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Natural Disasters and Your Florida Homeowners Insurance Policy

It has been a hectic season this year for people living in the East Coast. After being hit by an earthquake, homeowners now have to face the consequences of Hurricane Irene. Meteorological experts believe that this hurricane will result in far more damage than the Virginia earthquake hence resulting in greater prospective problems regarding insurance policies. Sadly, most of the damage inflicted by these natural disasters as well as other disasters are not covered by Florida homeowners insurance policies.

A typical Florida homeowners insurance policy covers what most standard insurance policies offer, i.e. ranging from damages like broken windows to extreme flooding. Here is what you can expect.

Florida Homeowners Insurance Policies for Damages Resulting from Weather Conditions

Floods
Floods- “any water that rises from the ground, including tidal waves as well as destruction from rapid snow melts.” This is the standard definition of floods given by most insurers. However, most flood related damages are not covered by the standard Florida homeowners insurance policies. In order to be compensated by damages, most homeowners have to invest in additional insurance policies provided by the Federal government and private insurance companies/agents. However, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, the annual cost for these premium policies ranges from about $600 to $6000 depending on how high-risk the property is.

Homeowners living in high-risk areas usually don’t get mortgage if the buyers have not invested in a premium flood insurance policy. Since they live in flood zones, it is feasible to get these insurance policies, as doing so will leave them free from extensive repairs to damages caused by floods. Nevertheless, homeowners living in low-risk areas are also susceptible to damages inflicted by floods; without a firm insurance policy, one may have to end up paying thousands of dollars in extensive repairs.

Generally, a new policy takes about a month to kick in; however, renters can protect their personal belongings by investing in insurance policies that cost about $50 a year.

Winds
Generally, Florida homeowner insurance policies pay for damages caused by winds. These damages include broken windows, torn roofs, interior damage (from water entering the house), etc. Similarly, extreme level damages like trees falling on the garage, homes or sheds is also reimbursed by comprehensive auto policies.

Despite that, according to the Insurance Information Institute spokesperson, many East Coast states have policies that require homeowners to pay substantial amounts (that range from 1% to 5% of the total amount of home insurance) in order to avail the benefits of homeowner insurance policies.

Serious Damages
Sometimes, damages inflicted by the harsh weather conditions result in homes being so damaged that they become uninhabitable. In cases like these, according to an Insurance Information Institute spokesperson, a typical Florida homeowners insurance policy pays for the family’s living and food expenses while the house is being fixed.

What Does a Hurricane mean for Prospective Homebuyers?
Homebuyers who are about to close in on a sale for a house that is prone to attacks by hurricanes are left in doubt when it comes to deciding who is liable for insurance payment. According to the Insurance Information Institute, if the damages occur before the final closing of the deal then the seller and his respective insurance policy have to cover the damages. On the other hand, if the final deal is signed, the reimbursement is the homeowner’s responsibility. Generally, the basic Florida homeowners insurance policy can be applicable for situations like these.

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