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Advice and tips for home insurance policies in Florida

Insuring your home in Boca Raton, Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.
What you need to know about purchasing a Florida home owners insurance policy and filing claims.

A home insurance policy in Florida is unique compared to other states because your coverage includes windstorm coverage for hurricanes which is a significant part of the overall expense in your policy. Premiums are based on a number of factors including the age of your home, value of your home, proximity of the coastline and flood areas as well as the wind mitigation your home was built with.

Wind Mitigation
We recommend that you get a wind mitigation inspection to submit with your policy application (it can also be done at any time during your policy term. This informs the insurer how your home was built to sustain severe winds. Depending on your report you can lower your home insurance rates with a wind mitigation inspection.

home insurance advice boca raton

The inspection has to be complete meaning that all your openings, even your garage door must be protected or braced. Your roof trussed must all be secure. If one truss isn’t properly secured or one opening is not protected you loose your discount.

The key factors that help reduce your exposer are roof bracing and straps, window and door shutters or hurricane proof glass and more. Most homes built since the mid 1990’s have sufficient protection as the hurricane codes became more strict after Hurricane Andrew. The newer your hone the more credits you can receive.

Credit Score
One overlooked factor in determining your final premium is your credit score. Most homeowners who take out a policy for home insurance in Boca Raton are unaware that this affects their rates. Before you get home insurance coverage make sure that your credit score is clean and as high as you can get it.

Upgrades to older homes can also save you money such as new electrical wiring, plumbing, air conditioning systems, garage doors or a new roof. It is wise to go over all the details with your agent so you can prepare in advance to searching for a policy.

The other factor that determines rate premiums is the amount of deductible you choose. The deductible is based on a percentage of your home’s coverage or a set dollar amount. This is the amount you are responsible for in a calendar year for all your claims. If your policy is $300,000 and you choose a 2% deductible then you are responsible for the first $6,000 in claims. The higher the deductible the lower the premium.

Right To Repair
Also your insurer can invoke what is called “Right To Repair” which allows the insurer to calculate the cost of repair and use their own contractors to complete the repairs on your home. This is the least desirable option as often the lowest bid gets the job which can result in longer repair times and substandard work. If this is the case you should always consult with an attorney before signing off on any repairs to make sure your rights are upheld.

So in all these are the considerations you should take into account for before you undergo the underwriting stage on a homeowners policy which is the evaluation period that determines your risk and ultimately your rate premium:

• Wind storm and other deductibles
• Your credit rating
• Wind Mitigation Inspection
• Home Improvements
• Roof replacement
• Burglar Alarms
• Sprinkler systems with alert system to fire department
• Fire Extiguishers

Research the insurance carriers submitted to you by your agent
Always check the rating of your property and casualty insurer to find out how well they handle claims and how satisfied other have been during that process and also many disputes there have been for payout for claims. The financial stability of your insurer is also important because in a catastrophic event when many claims are being submitted the company needs to be able to fund those claims. These is the biggest single factor in choosing the right company to work with.

After filing a home insurance claim you don’t think they reimbursed you adequately you can argue the amount. Statistics have shown that these who have disputed the amount of a claim ended up getting more reimbursements than those who didn’t. Don’t be afraid to use your insurance for small claims. Studies from consumer reports indicate that most claims under $5,000 did not raise the insured’s premiums.

Public Adjusters
Florida legislature's Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability shows that using a public adjuster is very advantageous for the home owner. In the past, this who used a public insurance adjuster were able to settle with the insurance company for as much as 747 percent more than would have originally been paid on a catastrophic claim and 574 percent on non catastrophic claims.

Protecting against spikes in material costs
Consider purchasing an “Extended Insurance Rider”. This extra coverage to your policy covers you in the event building materials and labor costs spike after a catastrophic hurricane. This adds up to 30% more for replacement costs.

Make sure you thoroughly go through all the contents of your home and estimate the value of these items so you have proper coverage in case of theft or damage. It is also wise to take photographs of everything and save purchase receipts.

Liability Coverage
Most liability coverages start at about $100,000 for a typical home but we advise more adequate coverage of $300,000 and even more depending on the value of your assets.

Often you can save money on your rates across the board for auto insurance, home and other insurance products by insuring them all with the same insurance company.

Blue Sky Insurance® of Boca Raton, Florida can give you access to over 70 insurance carriers in which we shop around for the best rates and coverages. We always make sure your insurer is stable financially and has a high rating. You can call us at 866-910-0030 to make an appointment or visit our online insurance quote page to submit your information and we will contact you right away. You also have the option to price out your home owners insurance for your Florida property by using our online quote calculator for Florida home insurance rates.

Blue Sky has over 15 years experience in home insurance and we fully understand the insurance market in South Florida which is an asset you you and your family.

We strive to give our clients
the best customer service,
by putting our clients’ best interest first.

Blue Sky Insurance® Mission Statement “We strive to give our clients the best customer service, putting our clients’ best interest first and foremost.”

Our commitment to you We are committed to providing our clients with comprehensive consultation, dedication, and service by delivering a turnkey insurance solution to meet their specific needs.

Personal service Your coverage is assigned to one of our dedicated customer service representatives. You will always have an agent who is familiar with your file when you need help with claims, additional coverage, or renewal analysis.

Continuity All of your insurance needs are met under one roof, simplifying your life.

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