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Hurricane Season Highlights Florida Coverage Issues
Hurricane season is picking up steam, so this is a good time for us to remind clients that if you are considering buying a house in Florida, you should contact us sooner rather than later. In fact, it is best if you let us know well before you make an offer.
That’s because placing homeowner’s insurance in Florida can be time-consuming. It also can be expensive, and you should know before you buy how much you will have to pay for coverage. It might even improve your negotiating position with the seller.
Before insurers will issue a new homeowner’s policy, they require that the property have a wind mitigation study conducted by a qualified third party. (If you already have Florida property covered by a policy you got without such a study, insurers may no longer give discounts until you have the study done.)
The wind mitigation study examines the roof, windows and other openings, including garage doors, to see how well they could withstand hurricane-force winds. It looks, for example, at the shape and construction of the roof and how it is anchored to the home. It determines whether the window glass meets hurricane safety specifications. And it searches for any way that winds might get entry into the home.
Insurers also check the building materials and the age of the house. Frame homes and houses built before 1995, when Hurricane Andrew created devastation across the state and prompted the state to tighten its building code, are harder and more expensive to insure.
If you are considering a home purchase in Florida, you should send us the completed wind mitigation inspection, which usually costs about $150. We also will check whether your house is in a flood plain; if so, you also should send us a flood elevation certificate. We can then contact insurers and let you know about your policy options. That way, you will have a good idea of what your insurance costs will be, and you can factor that into your buying decision.
If you would like to talk to us about coverage for your vacation home or any other insurance issues, just contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or 847-572-0820.