It’s no secret that Florida has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country. Those pretty palm trees sure do pack a hefty price tag, especially if they are meticulously lined on the coast! So what’s a Floridian to do to lessen the blow of homeowners insurance?
A hurricane can cause complete and total destruction to entire cities and neighborhoods, which is why Florida homeowners insurance policies are generally priced to account for the extreme damage caused by hurricanes.
But you don’t have to move away from the coast to save on your policy. We’ll explore ways to lower your homeowners insurance premium in Florida.
1. Get a Fortified Roof
If you are a current Florida homeowner, check out the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) and acclimate yourself to their FORTIFIED Home Program. This program is designed to exceed industry standards on various levels, including:
- Windows and attached structures
- Roof to wall to floor to foundation connections so it acts as one system
The IBHS FORTIFIED system protects homes from hail, high winds, and hurricanes.
New roof installations can exceed $10,000, which is no small bill! Financial barriers tend to be the biggest constraint on getting a new roof, so it’s important to be savvy and look for whatever resources are available to get tax breaks, grants, or work with organizations offering governmental subsidies.
2. Get a Wind Mitigation Inspection
All Florida home insurers are required to offer credits to homeowners who take measures to make their homes more wind resistant. Your wind mitigation report can make the biggest impact in what you pay for home insurance (aside from your home’s location, value, and age). Bonus: your windstorm mitigation inspection will let you know what further improvements you can make to your home to both increase its disaster preparedness and decrease your insurance bill.
3. Raise Your Deductible
Generally, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium. Florida homeowner can adjust both their AOP (standard) deductible and their hurricane deductible to trim their premium. Just remember: it doesn’t make sense to pay for insurance that you can’t reasonably use when you need to. Make sure you take on a deductible that won’t leave you financially overwhelmed when you need to make a major claim.
4. Opt for Private Insurance Whenever Possible
Government-run insurance programs are insurance options of last resort – and they are priced accordingly. You can save considerably if you are eligible for coverage from a private home insurer. That goes for flood insurance, too – if you’re in Florida, you now have an affordable, private market alternative to NFIP flood coverage through Kin.
5. Ask about Discounts
Most homeowners are eligible for a fair amount of easy home insurance discounts. For example, you get a discount from Kin automatically for having an electronic policy. You can save even more when you choose to retain your benefits during a claim instead of signing them over to a contractor. Learn more about our available discounts.
Be Strategic If You Move
If you are looking to move, you might consider property further from the coast – it could potentially save you thousands annually on your Florida homeowners insurance. Inland dwellings face less severe hurricane risk than those closest to the coast.
The home’s build date also has a substantial impact on Florida premiums. Homes built prior to 2001 may not be constructed according to the latest Florida building codes that were designed to optimize a structure’s wind resistance. Older homes aren’t generally equipped with as much or no hurricane protection as newer homes.
And lastly, if you are new to Florida, calculate your homeowners insurance cost before you close so you know what to expect.