If you’re a Florida resident, you know that the Sunshine State is no stranger to severe weather. From hurricanes to floods, it seems like there’s always something to worry about. And when it comes to insuring your home or business, you want to make sure you have the right coverage in place. But what’s the difference between Florida flood insurance and hurricane insurance? Let’s take a look.
Florida Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that is designed to cover losses sustained by water damage that occurred explicitly because of flooding. A flood may occur when there is heavy rainfall, lots of melting snow, coastal surges, or even levee dam breaks. In areas where the risk of flood is high, aka designated flood zones, it may be mandatory to purchase flood insurance. However, even in places where floods can cause great destruction but are not required to be insured, it is important to register your home for the proper property insurance
Fortunately, Florida flood insurance is made relatively affordable to residents through programs like The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which helps to protect those who live in designated flood areas. Many communities also participate in The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which helps to regulate flood insurance prices.
How Much Does Florida Flood Insurance Cost?
Currently, the average cost for Florida flood insurance is about $700 per year or roughly $58 a month. In the event of damage caused by a flood, those protected will receive upwards of $250,000 in repair damage for residential buildings and a maximum of $500,000 for businesses. The overall pricing for flood insurance varies based on your location, property size/number of floors, and the age of your home/business building.
As we stated above, the price of Florida flood insurance can vary vastly depending on several factors. However, communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program can be protected against high insurance costs and qualify for policy discounts.
Florida Hurricane Insurance
Unlike flood insurance, Florida hurricane insurance does not exist as its own separate policy; instead, it is an add-on in the form of a deductible. According to the insurance industry, hurricane deductibles refer to the additional amount a homeowner must pay before the insurer covers the damages or destruction caused by an inclement weather event, which, precisely speaking, is a portion of their homeowners insurance policy. In high hurricane-risk areas such as Florida, hurricane insurance can also be included in catastrophe insurance, a type of insurance that protects against low-probability, high-damage events such as storms, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, riots, and more.
So, when it comes to hurricane insurance, it is essential to understand that you can not just strictly purchase Florida hurricane insurance; you must have a homeowner’s policy first. You can then go ahead and choose to add hurricane protection to your existing policy, which will protect your home or business in the event of a hurricane storm.
How Much Does Florida Hurricane Insurance Cost?
The breakdown cost of hurricane insurance is a bit more confusing and less straightforward than other policy types. In some states, the insurance companies dictate the deductibles and what they will protect. However, other states put state officials in charge of the pricing to ensure hurricane insurance regulations were implemented.
For example, in Florida, homeowners can pay a $500 flat rate as their hurricane deductible. You may, however, choose to have upgrades or more coverage on your policy which will result in a higher overall premium. Additionally, certain states and insurance companies will provide discounts or lower premiums to those who take action to minimize the damage to their home BEFORE purchasing a policy. These improvements can include the installation of storm shutters, hurricane-resistant windows, and doors, or new roofing.
Florida Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance is different from flood insurance and hurricane insurance. A standard homeowner insurance policy will provide coverage to repair or replace your home, and the belongings inside in the event damage occur. Florida homeowners insurance typically will cover damage that occurs from house fires, break-ins, vandalism, certain small weather events, and even sometimes fallen trees.
For those that live in high-risk areas for natural disasters, it is crucial to note that most “Acts of God” or “Acts of War” are not protected against without additional deductibles being added to the policy. This can include earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunamis, tornados, or terrorist attacks.
When the cause of the damage matches the policy requirements, the parts of your home that will be covered under homeowners insurance will be both interior and exterior. However, most insurance companies will only provide protection to valuable items that were recorded in the initial policy estimate. You should also be mindful that the price of home repairs can increase over time, and your original policy quote may not provide you with enough coverage to repair all damages.
Side Note: There is a difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty. While the terms sound similar, a home warranty is a contract that will replace specific components, such as home appliances, and fix any visible wear and tear. A homeowner warranty is not required to receive a mortgage. Additionally, you cannot add hurricane insurance to the warranty, as it is not an insurance policy.
How Much Does Florida Homeowners Insurance Cost?
Homeowners insurance costs vary greatly depending on the property you wish to protect. Your insurance company will ask you several questions to help you determine your home’s value and the overall damage risk. From there, you will be quoted a policy price to help ensure you can repair damages to your home if they ever occur.
Often, if you take out a mortgage for your home, you will need to provide proof of homeowners insurance, as you need to provide car insurance proof when financing a vehicle. You can also opt to have your homeowners policy rate bundled with your monthly mortgage payment, so you will only have to make one payment each month.
Which Insurance Policies Will Protect Against Hurricane Storms?
Understanding the difference between flood, hurricane, and homeowners insurance can help ensure you receive the proper coverage for your home in the event of damage. So, which insurance do you need if you are trying to protect against hurricane damage?
Well, you may want to purchase all three to be on the safe side. Let’s break it down a bit more:
Flood Insurance: protects against flooding damage that occurs from extended rainfall, melting snow, coastal surges, and the failure of levees. Flood protection WILL protect your home in the event of a hurricane; however, it will only protect your home from the flooding aspect of a hurricane. It will not protect against the roof, window, or exterior damage caused by high winds or other hurricane-related issues..
Hurricane Insurance: protects your home from all hurricane-related incidents but must be added to a homeowner’s policy and will require a deductible payment before receiving additional aid. You can get coverage for damage that occurs from high winds, rainfall, flooding, and fallen trees/powerlines during a hurricane.
Homeowners Insurance: homeowners insurance will NOT protect you from hurricane-related damages. It is designed to protect your home from incidents such as house fires, break-ins, vandalism, and certain small weather events. However, homeowners are a must if you want to protect your home from hurricane damage because it is required if you want to add a hurricane deductible to your property.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is that getting all three insurance policies can help protect your property and ensure there is no gaps in your coverage. Each insurance type has its own specific place in protecting your home.
If you are unsure of what kind of coverage your home requires, reach out to your local insurance agency to speak to a professional. One of their representatives can assist you with a full rundown of your home insurance needs and will give you an estimate on your yearly premium.
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