Florida’s proximity to the Atlantic Ocean means that homeowners across the state worry about tropical storms and hurricanes. Because of this, having property insurance that covers damage from natural disasters is practically mandatory for anyone who lives here or owns a vacation home, business, or other structure.
The right insurance policy enables you to rebuild and recover from structural damage due to covered events. To help you ensure that your real estate assets receive maximum protection, we have listed 5 common causes of property damage as evidenced by regularly-submitted claims.
Weather-related incidents account for a major percentage of insurance claims made in Florida, with wind and hail damage topping the list. According to the Insurance Journal, exterior wind damage was involved in 25% of all claims made by U.S. homeowners between 2009 and 2015. Hail was also in the top five at 15%.
While most home insurance policies cover these events, review yours to confirm- in some cases, you may have to purchase a separate policy.
Although Floridians don’t have to worry about flooding due to melting snow and ice, there are other sources of water damage, such as plumbing defects, pipe leaks, and inefficient drainage systems. If you live in a coastal area, heavy rains and tidal surges due to intense weather conditions present a major risk.
The study referenced by the Insurance Journal (see above) found that water damage that was not weather-related, such as burst pipes and faulty plumbing, accounted for 19% of damage claims while 11% involved rain, snow, and melting ice.
While weather-related claims appear to be the most common, fire damage is easily the most expensive. Whether due to machinery and appliance misuse, electrical problems, or cooking, fire is one of the most catastrophic sources of property damage. Once ignited, it spreads fast and can destroy a building beyond repair. It can also involve additional expenses such as temporary relocation costs and personal property replacement.
Few things are more frustrating and alarming to vacation home owners than arriving at their Florida property and finding the windows broken, property stolen, and graffiti everywhere. Unless specifically excluded, vandalism should be covered under an all-perils policy, but there is a caveat: it won’t apply to vacant homes after a certain period of time. If you’re an absent homeowner, consider taking out vacant home insurance to cover your losses in the event of vandalism.
Your Florida insurer should honor all legitimate property damage claims that you submit, but some companies shy away from their responsibility and try to confuse clients with complicated loopholes. If this happens to you, call the Monfiston Firm, P.A. at 1-888-988-FIRM (3476). We have helped many clients who felt that their insurance companies dealt with them in bad faith, and will do the same for you