An Overview of Homeowners’ Insurance in Florida
Florida residents know firsthand that it often pays to plan ahead. From hurricanes, floods, and fires to home burglaries, sudden disasters can leave a person’s home devastated and result in immense financial losses. As such, many choose to purchase homeowners’ insurance policies to mitigate this risk. In the event of a covered loss, homeowners’ insurance helps to pay for necessary repairs and replace lost personal property up to the limits of the insured’s policy. Homeowners’ insurance policies can be purchased for homes, condominiums, mobile homes, and rented residences, with packages of varying coverage depending on the insured’s needs.
Homeowners’ insurance normally provides coverage for the following:
- Structural damage
- Damaged or lost personal belongings
- Damage to sheds and fences
- Loss of use
Florida law does not require homeowners’ insurance, though since a person’s home is often the largest investment they will ever make, most people will choose to purchase a policy to protect it from harm. In some cases, lending institutions may require homeowners to insure mortgaged homes, including purchasing flood insurance if the home is located in a high-risk area. Likewise, homeowners’ insurance may be required in some cities and counties if you own certain breeds of pets or have certain amenities such as a swimming pool on your property.
In addition to property coverage, many homeowners’ insurance policies include personal liability and medical coverage to protect homeowners against claims or lawsuits in the event that another person should be injured on the insured’s property, such as in a slip and fall. If a homeowner should be sued for another person’s injury, liability coverage will pay the claim plus legal fees up to the limits of the policy.
Filing a Homeowners’ Insurance Claim
In the event of a covered loss, policyholders will need through the process of documenting, assessing, and appraising the damage. Determining the replacement cost versus the actual cash value of property damaged or destroyed is one such assessment that is required. Insurance companies will often pay the actual cash value rather than the replacement cost. For example, when determining the value of a damaged 20-year-old roof with a 25-year life expectancy, the insurance company will often depreciate the claim to reflect the roof’s remaining 5 years of expected use. Similarly, homes that are completely destroyed are often covered at their market value, not the cost of replacement.
Unfortunately, homeowners’ insurance providers are often less-than-enthusiastic about upholding their end of the bargain and may employ unethical tactics to limit or deny a policyholder’s claims. If you have experienced a covered loss, it is highly recommended you retain the services of a skilled attorney to ensure your rights are protected and maximize your potential recovery.
At The Morgan Law Group, P.A., our Miami insurance lawyers have been assisting clients with their homeowners’ insurance claims for more than 40 years combined and can provide the powerful advocacy you need to ensure your insurer fulfills their obligations. Most importantly, we work on a contingency basis, meaning that if we are not successful in recovering the compensation you deserve, we will not charge you a cent for our services.
To find out more about how we can assist you, call our office today at (844) 818-0774.