs.

Am I covered if my dog trips or bites someone?

Homeowners and renters insurance policies typically cover dog bite liability. Most home insurance policies provide anywhere from $100,000 to $300,000 in liability coverage. However, if the claim exceeds this amount, the dog owner is personally responsible for all damages above that amount.

What is hurricane insurance?

Hurricane insurance is coverage that guards your home from damage that may be caused by heavy winds. If the extensive winds of a hurricane rip off your siding, shingles etc., this type of policy will reimburse you for any damages caused by a covered peril.

How do I know if I need an Umbrella policy?

An umbrella policy is excess liability coverage and is used to protect your assets in the event of a lawsuit. This type of policy pays out once your basic liability limits on your auto or home policy have been exhausted. 

What is an AOB?

An AOB is a document known as an assignment of benefits. This document is signed between a policyholder and would allow a third party to seek direct payment from the insurance company after a claim has been filed. 

Most insurance companies would advise their insured clients to avoid an AOB at all costs, since the rise of fraudulent payouts resulted from claims associated with certain companies that offer to do an AOB. This may not always be the case but, if you are not sure about a situation that could be a potential AOB, contact your insurance agent today for advice about what to do in this situation. .

Does my home insurance cover my leaky roof?

Homeowners insurance may cover a roof leak if it is caused by a covered peril. This type of policy will not pay to replace or repair a roof that is gradually deteriorating due to general wear and tear or neglect.

Can I insure my home if it is on the market or vacant?

If your home is currently on the market to be sold, typically standard home insurance providers will not insure your home. This goes while it is vacant due to the increased risk of theft, fire, or vandalism. However, on the odd occasion, a surplus line’s insurance company will provide coverage for a vacant risk and a much higher cost for coverage.

Conclusion 

In essence, the insurance industry is ever changing. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be difficult to find the home insurance policy that works for you. When shopping for the correct coverages to insure your home, it is important that you fully understand what coverage you are buying, and what coverage is not included in your policy. 

To ensure you are purchasing home insurance that is right for you, it is important to understand the difference between replacement cost, and actual cash value. Replacement cost coverage pays for the full replacement cost of your items in the case of damage or theft. Actual cash values, instead, pay for the item, factoring in its depreciation over time. 

Finding out and understanding which type of policy you have is crucial when insuring a home. If you are not sure, whether you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage, you should contact your agent to discuss your specific policy characteristics. For example, standard coverages for a Home Insurance policy include but are not limited to: dwelling coverage, other structure coverage, personal property coverage, loss of use coverage, personal Liability coverage, and medical payment coverage. 

There are also endorsements and coverages you should ask about when consulting with your agent. It is important that you also ask what your company has to offer to you as far as a discount, this way you can save as much money as possible. If your home is over 30 years old you will need a 4 point inspection to receive an accurate home insurance proposal. 

A 4 Point inspection will tell the insurance company the last time your roof, heating, electrical and plumbing has been updated. This type of inspection is a tool insurance underwriters use to determine risk. If you have had your roof recently replaced you may want to also purchase a Wind mitigation inspection. This type of inspection will tell the insurance company how well your roof is secured to your home, as well as your wind resistant features. 

This type of inspection can also give you a discount towards your home insurance premium. To file a claim, you should contact your insurance agent and explain how the claim happened to the best of your knowledge. They will contact your insurance provider and advise them of the claim. After a claim is filed, your agent will provide you with a claim number and your adjuster will contact you and advise you of the next steps to take in the process. The process should run smoothly, and typically does not take more than 2-3 months. Your claim will be assessed and the damages will be inspected by a field adjuster who works for your insurance provider, you will pay out your deductible (hurricane or AOP depending on the type of claim) and then your insurance provider can either accept liability and pay out your claim if it is considered to be a covered peril, or they can reject it if what you are claiming is not considered to be a covered peril. 

This is why it is so essential to be knowledgeable and understand the coverages you are purchasing when shopping for home insurance. Each insurance policy is carefully underwritten by a licensed insurance agent to ensure coverage agreed upon prior to binding your personalized insurance policy. If you have questions in regards to a certain coverage or endorsement on your insurance policy, you should consult your concerns with your agent. They will discuss different types of home policies with you and find the best suited company and rate for your risk.

Also Read: Frequently Asked Questions: Auto Insurance

Disclaimer: This insurance article was written by a Florida Licensed Property and Casualty insurance agent. All information above is merely opinionated and you should contact your agent if you have any questions or concerns pertaining to your personal insurance.

Mary Elise Marshall
Author

Mary Elise Marshall is a licensed sales/customer service specialist for the First Florida Insurance of Ormond Beach. Her day to day tasks entail answering phone calls, policy questions, writing insurance policies, coverage, and vehicle changes, updating the system with renewals monthly, mortgage clause changes, and following up to make sure endorsements are processed correctly and in a timely manner. With nearly 2 years of experience in insurance Mary’s attention to detail, knowledge of over 30 companies procedures requirements and other policies offered by this office makes her an asset to leading insurance agencies like First Florida Insurance.

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