Tree on house in Florida

Top Five Most Common Damages in Florida: How Homeowner’s Insurance Can Protect You

Florida is more than just a travel destination. Seven of the top ten fasting growing places in the United States in 2022 to 2023 are located in Florida (including our very own city, Ocala), and based on the most recent reports from Florida Realtors, the Florida housing market is a smart investment for 2022! However, when looking in purchasing a home, it is important to look into protecting your investment. Homeowner insurance is a detailed policy that covers homeowners from natural perils, including fire and storm damage, or loss and theft of property.

Why It Is Important

Adverse elements are a concern for homeowners. Damages caused by uncontrollable conditions could result in property damage and even the loss of personal items. By properly insuring your home you minimize the potential delays in payment for your claims. Mortgage lenders generally require homeowners to purchase a basic homeowner insurance policy as part of the mortgage terms.

Five Most Common Dangers in Florida

Water and Flooding Damage

Much of Florida is at sea level, meaning that flooding in low lying areas, as well as properties located near larger bodies of water have the potential for flooding and water damages. Things such as excessive rain, busted pipes and crack in slab are common, and costly, occurrences, and it is essential that any homeowner in Florida look into insurance policies that cover water and flood damages, but especially for hurricanes.

Lightning

Lightning is a giant spark of electricity that can occur between opposite charges within a thunderstorm cloud (intra-cloud lightning), or between opposite charges in the cloud an on the ground (cloud-to-ground lightning). Florida is the lightning capital of the United States with approximately 83 lightning events per square kilometer every year! It’s unpredictable, and has resulted in 5,339 lightning damage claims in Florida in 2021, with an average of $16,552 cost per claim according to the Insurance Information Institute, so it is essential to protect your investment as well as your loved ones.

Wind Damages

Hurricanes bring more then just excess rain, violent storms can lead to high wind speed. High-speed winds can damage windows and roofs with their ability to lift debris, and with sheer power. Damages caused to your roof can remain undetected until further damages compound over time and tends to be upon the most complicated insurance claims to file and have approved.

Sinkhole Coverage

Although sinkholes can be found all over the world, in the United States, sinkholes are most common in Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and (you guessed it!) Florida. They form in areas where underground water supplies, such as the Florida aquifers, dissolve the sediments in the ground, typically limestone. Sinkholes are hard to predict, difficult to investigate, and extremely costly to repair. Florida property insurers are also required to provide insurance for “catastrophic ground cover collapse” as part of the standard homeowners policy.

Vandalism and Theft

Although vandalism and theft are different they are both referred to as property crime, and are known as “intentional injury or destruction of property”. Common forms of these damages are: graffiti, breaking windows, trash dumping, petty theft, burglary, removal of signs or ornaments, grand theft, and grand theft auto. It is always important to keep a record of ownership for expensive items and documents, in case of theft or vandalism.

Keep in Mind

This list is only a sample of the potential damages that can affect homes and homeowners, so it is important to meet with an insurance specialist to discuss the options best suited for your needs, and to ensure that you can your property/investment are properly protected. By failing to maintain a proper amount of insurance, you may be penalized when filing your claims. Check with your insurance company each year to keep up to date with their policies and procedures and read up on your policies before and after changing insurance policies or insurance providers. Policies differ between companies, and policies with different providers may not be covered at other providers.

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