Important Insurance Questions for Florida Homeowners [Part I]

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

Many people view homeowners insurance as an “out of sight, out of mind” type of purchase.  After all, homeowners insurance is a product which you hope you never need to use.  However, people file claims with their insurance company each year following a wide array of types of damage caused by a broad spectrum of perils.  Because homeowners insurance protects one of your most valuable assets, below we discuss some important questions about homeowners insurance.

What exactly is homeowner's insurance coverage?

A homeowners insurance policy protects against losses to one’s home and contents inside the home caused by a covered peril, as well as certain lawsuits against the policyholder.  Homeowners coverage does not apply to every potential source of damage.  Perils covered by a standard homeowner's policy in Florida include wind, theft, vandalism, fire, and lightning. Policyholders are also protected against lawsuits brought against homeowners for damage to a third parties person or property.  Policies generally cover the dwelling, other buildings on the premises, medical payments, loss of use, contents of the home, and liability claims.

Does your homeowner's coverage protect your rare stamp collection or valuable piece of jewelry?

Generally, coverage for personal property with a specific value must be covered by a Scheduled Personal Property (SPP) endorsement.  This type of coverage increases the coverage available for scheduled items with a specific value.  These items will generally qualify for all-risk coverage with a few exclusions.  Examples of items that policyholders typically cover with this endorsement include cameras, outboard motor boats, furs, rare art, firearms, and other collectables.

What amount of coverage should you purchase?

This is a question that you should discuss with a representative of your insurance company.  However, the coverage you purchase needs to cover the structure and contents of the home.  The land the property sits on generally will not be covered, so you will need to take this into account.  In other words, you will want to purchase enough coverage to replace the physical structure and your personal property, but there is no reason to purchase coverage for the value of the plot your home sits on.

How long do you need to allow for your homeowner's insurance company to begin processing your claim?

The amount of time it takes to resolve an insurance claim will depend on the specific facts and circumstances of your situation.  However, the insurance company typically will contact you within a couple of days of receiving notice of the claim.  The insurance company should also arrange to have an adjuster inspect the home within a fairly short time period.

Do you need insurance for your home during the construction process if you are having a home built?

Homeowner's would be wise to buy this form of insurance because a fire or other serious catastrophe while you are building your home can result in significant financial loss. 

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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