Whether you live on the beach or you own a rental property in Fort Lauderdale, obtaining and maintaining adequate homeowner’s insurance should be among your top financial priorities. Owning property near the water inherently involves some unique risk and liability-related considerations, and not having the insurance you need when you need it could have drastic consequences.
If you are preparing to buy a beachfront home in Florida or you currently own oceanfront property and are questioning whether your coverage is adequate, here are some important facts to consider:
1. Private Homeowners’ Insurance May Not Be Available
In some locations, private homeowners’ insurance may not be available. If you cannot find a private carrier that will insure your beachfront home, you may need to obtain insurance through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (CPIC). CPIC is a not-for-profit entity formed by the Florida Legislature that, “provide[s] insurance protection to Florida policyholders who are entitled to but are unable to find property insurance coverage in the private market.”
2. You May Want to Consider (and Your Lender May Require) Flood Insurance
Since standard homeowners’ insurance policies exclude damage caused by floodwaters, you will likely want to consider purchasing additional flood insurance for your beachfront home. Depending upon the location of your home and whether it has a raised foundation, your lender may require you to purchase flood insurance as well. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
3. Understand Your Options Regarding Homeowners’ Insurance
When it comes to homeowners’ insurance, there are a variety of different “standard” policies available. While “special form” homeowners’ insurance is most common for its broad coverage and general affordability, there are various enhanced coverage options available. A good option for many beachfront homeowners is what is known as “comprehensive” insurance (although even these policies contain exclusions, and so are not entirely comprehensive), which covers more perils than special form coverage. There are homeowners’ policies that are specific to condominiums and older homes as well.
4. Liability Coverage
With a beachfront home, you run the risk of both visitors and trespassers getting injured on your property. You can purchase liability insurance to protect yourself against claims for things like slip-and-fall accidents and injuries from falling objects, and liability coverage is included in certain forms of homeowners’ insurance policies. If you rent your home, it may be a good idea to consider some form of general liability or umbrella coverage as well.
5. It Never Hurts to Be Prepared
In South Florida, hurricanes and other severe storms are a fact of life. If you own your beachfront home for any significant amount of time, there is a decent chance that, at some point, you will need to file a property damage insurance claim. To make sure you are ready when the time comes, you can follow these tips for preparing to file a homeowners’ insurance claim.
Insurance Claim Lawyers in Broward County, Florida
Saavedra | Goodwin is a team of experienced attorneys who represent residential and commercial property owners in insurance claims and disputes. If you have a property damage insurance claim in Broward County and would like to speak with an attorney, we encourage you to call (954) 767-6333 or inquire online for a confidential consultation.