It happens to all of us. That letter in the mail that says our homeowners insurance is canceled. It usually comes with very little time to shop around for someone new. And, of course, Jim Cantore is predicting the worst hurricane season ever. We reached out to our sponsor State Insurance USA for help. Here’s what they had to say…
Q#1- Is my home affected by flood zone map changes?
Answer: This year has seen an update to Florida flood zone maps. Ideally, every homeowner in the state of Florida will carry flood insurance, but if you were formerly in a low to moderate risk area, you may have opted out of this important coverage.
Q#2 – Did I recently purchase any expensive luxury items?
Answer: High-end electronics, musical instruments, jewelry, antiques, or fine art may need more coverage than is supplied by a standard homeowners insurance policy. Complete a home inventory, have expensive items appraised if necessary, and ask your agent if you need scheduled personal property coverage to protect your valuable items.
Q#3 – Do I have a new hot tub, sauna, or swimming pool?
Answer: Find out what coverage your carrier offers and how your premiums are impacted by the addition of a pool or other major changes to your home. You may be able to reduce your premium with certain safety measures, which can help defray added costs if the addition significantly increases the value of your home (leading to the need for raised coverage limits).
Q#4 – Have I done home renovations that could change my policy premium?
Answer: The premium you have been paying on your current policy was based on the value of your home as it was when you purchased the policy. Extensive renovations can raise your premium if extra coverage is needed to account for increased overall home value. Alternately, you could be lowering your premium if you’ve upgraded components like electrical systems or your roof, which might qualify for a discount.
Q#5 – Do I plan to rent my home long or short term in the coming year?
Answer: If you plan to rent out your Florida home, you may need specialized coverage. Ask your agent about the options for landlord insurance, for either long-term or short-term coverage. This can help protect you and your home in case of unruly tenants or damage done during a rental period. Obtaining any additional coverage required to comprehensively cover your home and its contents is often relatively inexpensive. In many cases, you can even end up lowering your premium by asking questions before renewal.
For more information from someone you can trust, call our friends and long-time sponsor – State Insurance USA at 239-567-9992 or visit them online at www.stateinsuranceusa.com