Being a coastal state, Florida is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, and severe storms, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). To give you an idea, the period between mid-August and late October is the peak season for hurricanes in this state, per the Florida Climate Center. When such disasters happen, they leave homeowners and renters devastated due to massive property damage, and in worst cases, loss of lives. With this in mind, if you live in a condominium in Florida, you should purchase the right condo insurance. While this policy will not prevent damage from occurring, it will enable you to bounce back more easily after a peril.
To get you started, here’s a complete guide to condo insurance in Florida.
What Is Condo Insurance?
Also known as single entity insurance, walls in, or HO6 insurance, condo insurance covers property loss caused by a named peril or event including, among others, theft, vandalism, water damage, fire, and certain natural disasters. Take note that depending on your arrangement with your insurance company, condo insurance can also offer liability coverage. For instance, if a chandelier accidentally crashes on a neighbor visiting your condo, the insurance company will pay for the resulting liability costs.
What Is Covered by Condo Insurance in Florida?
Typically, your condo insurance policy will only cover damage if it results from a named peril. For instance, in case of water damage, your insurer will only cover the damage if it’s caused by a named peril, such as a broken appliance. On the other hand, if the damage is caused by a severe storm, your insurer will likely reject your claim, unless you can prove the cause is a covered peril, such as roof damage caused by the storm. With that in mind, the common perils covered under condo insurance in Florida include, among others:
- Water damage caused by frozen and burst pipes, appliances, or sprinklers
- Theft and vandalism
- Fire and explosion
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Third-party vehicles
- Snow and ice
Take note that insurers typically do not cover intentional damage or loss due to negligence. For instance, if you start a fire in your right mind and burn down your condo to receive compensation, the insurance company will deny your claim. Similarly, if an appliance causes water damage over time due to maintenance issues, the insurance provider will deny your claim citing negligence.
Condo Insurance Exclusions
The following are some of the condo insurance exclusions:
- Intentional acts
- Wear and tear
- Gradual damage
- Earth movements such as earthquakes, landslides, and mudslides
- Cracking of ceilings, walls, pavements, and roofs
- Vandalism in case you leave the condo unoccupied for 30-60 days
- Freezing that may happen when the condo is vacant
Remember, you can always add endorsements/riders to your basic condo insurance policy to cover some of the exclusions in case your insurance provider allows it. If your insurer doesn’t offer the endorsements/riders you need, you should purchase stand-alone insurance policies to protect your condo. For instance, if your condo is located in a flood-prone area, you can purchase a stand-alone flood insurance policy to protect your condo adequately against the risk of weather-related flooding.
Types of Condo Insurance Coverages in Florida
There are various types of condo insurance coverages. The type of coverage you choose should depend on your coverage needs. Some of the common types of condo insurance coverage in Florida include, among others:
- Contents Insurance – This policy provides coverage for damages to the contents of your condominium, such as furniture, clothes, TVs, and other digital devices.
- Condo Dwelling – This coverage pays for damages on permanent fixtures and items inside your condo, including walls, ceiling fans, floors, counters, and cabinets.
- Liability Coverage – This policy pays for liability costs that result when you cause injuries or property damage to other people. This coverage is especially important if you own an aggressive pet or have frequent visitors to your condo.
- Additional Living Expenses – In case a peril makes your condo uninhabitable, you will need somewhere else to stay as you wait for the insurance company to conduct the repairs. During this period, this policy will pay for the expenses you incur in your alternative accommodation. More specifically, it will pay for hotel accommodation, pet boarding, transport, and restaurant bills, among other expenses. Take note that the insurance company will only pay additional living expenses that correspond with your condo living standards. In other words, checking in a VIP hotel will not sit well with the insurance provider if your normal living standards do not tally.
How to File a Condo Insurance Claim in Florida
To file a condo insurance claim in Florida, follow these steps:
- Contact your insurer and inform them about the peril. If the peril is covered under the master policy, contact the condo association instead.
- Mitigate further damage but don’t perform any repairs until the insurance adjuster assesses the situation.
- Call a public adjuster to be present to increase the chances of a successful claim.
- Document every detail related to the damage.
This complete guide to condo insurance in Florida provides all the information you need to get the right condo insurance policy. For all your personal insurance needs, contact Locke Insurance Group in Ponte Vedra, Florida. Our experts are ready to help you get the insurance coverage that suits your unique needs.