With an average temperature of between 65 and 77 degrees and a reputation for clear skies, Florida is an ideal place to live for those looking to avoid classic winter weather. The Sunshine State also has many large cities, beaches, and theme parks that make it the third largest US state by population.
But living in Florida also has its dangers. Homeowner insurance can be especially costly due to the state’s frequent natural disasters, ranging from hurricanes to sinkholes. After Hurricanes Katrina and Wilma in 2005, several major insurers left Florida entirely for weather-related risks.
Florida residents still have many choices when it comes to homeowner insurance. NerdWallet researched the rates and coverage of more than 15 insurers across the state to find the best homeowner insurance in Florida.
Best Home Insurance Company in Florida
Nationwide is also one of NerdWallet’s top home insurance companies, offering policies in Florida through independent agents, but rate data was not available.
Ideal for high quality home owners, Chubb offers a variety of insurance options that you would not normally find in home insurance. Chubbs Masterpiece coverage comes in handy when it comes to big things like extended replacement costs – which will pay off more than your insurance limit when rebuilding or repairing your home if necessary – and smaller things like paying for tree clearing after a big storm.
State Farm Florida Home Insurance offers residents a free “Elevated Housing Limit” add-on that covers an additional 20% of replacement costs as long as the home is insured for at least the amount State Farm expects to rebuild. And if your air conditioner fails in the middle of summer or at any other time, State Farm’s Home Systems Protection add-on pays the repair costs.
Travelers have several coverage options that can be added to their default policy. Florida residents may particularly appreciate the content replacement coverage – which pays off to replace damaged or destroyed personal items rather than giving you a written off amount for them – and the additional replacement cost coverage for repair or rebuilding costs that exceed Go beyond your insurance limit.
Allstate Home Insurance offers several options that are generally not available in standard policies. Covering the yard and garden raises the limits for damage to trees and landscapes, something that residents of a storm-prone state like Florida appreciate. Likewise, special cover that pays off in recovering lost computer data after a major weather event can be useful.
Average cost of home insurance in Florida
According to a NerdWallet data analysis, the average cost of homeowner insurance in Florida is $ 2,071 per year. However, prices vary depending on where you live.
To get a better idea of how much insurance is in your location, enter your zip code below to see the average price in your area.
Cheapest home insurance in Florida
Travelers is the best option for cheap homeowner insurance in Florida based on data analysis by NerdWallet at an average rate of $ 1,162 per year (about $ 97 per month). Here is the full list:
What you should know about homeowner insurance in Florida
Florida is a unique place when it comes to home insurance. With the state’s regular hurricanes and tropical storms, homeowners must weigh several factors when considering policy measures.
Florida homes are particularly vulnerable to flooding because of the state’s low elevation and long coastline. And because floods are not covered by typical household insurance, Flood insurance is worth considering for many Florida residents.
Many major insurers offer flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The coverage in flood insurance through the NFIP is the same regardless of your insurer. Private flood insurance is also an option, and these policies may have higher limits than what you get through the NFIP.
Hurricane and wind cover
While it can pay off after a storm, homeowner insurance doesn’t always fully cover hurricane damage. That’s what the people of Florida need Hurricane insurance.
While it is not actually a policy, “hurricane insurance” means coverage for floods (through flood insurance) and wind damage. Wind damage is part of standard homeowner insurance, but hurricane-related wind damage works a little differently in Florida than other parts of the country.
If the National Weather Service declares a hurricane, all storm damage claims are subject to a hurricane deductible separate from the regular one Insurance deductible. Florida law requires the deductible to be $ 500, 2%, 5%, or 10% of the coverage for an apartment or building (although it can be greater than 10% in certain circumstances).
The hurricane deductible applies once per season, not necessarily per storm. Once the hurricane deductible amount is reached, the general policy deductible will apply instead.
Florida residents can opt out and waive wind coverage from their policy. This can save money, but it also means wind damage is not covered. Alternatively, you can purchase a separate wind-only cover.
Florida sinkhole coverage is optional for homeowners and costs extra. State home insurers are legally obliged to insure sinkholes. However, an insurer can request a property inspection to obtain coverage, and if the risk is too high, the company can refuse coverage entirely.
State insurers must also provide coverage for the “catastrophic collapse of land cover,” which can cover damage to the sinkhole. However, the claim must meet four criteria for approval under this coverage. The law states that “geological activity” must cause:
The sudden collapse of the land cover.
A visible depression in the ground cover.
Structural damage to the building including the foundation.
An order to condemn and evacuate the building.
Although the catastrophic cover of the collapse of the land cover may overlap with the cover of the sinkhole, it is not a substitute. For example, damage to a home without a sinkhole cover cannot be covered if the home is considered safe enough to live in.
Sudden rate increases
Recently, Florida home insurance prices have risen dramatically. A combination of events drove these changes, including:
Insurers are still paying out damage claims for hurricane damage that date back to 2017.
An increase in litigation costs that insurers pass on to consumers. According to one estimate, that figure was $ 680 per family in 2020.
Minor problems like leaking pipes are more common in Florida.
Consumers do not necessarily have control over these factors. However, if you are aware of potential interest rate hikes, you can be a more informed buyer by comparing insurers and getting home insurance.