What is Florida Homeowner Insurance?
Homeowner insurance provides protection for the most valuable asset most of us have – our home and its contents.  A homeowner policy is a “package policy” since it includes property and liability coverage that protects you against both types financial losses.  Damage to your property such as a fire loss and a liability loss such as a guest falling on your sidewalk are typical types of losses covered.  Coverage for personal property (contents) is included.  Losses that are unexpected are covered but losses due to routine maintenance are never covered.

What does a Florida Homeowner policy cover?
Due to the many variations in exposures for personal property and families, there are a number of different types of homeowner policies.  Basic homeowner policies include coverage for your dwelling, other structures (example – detached garages), personal property (items you own or use), and loss of use (dwelling damage is extensive and requires you to acquired alternate place to reside during reconstruction).  There are also some additional limited coverages such debris removal, loss assessments, and trees and shrubs.  The liability coverage applies to losses related to an insured’s premises, personal activities, and other incidental losses such as to a residence employee.  Medical payments to others cover medical expenses for injuries to guests without requiring liability of the homeowner.

Some of the most common types of homeowner policies are:

  • HO 2 – a policy that provides named perils coverage (covered causes of loss are listed in the policy). This type of policy is often purchased by first time homeowners who are willing to accept limited causes of loss since the policy cost is lower than other types of policies.
  • HO 3 – a policy that provides broader causes of loss coverage and is the most popular type of homeowner policy.
  • HO 4 – a policy that provides contents coverage and often purchased by a tenant of a rental property such as an apartment that provides personal property and liability coverage.
  • HO 6 – a policy often purchased by the owner of a condominium that provides coverage for personal property and liability. This policy provides coverage needed by an individual who has exposures due to being part of a condominium community.

As a property owner, additional considerations should include the types of losses covered.  Some losses such as flood and earthquake are not covered and require a separate type of policy.  These types of exposures can present a catastrophic loss to a property owner.

What are additional coverage options?
Due to the wide variety of types of financial losses that can result from home ownership there are numerous coverages that can be added to the basic homeowner policy.  Some of the most common endorsements include:

  • Increased limits for property coverages such as Other Structures and Personal Property.
  • Increased Liability and Medical Payments limits.
  • Scheduled Personal Property – This allows you to list specific items and their value (e.g. jewelry, furs, cameras, and fine arts.)  This increases the amount of coverage available for expensive items that exceed the standard sub-limits contained in your homeowner policy.
  • Personal Property Replacement Cost Settlement endorsement changes the settlement method from actual cash value to replacement cost.
  • Personal Injury Endorsement expands coverage to include losses due to false arrest, malicious prosecution, invasion of privacy, and libel or slander.
  • Water Back Up and Sump Pump Discharge or Overflow Endorsement provides coverage for water or waterborne materials that back up through sewers or drains.
  • Loss Assessment Coverage increases the amount available for Insureds living in communities who may be assessed due to major losses and the current funding is not adequate to cover the loss incurred by their association.
  • Limited Fungi, Wet or Dry Rot, or Bacteria Coverage Endorsement alters the definition of fungi to include mold and amends the limit available for this type of exposure.
  • Credit Card, Electronic Fund Transfer Card or Access Device, Forgery and Counterfeit Money Coverage – Increased limit endorsement that amends the standard limit for coverage resulting from unauthorized use of an insured’s credit card or bank account.

Does a Florida Homeowner policy have deductibles?
Yes, there are standard deductibles found in most homeowner policies that are different for various coverages contained in the policy.  In most cases deductibles can be increased.  It is essential to remember that in all cases the deductible has to be paid prior to additional amounts of a loss; thus funds for the deductible must be readily available from the homeowner.

This is a general description of a Homeowner policy and should not be considered an interpretation of your specific coverage.  You must consult your individual policy for coverage, definitions, limits, conditions and requirements.