Whether you prefer the gently lapping waves of the gulf or the buzzy excitement of a theme-park roller coaster, Florida vacation homes can offer it all. Maybe that’s why millions flock to the Sunshine state every year and many decide to make it a home away from home. There’s always something new to discover-from attractions to state parks to haute cuisine. If you make your home away from home in Florida, there are some important things to consider about insuring that property. Here are five tips to make sure you and your property are protected.
1. Find an Expert
Finding an agency that specializes in insuring vacation homes is important; they can make sure you are properly insured for this unique type of property. If problems arise, chances are they can help navigate the process. At Fudge Insurance, we have clients in over 75 countries that own vacation home property all over Florida. Our vast experience allows us to provide our clients with exceptional insurance coverage and knowledgeable advice. We will find the right policy to suit your individual needs and can recommend excellent property managers all over the state of Florida.
2. Hurricane Season
Hurricanes can cause structural and water damage that are usually covered by your policy. You can however earn wind mitigation discounts for ensuring that your roof is up to code to withstand the winds. You can also prepare in advance by creating a vacation home inventory, checking your roof for any leaks or worn spots, cleaning out your gutters, and trimming back any trees that may pose a threat to your home. If you have spotted some damage, it needs to be repaired as soon as possible. A residential roofing company in Melbourne Florida can come and fix the roof, securing it and making it safe. You may want to consider creating an emergency kit and storing it in your vacation home with easy access for your guests.
3. Look out for Fraud
Florida’s seen a rash of incidents related to insurance claims. Contractors may ask you to sign something called an Assignment of Benefits to funnel money into their own pocket. Typically, they offer to repair your home with no down payment. All you have to do is sign a form that allows them to bill your insurance company instead of you. Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors will inflate claims and occasionally they even leave the repair unfinished, leaving the vacation homeowner in a lurch. You can be left to pay for the repairs out of pocket because the contractor took all of the funds from the insurance company and ran. In the end, insurance companies raise the rates on all homes to cover the compilation of the inflated payouts.
4. Flood Zones
Since all of Florida is considered a flood zone, you need flood coverage. This coverage will protect your property from rising waters in the event of a storm whether you live at the beach or inland. The slow-moving tropical storm Fay damaged over 8,000 homes in just ONE Florida County primarily through flooding. Floodwaters can cause structural and cosmetic damage as well as mold. If your vacation home is deemed unlivable, you could lose a valuable income stream until the damage is repaired and you can rent it out again.
Florida’s geography makes it a prime spot for sinkholes. These bothersome holes open up when porous limestone leaves empty spaces in the bedrock below the soil. Catastrophic sinkholes cause huge cavernous holes that swallow homes and are covered by all homeowner insurance policies. However, cosmetic sinkhole coverage may be something to consider. This would cover homes with cracks in the walls, or a depression in the backyard that does not foreshadow a cavernous hole about to open up.
If you own a vacation home in Florida or are considering purchasing one, it’s important to know about the unique circumstances and vacation home insurance Florida may require in order to keep your investment safe and financially sound. We are here to help! Contact us today at 407-965-4253 and get started with your vacation home insurance in Florida.