How Well Do You Know Your Florida Homeowners Insurance Policy?

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

When a property owner suffers sudden damage to his or her house or someone visiting the property is injured, homeowners insurance can provide critical financial protection against loss.  Although homeowners insurance policies include protections against many forms of loss, there are certain hazards and types of loss that frequently are not covered.  Homeowners often do not realize this until a claim is submitted.  Examples of common types of hazards that may not be covered by the typical homeowner policy in Florida:

  • Mold: Coverage for mold damage generally must be purchased as a separate policy, endorsement, or rider.  However, mold may not be covered if it is the product of a longstanding trickle of water as opposed to a unique sudden event that causes water damage.
  • Pools without Enclosures: Florida law requires that swimming pools be fenced to prevent accidental drowning.  When a homeowner violates Florida law by failing to install such a fence around a swimming pool, liability claims for drowning and near-drowning incidents may not be covered.
  • Specific Forms of Water Damage: Water damage claims can be complicated.  While the risk of a sudden event like a pipe bursting will typically fall within policy coverage, damage resulting from a slow leak that drips for months may not constitute covered water damage.  There are also forms of water damage that require special coverage like flood insurance.
  • High Risk Recreational Equipment (diving boards, trampolines, pool slides): Injuries caused by these types of high risk recreational equipment may be excluded from coverage under your homeowners policy.
  • Dogs: Dog bites and dog attacks constitute a substantial portion of homeowner insurance claims.  In a recent year, dog bite claims accounted for one-third of all homeowner liability claims according to the Insurance Information Institute (III).  The insurance industry paid out $489.7 million on claims involving dog bites and dog attacks.  However, homeowners policies may not cover certain particularly dangerous breeds of dogs or dogs with a history of vicious behavior, or may not provide coverage for any animal liability.
  • Construction Defects: If you suffer a property loss because of defective materials or workmanship associated with your home, your homeowners insurance coverage may not protect you from this type of loss.  However, the maker of the defective materials or builder that performed the substandard work should have liability insurance to cover the loss.
  • Cash: Generally, cash stored in a home may not be covered by your policy even if it was stored in a home safe.
  • Expensive Personal Property:  Many property owners are surprised to learn that their expensive artwork or jewelry is not covered by their policy.  While high value appraised items might be covered, this coverage may be subject to certain limitations and require a special rider.

You can reach Miami Insurance Claims Lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo by dialing his direct number at (786) 272-5841, calling the main office at (305) 461-1095, or Toll Free at 1 (866) 71-CLAIM or email Attorney Gonzalez-Sirgo directly at [email protected].

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