How to Get Cheaper Florida Home Insurance

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Florida is one of the fastest-growing areas in the United States but many people moving to the Sunshine State are shocked at how expensive home insurance is. With rates on the rise, residents must learn how to get cheaper Florida home insurance. The high cost of homeowners coverage and increasing interest rates can be the difference between being able to afford a home or not. 

There is good news for Florida homeowners trying to save money on coverage. There are ways for Florida homeowners to get cheaper home insurance without sacrificing vital coverage. In this article, we’ll go over some proven strategies and tips you can use to lower your home insurance costs in the Sunshine State.

Understanding the Florida Home Insurance Landscape

Before we dive into the specific ways to save on home insurance, it’s important to understand the unique factors that contribute to high premiums in Florida. Florida is exposed to hurricanes, flooding, and other natural disasters, which all drive up premiums. 

In recent years, many national carriers have pulled out of the Florida market, and in some cases leaving only a few carriers like Citizens Insurance Florida to cover millions of properties. Here are a few of the risks associated with the Florida market. 

Hurricane Risk

Florida’s geographic location makes it one of the most hurricane-prone states in the country. The state’s long coastline and relatively flat terrain make it particularly vulnerable to the destructive winds, storm surges, and flooding associated with hurricanes. Insurance companies know this, and they price their policies accordingly.

Flood Risk

In addition to hurricane risk, many parts of Florida are also at high risk of flooding, both from coastal storm surge and inland flooding. The state’s low elevation and prevalence of floodplains mean that a significant portion of the population lives in areas prone to flooding. This elevated flood risk translates to higher insurance costs.

Reinsurance Costs

Insurance companies in Florida must purchase reinsurance to protect themselves from massive losses in the event of a major hurricane or other natural disaster. These reinsurance costs are then passed on to policyholders in the form of higher premiums.

Litigation and Fraud

Florida has a reputation for being a “litigious” state when it comes to insurance claims. Insurance companies often face costly lawsuits and fraudulent claims, which they account for by raising rates. This legal and fraud-related cost burden is a significant factor in the state’s high home insurance premiums.

State-Backed Insurer of Last Resort

Florida operates a state-backed insurance provider called Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which serves as the insurer of last resort for homeowners who can’t find coverage in the private market. While this helps ensure that all Floridians have access to home insurance, it also puts upward pressure on rates for private insurers, who must compete with the lower-cost Citizens policies.

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Tips On How To Get Cheaper Florida Homeowners Insurance 

Now that we’ve examined the unique challenges of the Florida home insurance market, let’s explore the various strategies you can use to get cheaper coverage. By taking advantage of several tips, there’s an excellent chance you can lower your rates and save hundreds per year.   

Shop Around Regularly

One of the most effective ways to lower your home insurance costs in Florida is to shop around and compare quotes from multiple insurers on a regular basis. This means every six months you should be comparing FL homeowner’s quotes. Insurance rates can vary significantly between companies, and what may have been the cheapest option six months ago might not be the case today.

Make it a habit to get quotes from at least five different insurance providers every time your policy is up for renewal. This will help you stay on top of the ever-changing market and ensure you’re getting the best possible rate.

Increase Your Deductible

Raising your deductible is a simple way to lower your home insurance premiums. The deductible is the amount you’ll need to pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. By opting for a higher deductible, you’re effectively taking on more of the risk, which insurers reward with lower rates.

As a general rule, the higher your deductible, the lower your premium will be. However, it’s important to strike a balance and choose a deductible that you can realistically afford to pay in the event of a claim. A good rule of thumb is to set your deductible at the highest level you’re comfortable with, which is often $2,500. If you opt for a high deductible, make sure you have the money saved up in the event you need to file a claim.   

Consider a Higher Roof Deductible

One specific strategy that can help lower your home insurance costs in Florida is opting for a higher roof deductible. Because roof damage is a common claim in the state due to hurricanes and other severe weather, insurers often charge higher premiums to cover this risk.

By agreeing to a higher deductible specifically for roof-related claims, you can potentially save a significant amount on your overall premium. Just make sure that you have the financial means to cover the higher deductible if you do need to file a roof-related claim.

Take Advantage of Discounts

Insurance companies offer a variety of discounts that can help lower your home insurance costs in Florida. Some of the most common discounts include:

  • Multi-policy discount: If you bundle your home insurance with other policies, such as auto or life insurance, from the same provider, you can often get a discounted rate.
  • Home security discount: Installing a home security system, including features like burglar alarms and fire detectors, can earn you a discount on your premiums.
  • Windstorm mitigation discount: Making hurricane-resistant improvements to your home, such as impact-resistant windows or a reinforced roof, can qualify you for significant discounts.
  • Age-based discounts: Some insurers offer reduced rates for homeowners who are retired or over a certain age.
  • Claims-free discount: If you’ve gone a certain number of years without filing a claim, you may be eligible for a discount.

Be sure to ask your Florida home insurance agent about all the potential discounts you may qualify for and be sure to take advantage of them.   

Maintain Good Credit

Your credit score can have a significant impact on your home insurance rates in Florida. Insurers often use credit-based insurance scores to help determine the risk of insuring a particular homeowner, and those with higher credit scores are typically offered lower premiums.

To keep your insurance costs down, make sure to maintain good credit by paying your bills on time, keeping your credit card balances low, and regularly monitoring your credit report for any errors or issues. Taking steps to improve your credit score can lead to big savings on your Florida home insurance.

Look into Specialized Policies

In addition to the standard homeowner’s insurance policy, other specialized insurance products may be worth considering in Florida:

  • Flood insurance: Since standard homeowner’s policies don’t cover flood damage, it’s important to purchase a separate flood insurance policy, especially if you live in a high-risk flood zone. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers affordable coverage, and some private insurers also provide flood insurance options.
  • Windstorm insurance: In some coastal areas of Florida, windstorm coverage may be offered as a separate policy or an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy. This can provide additional protection against hurricane-related damages.
  • Sinkhole insurance: Florida is prone to sinkholes, and many insurers offer specific sinkhole coverage or endorsements to protect against this unique risk.

By tailoring your coverage to your specific needs, you can potentially save money while still maintaining the protection you need.

Keep Your Home Well-Maintained 

Taking good care of your home can also help you save on insurance costs. Insurers view well-maintained homes as lower-risk, and they’re often willing to offer discounts to homeowners who can demonstrate that they take proactive steps to protect their property.

Some specific home maintenance tasks that can help lower your FL homeowners insurance costs include:

  • Regularly inspecting and maintaining your roof
  • Keeping your landscaping and trees trimmed and well-maintained
  • Ensuring that your home’s electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems are up-to-date and in good working order
  • Installing impact-resistant windows and doors
  • Adding hurricane shutters or other wind-resistant features

By investing in the upkeep of your home, you can not only reduce your insurance costs but also protect your property from potential damage.

Explore Alternatives to Traditional Home Insurers

In some cases, you may be able to find more affordable home insurance options by looking beyond the traditional insurance providers. Here are a few alternatives to consider:

  • Specialty insurers: Some insurers specialize in high-risk or coastal properties in Florida, and they may be able to offer more competitive rates than the larger, more mainstream companies.
  • Surplus lines insurers: These are insurers that are not licensed by the state but are allowed to operate in the “surplus lines” market. While they may have less stringent regulations, they can sometimes provide more affordable coverage for high-risk properties.
  • Captive insurers: Some large homeowners’ associations or communities in Florida have formed their own captive insurance companies to provide coverage for their members. These can be a cost-effective option, especially for those living in high-risk areas.

Be sure to thoroughly research any alternative insurers to ensure they are reputable and financially stable before making a decision.

Consider Raising Your Coverage Limits

While it may seem counterintuitive, in some cases, you may be able to lower your overall home insurance costs by raising your coverage limits. This is because insurers often offer discounts for policies with higher levels of coverage.

For example, suppose you have a $300,000 dwelling coverage limit but could increase it to $400,000 for a relatively small premium increase. In that case, the overall cost per dollar of coverage may be lower. Just be sure that you’re not over-insuring your home and that the increased coverage aligns with the true replacement value of your property.

Review Your Policy Regularly

Finally, it’s important to review your home insurance policy regularly, even if you’re not up for renewal. Insurance policies and the Florida market can change over time, and what was the best deal a year ago may no longer be the case.

Take the time to review your coverage limits, deductibles, and any discounts or endorsements you may be eligible for. This will help ensure that you’re still getting the best possible value for your home insurance dollar.

The Final Word On How To Get Cheaper Florida Home Insurance 

Trying to get an affordable Florida home insurance policy can be a really tough task. However, with the right strategies and a proactive approach, you can find ways to lower your FL homeowners insurance costs without sacrificing crucial coverage.

By shopping around, taking advantage of discounts, maintaining a well-cared-for home, and exploring alternative insurance options, you can get cheaper Florida home insurance and save hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year. To compare cheap Florida home insurance quotes where you live, enter your zip code and fill out an online application in about 6 minutes. Get cheaper Florida home insurance today and save big.