Whether you’re a lifelong local or a wintertime snowbird, protecting your investment in Floridian property is incredibly important. With frequent hurricanes and flooding, proper home insurance coverage is a vital part of protecting your property in Florida. Read on to figure out the best coverage for your Florida property, protecting your investment, your belongings, and your family.

Buying a home is stressful enough—don’t let insuring it get in the way of enjoying your new property.

How to get affordable home insurance in Florida

Buying a home may be one of the most significant financial investments of your lifetime. With that investment, inevitably, comes risk. However, there are steps homeowners can take to minimize risk and protect their investment, including finding the right home insurance policy

The first step to protecting your property is homeowners insurance. Though not required by law, home insurance provides financial liability for your property and belongings from natural disasters or theft. Different coverage levels are available for various property types, locations, and other factors. 

Keep reading for a full guide on Florida home insurance

Homeowners insurance quotes in Florida by city

Like property costs, home insurance varies in price from city to city. Pricing is determined on ZIP code-specific variables such as the volume of claims filed nearby, crime rates, property costs, and risk variables such as natural disaster frequency. Even your specific neighborhood may determine if you pay more or less on our annual premiums. 

Buying and insuring a home comes with loads of unexpected costs and new living expenses. How can you be expected to pay all of these costs—vital as they are—and still provide for you and your family? 

Homeowner’s insurance rates aren’t designed with savings in mind. That’s where Insurify comes in.

As of 2019, the average home insurance premium in Florida costs $1,700 annually, and the median home value is $246,107.

Rates in Florida can be relatively high or low compared to the national average—it all depends on which town you live in. Here are the most and least expensive ZIP codes in Florida to buy and insure a home. Average rates within these ZIP codes tend to increase relative to property cost.

Most Expensive Florida ZIP Codes Cheapest Florida ZIP Codes
City Median Home Price  City Median Home Price
Miami Beach (Fisher Island) $4,267,962 Kissimmee $230,077
Coral Gables $3,603,721 Palm Coast $229,818
Miami Beach $3,029,308 Cape Coral $232,309

What does home insurance cover in Florida?

There are several types of home insurance. Specific terms of insurance policies may vary by state, but in general, the standard policy types are as follows:

HO-1

Basic

The simplest and least comprehensive type of homeowner’s insurance provides coverage for a handful of potential problems, including natural disasters (storms, fires, wind lightning, volcanic eruption), explosions, theft, damage from vehicles, or civil commotion. 
HO-2

Broad Form

Broad form homeowners insurance policies include all basic form coverage, plus falling objects; damage from weight of ice, snow, or sleet; freezing of household systems, including HVAC and pipes; sudden and accidental damage to pipes and other household systems or from artificially generated electrical current; and accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam. HO-2 policies typically cover both dwelling protection and personal property. In some cases, Broad Form coverage may also include liability coverage. However, they still only cover the specific damages listed in the policy.
HO-3

Special Form

The most common forms of homeowners insurance are known as “special form” policies. While HO-1 and HO-2 policies are “named peril” policies, meaning they only cover dangers that are listed explicitly in the policy, HO3 policies are “open peril” policies, meaning they’ll cover all hazards except those expressly excluded in the policy documents.
HO-4

Tenant’s Form

HO-4 policies, also known as renters insurance, are for people who lease rather than own their homes. Tenant’s form policies typically cover all the same dangers as HO-2 policies. These policies include personal property coverage and liability coverage, but don’t cover the physical structure of the house. Some HO-4 policies may also include loss of use coverage for the tenants.
HO-5

Comprehensive

Comprehensive form policies are usually the broadest and provide the highest level of coverage; not surprisingly, they also tend to be the most expensive type of homeowner’s insurance policiesThe most significant difference between HO-3 and HO-5 policies is that most HO-3 policies are “actual cash value” policies, whereas typically, HO-5 policies are “replacement cost value” policies. An actual cash value policy will only reimburse you for the actual value of a damaged or destroyed item. In contrast, a replacement cost value policy will reimburse you for however much it would cost to completely replace or repair the broken or destroyed item (up to the coverage limits on the policy). HO-5 policies also provide personal property coverage against a broader range of dangers than the typical HO-3 policy. Many HO-5 policies also have extra coverage for high-value personal property, such as jewelry and artwork.
HO-6

Condo Form

Not surprisingly, condo form insurance is for condominium owners. HO-6 policies generally protect against the same types of dangers as HO-3 policies. They provide dwelling protection coverage with a twist: HO-6 policies cover the walls, floors, and ceiling of the condo unit but not the rest of the building. These policies also include personal property and liability coverage and may include loss of use coverage.
HO-7

Mobile Form

If you own a mobile home or manufactured home, you likely have an HO-7 policy. Mobile home form policies are typically identical to HO-3 policies, except they’re designed specifically for mobile and manufactured homes. Like HO-3 policies, they provide dwelling protection coverage, other structures coverage, personal property coverage, liability coverage, and possibly loss of use coverage as well. HO-7 policies generally only protect the home when it’s stationary; if you plan to move your mobile or manufactured home, you’ll need to get a special policy to cover it while it’s in transit.
HO-8

Older Home

Older homes have generally been built to less stringent code standards than recently built homes, and so insurers have designed a specialized type of homeowner’s insurance policy for them. HO-8 policies often only cover the basic perils listed in HO-1 policies and generally apply to homes that are registered landmarks or otherwise deemed historic homes. Owners of registered landmarks are typically forbidden from updating HVAC, electrical and other parts of the home to enable them to qualify for a standard HO-3 policy, so an HO-8 policy is often the only option for them.

Mobile Home Coverage in Florida

HO-7 type coverage is the best option for mobile homeowners. Even though home insurance, in general, is not mandatory in the state, mortgage lenders will require some sort of proof of insurance as a prerequisite to a loan.

Similar to traditional home insurance, mobile home insurance protects your investment from a plethora of risks, including dwelling coverage, personal property, and liability protection in case of an accident or natural disaster. Mobile home coverage levels can be higher than those of a traditional home, likely because mobile homes are more susceptible to damage in times of storms or other circumstances. Depending on the level of coverage you choose when insuring your mobile home, your annual premiums may fluctuate.

Florida Homeowners Insurance FAQs

Why is home insurance so expensive in Florida?

Due to the increased commonality of natural disasters involving high winds and flooding, Florida has higher-than-average home insurance premiums. When insurance companies take on increased risk, as they do in flood-prone areas of Florida, they increase their chances of needing to pay-out customers when disaster strikes. There are ways, though, that you can cut home insurance costs, even if you live on the water. Different levels of liability insurance, including property insurance and personal liability levels, may make Use Insurify to compare premiums in your area. 

Does USAA insure homes in Florida?

Yes, USAA insures home in Florida. However, policyholders must be active military members, veterans, or the family members of those in the armed forces.

How long does a home insurance claim take in Florida?

Short answer: it depends. Of course, in times of crisis, like hurricanes or flooding, many of your neighbors will also be filing claims with their insurance companies, crowding the systems, and slowing down the claims process. The amount of time it takes to file a claim in Florida will vary from case to case. To find the best home insurance companies in your area, use insurify to compare reviews and quotes. 

Natural Disasters and Home Insurance Coverage

As Florida residents know all too well, natural disasters can be catastrophic to a family’s property and livelihoods. In the so-called Sunshine State especially, homeowners and renters alike face floods and hurricanes each season. Wind damage? Flood damage? Hurricane damage? Hurricane deductibles?! What’s covered and what’s not when it comes to homeowners policies and natural disasters in Florida? When it comes to property damage due to uncontrollable circumstances, your level of coverage will determine how much your property is actually protected through your policy. 

With such risk, home insurance providers often charge higher premiums to cover potential disasters like the recent Hurricane Irma. That being said, with the right tools, you may still be able to find competitive home insurance rates in your area. To compare the best homeowners insurance companies, use Insurify to compare home insurance quotes all in one place.

Conclusion: How to find the cheapest home insurance in Florida

Just like groceries or clothes shopping, you can find a good bargain on home insurance without sacrificing sufficient coverage to protect your investment. Protect your home from water damage to burglars and everything in between. With a little research and the right tools, you’ll be on your way to significant savings.

Use Insurify to compare home insurance premiums for your property in Florida.

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Updated February 20, 2020

Jackie Cohen received her B.A. in Global Media and Public Relations from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Currently based in Boston, MA, she works as a content writer for Insurify. An avid globe-trotter and foodie, Jackie spends her spare time adventuring far and near.