Surprisingly, Florida state does not legally require you to have home insurance. Sure, the mortgage companies likely wouldn’t let this slide, but it’s surprising that such a necessary product is not compulsory. Legal or not though, home insurance is an absolute must. Florida, in particular, makes insurance all the more important.
The weather in Florida is, of course, the number one reason to be getting online and buying that insurance immediately. The sunshine state is more than just a hot, sunbathing Disney world paradise for those that live there. The reality is that being in a tropical climate and being situated where it is, there are many tropical storms. In fact, it is hit by more hurricanes than any other state.
Hurricane Andrew was the most expensive hurricane in US history (1992), with it decimating much of Florida costing around $30 billion in damage. Its severity was a reflection of where it is positioned. Many of the hurricanes are formed around the Caribbean as well as west Africa. In both instances, they drift towards the west and accumulate heat from the warm Atlantic ocean. The moist and warm air gets sucked into the center of the storm and spirals. Any wind traveling at over 74 miles per hour is defined as a hurricane. The waters are cooler towards Florida, making them often slow down compared to the Caribbean, although this isn’t always the case.
Almost two hurricanes (1.75 on average) hit the east coast of the US each year, with around 40% of them hitting Florida.
Costs of hurricanes
Whilst there is much devastation to consider on a humanist level, the billions in damage should send the bells ringing too – your Floridian home can very easily be included in this statistic, so it’s important to protect yourself.
The damage of hurricanes is so vast that the US government spends $28 billion per year on their response (i.e. rebuilding infrastructure), of which Florida takes up 55% of that expense. With the constant development of Florida, these costs are set to increase by $11 billion per year by 2075. However, a big factor in the forecasted rise in expenses is down to climate change.
As mentioned above, the warmth of the ocean waters near the Caribbean is the source of why they are on the receiving end of the most devastating hurricanes. Well, the ocean surrounding Florida is rising each year due to global warming. There have been strong studies suggesting that the severity of such storms will only increase too, not just their frequency.
It seems that the potential destruction of your home, which could rob you of hundreds of thousands of dollars, is an ever-increasing reality in Florida. Home insurance is virtually the only way to protect yourself from mother nature’s bad attitude.
Home insurances differ from company to company, but generally, you will find that they all cover some basic events: fire, theft, damaged home and belongings and accidental injury. Storms sound like they should be included in this, but not always.
Firstly, it may depend on the cause of the damage. Sure, a hurricane may be the common denominator, but wind damage and flood damage are very different things and are usually separate in contracts. Furthermore, whilst wind damage is more often than not included, check the small print for a separate hurricane deductible.
Flood damage is arguably the most important and seldom is included in home insurance packages. Knowing the ins and outs of these differences could save you – for example, if the floods in your home are caused by a wind-damaged roof.
Coverage limits are also extremely important. It’s not worth getting a homeowner’s insurance plan if the coverage limit is 25% of the total replacement value of the house assets. Having home insurance shouldn’t make you feel safe automatically. In order to relax, it’s necessary to assess and compare each company’s coverage, limits, deductibles, customer reviews, and small print in order to determine if you have the best deal.
Home warranties are very much separate from homeowner’s insurance. Home warranties cover things such as systems and appliances; the purpose is to protect you from wear and tear, not natural disasters and destruction. Home warranties will certainly not cover your home in the event of a hurricane, although it’s possible that some of your appliances could be protected in such an event. This will not be clearly communicated through, because this is not their core purpose or value. To find out, either reading in detail the small print or contacting them by phone will be necessary.