Florida law doesn’t require homeowners to purchase homeowner’s insurance, but having this protection is a good idea. (Keep in mind that some cities and counties may impose insurance requirements on homeowners. For example, they might require liability coverage if you own a pet or have a swimming pool.)
There are several different factors to consider when purchasing homeowner’s insurance. Here are several frequently asked questions about your insurance policy.
Q: What does homeowner’s insurance cover?
A: Insurance policies typically provide coverage for your house, other structures (like a shed or fencing), personal property and loss of use. Coverage packages vary, but each provides coverage against specified perils or events that damage your property, such as wind, fire, flood or theft.
Q: What happens if the damage to my home makes it temporarily uninhabitable?
A: Most policies cover abnormal expenses if you can’t live in your home while the damage is being repaired. Coverage typically includes food, housing, utility installation, relocation and storage, and furniture rental. But it only covers “extra” costs. For example, you have to eat no matter where you live, so your insurance doesn’t cover your normal food bills. Also keep in mind that your insurance company won’t pay you additional living expenses upfront. You’ll need to keep receipts and submit them for reimbursement.
Q: Does my insurance policy cover my child’s belongings while he or she is in college?
A: It might, but you might also need a separate policy. Consult with your insurance company and an experienced attorney to make sure your child is covered, whether he or she is living on or off campus.
Q: Why do I need personal liability coverage?
A: A simple answer is that you need it if legally required by your city or county of residence. But even if you are not required by law to obtain personal liability coverage, it might be worth considering, especially if there are special hazards on your property (like a swimming pool). Personal liability coverage protects you from lawsuits arising from bodily injury or property damage to others. For example, if a neighbor is injured while swimming in your pool, he or she might file a lawsuit against you. If you have this liability coverage, your legal fees and damages would be covered (at least up to your policy amount).
Q: How much insurance should I purchase?
A: Your home should be insured based on how much it would cost to rebuild it using current labor costs and current prices for building materials. Don’t base coverage on the purchase price of your home, your mortgage payment or a property tax appraisal.
Q: Do I need a home warranty plan?
A: It’s worth considering. A home warranty plan is a service contract that helps pay for unexpected repairs during the warranty period (like plumbing or electrical issues). But a home warranty plan is no substitute for homeowner’s insurance.
Reach Out to Us for Help
The Florida Insurance Litigation Group assists homeowners who purchased an HO-3 “all risks” or “open perils” insurance policy to cover your home, including your real property and personal belongings. When you suffer damage to your property, the attorneys at Insurance Litigation Group can advise and represent you in any dispute in Florida where the insurer is not paying what it should. We will walk you through your policy coverage options and your claims process and advocate on your behalf in any litigation necessary to see that you get the benefits you are entitled to.
Contact us today for a free consultation.