A Mighty Wind Wind Coverage Picking Up in Florida's Insurance Market

With the last major hurricane to hit the state of Florida occurring back in 2005, it’s a somewhat natural phenomenon for Floridians to become more and more complacent with each passing “quiet” hurricane season. However, the recent spate of deadly tornadoes that ripped through five southern states in late April, resulting in insured damages estimated to total as much as $5 billion, is a stern reminder that preparedness for the looming hurricane season is an imperative that can’t be ignored.

While insurance coverage—particularly for windstorm protection—is mandatory for nearly all homeowners and associations, the amount and types of coverage can vary. Having the right coverage is essential in mitigating potential out-of-pocket losses—the very kinds of losses that can spell financial disaster for cash-strapped associations and homeowners alike.

What's Covered

For owners of single family homes, property coverage is a relatively straightforward proposition, albeit one that is becoming increasingly expensive. Standard homeowner policies generally provide coverage for the dwelling, personal property, liability, medical payments and loss of use.

Unfortunately, many homeowners—including condo owners—don't realize that damage caused by flooding is not covered by their homeowner policy. And the emergency coverage provided by the federal government (federal disaster assistance) is only available once the President declares a major disaster.

Of course, many homeowners are required by their mortgage lenders to carry flood insurance, as determined (via a survey) by whether the home is located in a high-risk area. But others run the risk of suffering catastrophic losses; many of these people believing mistakenly that either their homeowner policy protects them or that by being in a lower risk location they have little to worry about. In fact, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that approximately 20 percent of all flood insurance claims come from moderate to low risk areas.

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Comments

  • I found your article interesting and it explained a lot why my Windstorm Insurance skyrocketed since early 2000. I have a single family ranch in Pompano Beach, Highlands. All the area was built in 1956. Come to find out most or all of the original homes, unless they updated or added new construction, the primary walls were adhered to the rafter beams with Clips and only 2 Nails. This does not get you a discount with the Windstorm Mitigation Reports and are considered nothing more than Toe Nail because they have to have 3 or more nails since the stricter codes after the hurricanes. This was something that changed after the storms in early 2000. Everyone that had been getting the clip discount prior were now told NO unless a 3rd nail is put in each clip. Hence, the 3rd Nail Companies popped up. They charge anywhere from $1,000 - almost $2,000. I have a home that had a modification done. They added a sun room prior to my purchase and prior to the storms when they changed the laws. They attached a sun room to about 15 ft of an exterior primary wall. That area would not be able to have a third nail unless cutting into the interior wall where it adjoins to the home to access those clips. Unless all clips are done, I've been told there is no discount. Therefore I am forced to either pay the exorbitant yearly insurance prices for windstorm or pay to have my home torn apart just for the 3rd nail and have to have repaired after. Wishing for a better solution for S. Florida Homeowners.