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Homeowners insurance in Florida

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Florida Homeowners Insurance

Here you will find out everything you need to know to buy home insurance in Florida. We provide average Florida homeowners insurance rates by coverage level, ZIP code and company and explain coverage for hazards that are common in the Sunshine State. You’ll also learn how much Florida home insurance coverage you need for your particular situation.That means you’ll know what to expect when shopping for Florida homeowners insurance – and you won’t overpay for it.

Whether you’re a new homeowner buying insurance or you’re shopping your existing policy, it’s wise to know the home insurance basics about coverage to ensure you’re shielded from big financial losses if calamity ensues. 

Home insurance: Florida rates by coverage level and deductible, ZIP code and company

Here we will provide information on:

What is the average cost for homeowners insurance in Florida?

Florida's average home insurance rate is $3,643 which is nearly $1,338 more than the national average of $2,305 for the coverage level of:

  • $300,000 dwelling coverage
  • $1,000 deductible
  • $300,000 liability

Florida is tied with Arkansas as the third most expensive state for home insurance. Oklahoma and Kansas are the top two, respectively.

Before we dive into the other research on costs and companies, you need to know what you’re buying and why, and how much you need.  So, let's look at the basic components of home insurance, and how much to get to make sure you’re not underinsured.

What does home insurance cover

Florida homeowners insurance rates by ZIP code

ZIP codes in the Florida Keys and Miami are among the most expensive places to insure a home in Florida. Tallahassee has the least expensive neighborhoods for home insurance costs. Insurance.com analyzed home insurance rates from major insurance companies in nearly every ZIP code in Florida.

For $300,000 dwelling coverage with a $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability limits, the average rate of $5,187 in Miami ZIP code 33135 is the highest for the city. Among the most expensive ZIP codes for home insurance in the state is 33070, $6,295 for Islamorada Village of Islands. All of Tallahassee’s ZIP codes came in with rates around $2,000, and are the cheapest Florida home insurance rates by ZIP code.

By entering your ZIP code in the search box in our tool below, you’ll see the average home insurance rate for that area, as well as the highest and lowest premium fielded from major insurers. Default rates are for coverage of $300,000 dwelling, $1,000 deductible and $300,000 liability. This will give you an idea of how much you can save by comparing home insurance rates, whether you have a modest home inland or a high-end house near the beach. For example, the highest rate ($6,407) for Gainesville ZIP 32606 is $1,466 more than the lowest ($1,034). That means you can save nearly $5,375 just by comparing rates and shopping around.

Florida homeowners insurance calculator


Florida homeowners insurance rates for 10 coverage levels

Here we show the average cost of Florida homeowners insurance for 10 coverage levels, based on a rate analysis by Insurance.com.

Coverage Level Average Rate
$200,000 with $100,000 Liability$2,872
$200,000 with $300,000 Liability$2,876
$300,000 with $100,000 Liability$3,418
$300,000 with $300,000 Liability$3,643
$400,000 with $100,000 Liability$3,941
$400,000 with $300,000 Liability$3,962
$500,000 with $100,000 Liability$4,261
$500,000 with $300,000 Liability$4,287
$600,000 with $100,000 Liability$4,562
$600,000 with $300,000 Liability$4,576

Florida home insurance rates by deductible and liability limit

Let’s take a closer look at the average Florida homeowners insurance rates by coverage level. As you’ll see in the chart above, the cheapest Florida home insurance rates are those with the highest deductible amount and lowest liability limit. Let’s look just at dwelling coverage of $200,000 as an example, outlined below. The premium with the highest deductible of $2,500, with the lowest liability limit of $100,000 $3,164. That’s $674 less than the same policy with a $500 deductible.

$200,000 dwelling/$100,000 LiabilityRate
$2,500 Deductible$3,164
$2,000 Deductible$3,246
$1,500 Deductible$3,515
$1,000 Deductible$3,575
$500 Deductible$3,838

What factors affect homeowners insurance rates in Florida?

Because costs are not uniform, it's crucial to shop around for the best home insurance rate.

Many factors influence home insurance prices. Among others, the Insurance Information Institute (III) cites the following:

  • Your home's square footage
  • Building costs in your area, and your own home's construction, materials and features
  • Local crime rates
  • The likelihood of certain types of disasters, such as hurricanes

So, shop around for the right policy. III suggests getting at least three price quotes when shopping for coverage, and says that doing so can save you up to hundreds of dollars annually.

Although Florida home insurance costs can be expensive, it's a mistake to cut corners in an attempt to save. III recommends that you get enough insurance to cover the costs to:

  • Repair or replace the structure of your home and personal possessions
  • Defend yourself against liability costs if someone is hurt on your property
  • Pay for a temporary place to live while your home is repaired or replaced

Who has the cheapest homeowners insurance in Florida?

Travelers, First Florida, Nationwide and Castle Key are the cheapest home insurance companies among those surveyed by Insurance.com. You'll see that the average rate for the same amount of coverage varies significantly, which is why it pays to compare home insurance quotes.

Homeowners insurance rates for Florida by company

$300,000 dwelling/$1,000 deductible/ $300,000 LiabilityRate
Travelers$1,762
First Florida$2,907
Nationwide$3,587
Castle Key$3,921
Heritage$3,978
Universal$4,168
State Farm$4,237
Citizens$4,607

Best homeowners insurance companies in Florida

State Farm: Best for customer service

Travelers: Best for price

Safeco: Best for claims

Nationwide: Best for online transactions

State Farm: Best for home auto-bundle

Below you’ll see details on the best home insurance companies in Florida, based on Insurance.com’s customer satisfaction survey of policyholders and staff experts’ picks for various homeowner profiles.

Best homeowners insurance for customer service and for home-auto bundle: State Farm

While State Farm’s average home insurance rate ($4,237) for Florida is higher than other major carriers researched, it got high scores for customer service. State Farm received four (out of five) stars for customer service among homeowners in the South. It also had the highest home-auto bundle discount (30%) for Florida homeowners, among those surveyed.

In addition to standard home coverage, State Farm offers:

  • Increased replacement cost coverage feature that automatically boosts your replacement cost coverage up to 20% as long as you’ve insured your home at least up to its estimated replacement cost.
  • Another add-on you can buy will help pay the extra cost replace broken heating or cooling systems with energy efficient ones.
  • State Farm also has a benefit that pays to replace large appliances.
  • You can also buy coverage to help for expenses if you need to move or repair your home due to building laws.
  • It also sells earthquake insurance.

Best for price: Travelers

Travelers had the cheapest Florida home insurance rate, $1,762, which is more than half the state average of $3,643.

  • Travelers offers “green home coverage,” which pays for green materials when rebuilding or repairing your home. 
  • If you become a victim of identity fraud, Travelers’ identity fraud expense reimbursement coverage pays up to $25,000 for costs incurred to restore your identity.
  • You can also manage your policy from an Alexa.
  • Travelers also sells flood insurance.

Best for claims: Safeco

Safeco 4.5 out of five stars for claims handling in the Best Home Insurance Companies 2021 rankings for the South. In addition to standard coverage and discounts, it offers:

  • Equipment breakdown coverage, for $2 a month, repairs or replaces household appliances after mechanical or electrical breakdowns—which are often not covered under a standard homeowners policy.
  • The Safeco Package includes a single-loss deductible. That means if you have a car insurance policy and it’s damaged in the same event as your home, your auto deductible will be waived. 
  • Extended dwelling coverage helps in the event of a catastrophe when there’s soaring demand for building materials and labor that could cause reconstruction costs to increase, leaving policy limits inadequate. That’s where extended dwelling coverage kicks in.
  • Identity theft recovery.
  • The Guaranteed Repair Network program connects you with prequalified experts to create estimates and perform repairs quickly and with a guaranteed material and labor warranty backed by Safeco.
  • Home warranty coverage in partnership with American Home shield. For a monthly charge, it pays the cost of repairing or replacing your covered items. You can get broad coverage for appliances and components of electrical and plumbing systems or can designate just a few specific items.

Best for online claims and quoting: Nationwide

In a digital world, you’d think all major carriers would allow you to get quotes, file and manage claims and pay your bills online, but that’s not the case with every insurance company. Nationwide, however, excels at offering online transactional services and lets you do all of that at its website and through its apps. Nationwide’s average Florida home insurance rate is $3,587, among the most affordable carriers of those surveyed, and also offers robust coverage options and discounts. Additionally, it was among the best for home-auto bundle savings, with an average 12% price break.

In addition to standard coverages, it offers:

  • When filing a roof claim, the Better Roof Replacement add-on will replace your roof with a higher quality one than you had before.
  • If you need to rebuild your home, Nationwide’s “replacement cost plus” coverage pays up to an additional 20% more than your policy limit if it costs more to rebuild your house.
  • Ordinance or “law insurance” coverage may help pay to rebuild your home to current building codes after a covered loss.
  • Nationwide’s On Your Side Review is a free personalized insurance evaluation that helps you determine what coverage is best as life events change your coverage needs.
  • Credit card and debit card fraud protection.
  • Its website has an entire pet insurance section, and if you’re already a Nationwide customer, you get 5% off pet insurance when you buy it.
  • It also sells earthquake and flood insurance.

Discounts beyond the standard:

  • Discount for home renovations, including electrical or plumbing upgrades.
  • Gated community discount.
  • Discount based on your roof’s age and surface type.

 

Florida home insurance discounts

There are several ways to reduce your Florida home insurance costs, which will qualify you for home insurance discounts. Many insurers will lower your bill if you purchase more than one type of insurance policy from them. This process – known as "bundling" – can cut your costs by up to 15 percent, III says.

You can also cut your costs by making your home more disaster-resistant. Installing hurricane glass or accordion shutters might net you a discount.

According to III, other possible home insurance discounts include:

  • Installing smoke detectors, a burglar alarm or dead-bolt locks -- 5% each
  • Installing a sprinkler system, and a fire and burglar alarm -- 15% to 20%
  • Loyalty discounts -- up to 5% after three to five years, and 10% for six years or more

Why is Florida home insurance so high?

Florida home insurance companies recently received approval to increase rates in 2021, with the hikes ranging from 12% to 31%, according to a news report in the Herald-Tribune.

Insurance companies cite the following reasons for why homeowners insurance is so expensive in Florida:

  • High rates for reinsurance, which is insurance that backs up insurance companies
  • Water-leak damage claims from non-hurricane causes
  • Claims from Hurricane Irma in 2017 and Hurricane Michael in 2018, which are still being filed as homeowners have a three-year window to do so

“The market is currently facing significant challenges as the frequency of claims increases and those claims become more expensive. These challenges are largely due to increased litigation, exacerbated by higher catastrophe claim losses as a result of multiple hurricanes over the past several years and rising reinsurance costs as a result of a hardening reinsurance market,” Alexis Bakofsky, director of communications for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, told the Herald-Tribune. She recommended comparison shopping to find the lowest rates.

Florida homes underwater by county

When a home is underwater it means the homeowner owes more on the mortgage than the home is worth in the current market. For example, if the principal balance on your mortgage is $250,000 but the fair market value of the home is $200,000, your home is underwater. In other words, you could not sell the home and make enough from the sale to pay off your mortgage.

According to Insurance.com’s 2020 analysis of second quarter data in Florida, the counties of Gulf, Jackson and Gadsden have the highest percentage of underwater homes in the state. Sumter, Clay and Pinellas have the lowest percentage of underwater homes.

County% Underwater% with Equity
Gulf18.5%20.5%
Jackson15.5%21.4%
Gadsden13.2%17.7%
Putnam12.1%26.4%
Suwannee11.2%22.5%
Levy10.7%27.7%
Hendry10.0%31.8%
Bay9.5%21.8%
Highlands9.2%26.3%
De Soto8.1%32.6%
Baker8.0%20.9%
Marion7.9%23.3%
Wakulla7.9%15.6%
Okeechobee7.8%27.8%
Columbia7.6%22.8%
Leon7.2%18.4%
Walton6.9%26.3%
Alachua6.8%20.9%
Citrus6.3%26.7%
Escambia5.9%22.4%
Duval5.9%21.5%
Flagler5.6%24.9%
Polk5.6%22.5%
Lake5.5%23.3%
Charlotte5.5%29.1%
Collier5.5%29.0%
Indian River5.3%30.4%
Lee5.2%25.6%
Volusia5.1%27.9%
Monroe5.1%37.4%
Manatee5.1%24.5%
Saint Lucie5.0%27.5%
Hernando5.0%26.7%
Palm Beach4.8%29.9%
Sarasota4.7%28.8%
Broward4.6%28.2%
Pasco4.6%22.0%
Saint Johns4.5%20.0%
Okaloosa4.4%23.2%
Miami-Dade4.3%34.3%
Martin4.3%31.7%
Santa Rosa4.3%19.3%
Brevard4.2%30.2%
Hillsborough4.1%24.1%
Orange4.0%24.9%
Osceola3.9%21.8%
Nassau3.9%26.1%
Seminole3.8%25.6%
Sumter3.8%32.6%
Clay3.7%19.2%
Pinellas3.1%33.8%

Florida home insurance FAQ

What is wind mitigation?

Another way to save money on insurance is to fortify your home against wind damage. Making additions and renovations to your home can make it more resistant to hurricane damage.

For example, you might seal the roof deck to keep storm water out. Or, you might install shatterproof glass.

By law, Florida insurers must offer mitigation discounts or credits to homeowners who take steps to make their homes less vulnerable to hurricane damage.

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation offers more information at its website.

To get an estimate of how much you can save, check out the State of Florida's Wind Insurance Savings Calculator

Why do I need flood insurance?

If you have Florida home insurance, don't assume you are covered in the event of a flood. A homeowners policy does not cover flood damage -- the most common natural disaster in the U.S., according to III.

In the U.S., the federal government offers flood insurance to homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Fail to buy this type of policy, and you will be out of luck if flood waters roll through your home.

In terms of flooding, Florida is at especially high risk for storm surge. In fact, Florida ranks first in terms of the most single-family at homes at risk of storm surge in a Category 5 hurricane (2,851,642) and highest dollar amount for how much it would cost to repair and reconstruct those homes ($580.6 billion).

Florida has more flood insurance policies in force than any other state. As of 2019, 1,727,853 flood insurance policies were active in Florida, representing $439.9 billion in coverage.

That included 117,952 direct NFIP flood insurance policies representing nearly $31.9 billion, and 1,609,901 write-your-own policies representing $408 billion. 

Florida ranked first among all states and the District of Columbia in flood damage claims paid out during 2020. Claims totaled $264.5 million, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Nationally, the average flood insurance premium was $642 in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The average amount of flood coverage per policy in the U.S. was $257,000 in 2018, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

The average flood claim in 2018 in the U.S. was $42,580. That was down significantly from $91,735 in 2017, a year of several significant hurricane strikes in the U.S.

Why do I need hurricane insurance?

Every year, Florida is at great risk for hurricanes, and the damage can be costly. Six of the 10 most expensive U.S. hurricanes have impacted the Sunshine State.

And there is nowhere to hide if you are a Florida homeowner. About 98% of the state’s population lives in a coastal county, putting these residents in danger of a hurricane’s high winds and storm surge.

How do hurricane deductibles work?

An increasing number of insurance companies are turning to percentage deductibles when insuring homes. This is especially true for windstorm coverage.

Hurricane deductibles are allowed in 19 states, including Florida. However, Florida is the only state in which the government -- not individual insurance companies -- sets the deductible amounts.

A percentage deductible can be considerably more expensive than a traditional deductible. Instead of paying a flat fee of $1,000, you could be charged a percentage of your overall Florida home insurance coverage amount. A 2% deductible on coverage of $100,000 leaves you on the hook for $2,000.

Insurance companies in Florida must offer a hurricane deductible of $500, 2%, 5% and 10% of the policy dwelling or structure limits, III says. All percentages are based on the total value of the home.

Although this might seem onerous, III points out that such deductibles make insurance more affordable for policyholders who live in homes near the coast that are frequently in harm's way. 

Hurricane deductibles in Florida apply to windstorm losses resulting only when the National Weather Service officially declares a hurricane. Deductibles are in effect for damage that occurs from the time a hurricane watch or warning is issued for any part of Florida up to 72 hours "after such a watch or warning ends and anytime hurricane conditions exist throughout the state," according to III.

The good news in Florida is that windstorm deductibles apply per season, not per storm. So if you have the misfortune to be hit by three storms in one year, just one single deductible will apply to them all.

What do I do if I can't get homeowners insurance in Florida?

Some people struggle to find coverage. The Florida Market Assistance Plan allows these homeowners to locate and purchase coverage from authorized insurers in the private market. The toll-free telephone number is 1-800-524-9023.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is another option for homeowners who can't find good Florida home insurance coverage. For example, many Floridians use Citizens for windstorm coverage if they live in wind-pool areas near the coast that make their homeowners insurance company unlikely to provide windstorm protection.  

Florida law states that Citizens can only issue a new insurance policy only if no comparable private market coverage is available, or comparable private market policy premiums are more than 15% higher than a similar Citizens policy. 

Be aware that Citizens plans to hike its rates in an effort to nudge homeowners back toward the private market. 

On Jan. 26, Citizens approved rates for 2021 that include statewide average increases of 7.2% for homeowners, condominium unit owners, mobile homeowners, dwelling, and renters. If approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), the 2021 rates would go into effect for policies renewed after Aug. 1, 2021.

According to the Citizens website, homeowner policies would increase by an average 6.1%. Condo owners would see an average 9.4% increase. Renters rates would increase 4% on average.  

The recent vote to hike rates comes at a time when Citizens policy count over the past year has risen from 443,000 to 552,000, a 19.7% increase. "Higher than expected losses from Hurricanes Irma and Michael coupled with stubbornly high litigation and reinsurance costs have prompted many private insurers to raise rates, limit coverage and exit particular markets," the Citizens website reported.

“The objective here is to create a healthy, private insurance market in Florida that better represents what we are supposed to be, Florida’s insurer of last resort,” Carlos Beruff, board of  governors chairman, said in a statement.

Are sinkholes covered?

Florida has more sinkholes than any other U.S. state. Sinkhole coverage might or might not be part of your homeowners policy coverage.

State law dictates that all insurance companies licensed in Florida must “offer” sinkhole coverage, according to the Florida Department of Financial Services. In most cases, this coverage is available as an endorsement to your main policy, and will cost extra.

However, insurers have the right to inspect your property and -- if evidence of sinkhole activity is found -- to decide not to offer you the coverage. They can also refuse coverage if your home is within a certain distance from confirmed sinkhole activity.If you are embroiled in a sinkhole claim dispute with your insurer, the Florida Department of Financial Services sinkhole Neutral Evaluation program offers a neutral third party professional to review the findings of the insurer. It is important to note that the reviewal findings are not binding to the policyholder or the insurer.

Is mold covered?

Mold that results from a covered peril -- such as a burst pipe -- typically is covered under a Florida home insurance policy. However, the amount of mold coverage often is capped at around $10,000. It might be possible to increase such limits by paying an additional premium amount. It's important to note that some policies do not cover mold damage at all.

What is an ordinance or law exclusion?

In some cases, a law or local building ordinance can make it more expensive to repair or replace your home. If this happens, your insurer typically is not obligated to pay this higher amount. However, some policies include ordinance or law coverage. In that case, the insurer would be obligated to pay the extra amount.

Where do I get claims processing info or file a complaint?

If you have concerns about how your claim was handled, call the Florida Department of Financial Services at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236). The department recommends that you keep records of all dates and times and names of company representatives when you communicate with your insurer about a claim.  Keep copies of written records and correspondence as well.

You can also file your complaint online with the Division of Consumer Services if you prefer.

If you are unable to resolve a claim dispute with your insurer, mediation might be available. In this process, a trained, neutral mediator works with both sides and tries to reach a mutually satisfying agreement. The insurer pays for the service, and neither the insurer nor you are obligated to accept the result. To find out if you are eligible, call 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).

The mediator’s findings are not legally binding to the policyholder or the insurer.

Methodology:

Insurance.com in 2020 commissioned Quadrant Information Systems to field home insurance rates from major insurers in each state for nearly all ZIP codes in the country for 10 coverage levels based on various dwelling and deductible limits. The homeowner profile is a 35-year-old married applicant with excellent insurance score; new business HO3 policy for house built in 2000 with frame construction and composition roof. Other Structures: 10%. Loss of Use defaulted: 10%. Personal Property defaulted: 50%. Guest Medical limit: $5,000. Personal property: 50% of dwelling coverage for actual cash value.