What do I need to know when shopping for homeowners insurance?
When looking for homeowners insurance you want to make sure that you insure your house to replace it, don’t insure for the market value or for the mortgage amount. Remember, the mortgage amount includes the price of the land and the homeowners policy does not insure the land, just the dwelling and personal property.
What coverages are included in a homeowner’s policy?
The terms of standard home insurance policies have been defined by the Insurance Services Office (ISO), so standard coverage is generally not going to vary from company to company, although rates will.
If you are purchasing insurance to cover a home you own, most agents will provide a policy for you that is known as a HO-3. This is an ISO policy that covers all risk (except exclusions) for structure and named perils for contents. Covers all losses except what is excluded by the contract.
You will likely see the following coverages:
Coverage B-Other Structures (detached from dwelling)
Coverage C-Personal Property
Coverage D-Loss of Use
Coverage E & F-Liability and Medical Payment to others.
What is a hurricane deductible?
A hurricane deductible will appear on property policies covering dwellings and commercial residential buildings such as condominiums and apartment houses. It applies only in the event of a named hurricane, which is statutorily defined by Florida Statute 627.4025 as "... a storm system that has been declared to be a hurricane by the National Hurricane Center..." This deductible would be paid instead of the standard homeowners' deductible.
Who is covered under a homeowners policy?
Insureds under a homeowners' policy include the named insured, residing spouse, residing relatives of either, and any person under age 21 in the care of any such person. Additionally for Section II (Liability) only, any person who is legally liable for animals or watercraft owned by an insured is afforded coverage (unless such custody is without the owner's permission). A student away at school is an insured if related to the named insured, under the age of 24, and enrolled as a full-time student as defined by the school.
The named insured cannot be an entity such as a corporation, partnership, estate or trust, nor an individual if the person does not occupy the premises (with the exception that a condominium unit-owner who rents the unit to others is eligible). One who occupies a residence and is a purchaser by contract or has a life estate arrangement is treated as an owner and is eligible.
This is considered an insured under the standard ISO HO-3 policy.