Questions & Answers about Homeowners Insurance Coverage in Florida [Part I]

J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo
Founder of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A.

If your home is destroyed by a fire or demolished by a hurricane, your homeowner’s insurance coverage provides the financial security to rebuild or repair your home.  Although most people carry homeowner’s coverage as a requirement imposed by their lender, some owners only discover the importance of insurance coverage after it is too late.  A common reason that property owners decide not to obtain homeowner’s coverage is because they have limited information about how such coverage works.  In this two-part blog post, Florida insurance coverage attorney J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo provides a range of answers to questions we often receive about this valuable form of financial security. 

Does my lender get to decide the type of policy and insurer if my mortgage payment and homeowner’s insurance policy are paid together?

Although the mortgage company might collect the premium and place it in an escrow account to ensure that the premium is paid, the insurance and home belong to the policyholder.  This means that the homeowner gets to determine what type of policy offers the appropriate coverage to protect this substantial investment.

Will I be compensated for personal property damage to items inside my home?

Homeowner’s insurance covers not just the physical structure of your home but also certain personal items within the home subject to special limits.  Examples of these “special limits” might include the following:

  • $1,000 for trailers (does not include watercraft trailers)
  • $2,500 for business property on the premises and $250 for business property away from the premises
  • $200 for cash, gold, silver, platinum, coins and medals
  • $2,000 for firearms that are stolen
  • $1,000 for watercrafts, trailers, motors, equipment and related items
  • $1,000 on deeds, evidence of debt, securities, deeds, accounts and the like

These limits might be insufficient to provide protection for higher value items like a wedding ring set, so you may want to discuss the possibility of higher limits for certain types of personal property.  Homeowner’s policies are not intended to cover high value art collections or rare coin collections because such coverage would drive homeowner’s insurance premiums to unaffordable levels.  Insurance companies offer policyholders the option to customize their coverage for specific rare and valuable items of this nature subject to separate policy limits.

Why is my insurance company asking about the location of the closest fire hydrant and building materials used for the construction of my home?

Insurance carriers consider a wide range of factors when evaluating the risk involved in providing coverage for a home and items inside the residence.  If the building is located a significant distance from a fire hydrant, this lack of access to water can drive up the cost of coverage.  A home located in a rural area that is a significant distance from a fire station also might mean higher insurance premiums.  Similarly, the ability of construction materials to withstand perils also will affect premiums.  As a general rule, homes made from stone and brick will be less expensive to insure than a home constructed largely with wood building materials.  

If you have questions about homeowner’s insurance claims, you are invited to contact our law firm to speak to an experienced Miami insurance claims attorney.  My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free at 1-866-71-CLAIM. 

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