Hurricanes are easily the most obvious concern in the Miami homeowners insurance market, although covering your property and possessions from storms isn’t a straightforward proposition. Home and condo owners must be sure they are covered for all forms of storm damage when purchasing Miami and Florida homeowner insurance, as well as protecting themselves from other concerns.
4 Things Residents Should Look for in Miami Homeowners Insurance
1. The Basics
Whether you live in or are purchasing a home or condo, your homeowners’ insurance should cover certain fundamental things. Those include your belongings, the structural integrity of your home, or the structural interior of your condo. You may need to purchase additional coverage to protect you from theft and personal liability if anyone is injured on your property.
2. Wind Policy Provisions
Virtually all Florida homeowners policies include coverage for wind damage, as do condominium master insurance policies. However, there are often conditions the policyholder must meet for lower rates or even qualify for coverage. Older homes built to lower building code standards tend to be more susceptible to wind damage than newer houses.
Look for properties equipped with the following features or consider upgrading your home or condo to make wind coverage easier to purchase and more affordable:
- Metal roofing or hurricane straps in the roofing system
- Impact glass or hurricane shutters
- Impact-resistant garage-door openers
3. Flood Insurance
Rain and storm surge often cause more damage than a tropical storm or hurricane-force winds when a hurricane makes landfall. Most condo and homeowner insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. If yours doesn’t or offers only minimal protection, you should purchase additional flood insurance to protect your most significant investment.
Being at sea level, all of Miami is a flood area. Still, it’s best to learn whether your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), such as barrier islands or beachfront property, which will make flood insurance more expensive. Also, be aware that flood insurance typically includes a 30-day waiting period before taking effect. Make sure to purchase your flood insurance between December and April, well in advance of hurricane season.
4. Additional Storm Considerations for Florida Homeowner Insurance
Flood insurance typically covers damage to the home and the property inside the living area. It rarely covers vehicles damaged while inside the garage or your living expenses when your home is too damaged to be habitable. Check your auto insurance policy to determine whether it covers flood damage to your cars, and consider purchasing additional coverage for hotel or temporary rental expenses while your house undergoes repair.
In general, homes in greater Miami do not feature basements, although some exceptions exist. Because basements and cellars are, by definition, low-lying, most flood insurance only covers basement damage if there is structural damage, with the only property covered being washers, dryers, or food freezers. As well, damage from mold and mildew throughout the home isn’t covered by most flood insurance policies.
Because the fine print matters in condo and homeowner policies, it always pays to consult with a qualified professional who is connected with multiple providers and thoroughly versed in the ever-changing landscape of Florida insurance laws and regulations. Ensure you’re obtaining comprehensive coverage at competitive rates from a reputable insurer. Contact Absolute Choice Insurance