Although your Florida condominium association may be responsible for the exterior of your building, your Florida condominium unit owners insurance policy is still responsible for replacing the entire interior of your condo unit. If your condo unit will be your primary residence, we have many Florida condominium insurance companies writing this type of coverage. The experts at Statewide Insurance will make sure you are properly covered.
WHAT IS COVERED BY A FLORIDA CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNER’S INSURANCE POLICY?
In Florida your condominium unit owner’s insurance is likely referred to as an HO-6 policy form, or simply a condo unit owner’s form. Each policy form is packaged with both property and liability protection but the extent of the protection applies only to the interior of the unit. To be more specific, it is designed to cover everything from the sheet rock in. This includes flooring, cabinets, counter tops, and fixtures. The Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance policy also typically includes coverage for your contents such as furniture, appliances, clothing, etc. It is important to consider, wisely, how much it would take to replace the entire interior of your condo unit. A good base is about $50 a square foot for coverage. This can be modified upward if there are custom cabinets, high end flooring, and other upgrades.
Unit Rented To Others:If you will be renting out your condo unit to others, even seasonally or on occasion, make sure you notify your agent. An endorsement can be added to your Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance policy to cover in this event. Otherwise the condo unit owner’s policy is only designed to cover owner occupied units.
WHAT OTHER COVERAGES ARE AVAILABLE WITH A FLORIDA CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNER’S INSURANCE POLICY?
- Replacement cost for your contents. This coverage is normally not included in the base Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance policy and must be added separately.
- Valuables. If you have jewelry, furs, collectibles, antiques, electronics, or other valuable items, your Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance policy may not give you the protection you need. Most policies limit the amount of coverage on these items to $1,000 – $2,500. You may want to consider a personal articles floater to insure the items for full value.
- Sinkhole coverage. Sinkhole coverage can be added to your Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance policy for an additional premium. Some carriers require that you pay for an inspection before they will add this coverage to your policy. If you do not carry sinkhole coverage, your policy will only cover catastrophic ground collapse, which means your condo must be condemned in order to trigger coverage.
WHAT COVERAGES MIGHT BE EXCLUDED IN A FLORIDA CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNER’S INSURANCE POLICY?
- Animal Liability. Most carriers will exclude or limit the amount of coverage for an animal related claim. Other coverage can be obtained to cover animal liability, so check with your agent.
- Sinkhole Coverage. In Central Florida it is difficult to obtain sinkhole coverage. Most companies offer catastrophic ground collapse coverage which will only trigger coverage if the condo is condemned. Cosmetic damages are not covered under the catastrophic ground collapse unless the condo is condemned. Some carriers will still offer sinkhole protection, so if you are interested in covering this make sure you ask about it.
- Trampolines, skateboard ramps, diving boards, slides, un-gated and un-screened pools, or other unusual or dangerous conditions may be un-insurable or excluded from coverage.
WHAT DOES REPLACEMENT COST AND ACTUAL CASH VALUE MEAN?
Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance property claims are settled in two ways: replacement cost (RC) and actual cash value (ACV). A replacement cost settlement will pay up to the replacement value cost of the condo, but an ACV settlement will depreciate the value of the condo based on age and condition at the time of loss. Special form policies are generally written as replacement cost but basic form policies are generally written as actual cash value. Your contents inside the condo are also settled under replacement cost or actual cash values. Make sure you have replacement cost coverage if you would like to replace the items in your condo with new items instead of used.
WHY DO THEY WANT TO INSURE MY FLORIDA CONDOMINIUM UNIT FOR SO MUCH?
In Florida we have certainly seen condo values decline. Insurer’s are still required to insure your condo unit, on the special form policy, for what it would cost to rebuild that condo to today’s codes and standards. In order to calculate that value, most carriers use a builder’s program that determines this figure based on your square footage and layout of the condo. Depending on the quality and materials used, condos in Florida generally range from $50 to $100 per square foot for rebuild costs. Replacement cost figures and your property’s current market value may vary drastically.
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON MY FLORIDA CONDOMINIUM UNIT OWNER’S INSURANCE?
- The best way to save money on your Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance is to shop around. Our experts have access to the top Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance companies. GET A QUOTE NOW!
- Deductible. You may increase your deductible in order to reduce your premium, but you should carefully consider such factors as how much of a discount you will receive for a given deductible, and how much you can afford to pay for each claim.
- Monitored alarm system discount. Many Florida condominium unit owner’s insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders with a monitored security system.
- Gated, guarded, or single entry communities. Communities that are gated, have a security guard, or have a single entry into the community are eligible for discounts with most insurance companies.
- Age of condo discount or surcharge. Most companies offer discounts based on the age of the condo. Newer condos receive discounts due to more stringent building codes that have been applied in recent years. Older condos typically receive surcharges based on age. This is due in part to less stringent building codes used in years past.
- Type of construction. Masonry condos are less expensive to insure than frame condos due to their fire ratings.
- Protection class rating. condos that are located within 5 miles of the fire department and within 1,000 feet of a fire hydrant are less expensive to insure than condos that are not. These condos obviously have a faster fire department response time.
- Territory. Where your condo is located in the state can significantly impact your insurance premiums. Areas that suffer more losses (windstorm, sinkhole, etc.) have higher rates than areas that do not.
- Usage. Secondary or seasonal condos will generally pay a little more than primary residents.
- Credit history. Insurance companies are permitted to use credit history as one of the factors that determine risk. Stronger credit ratings can provide a discount from some companies.
- Retired? If you have retired, or are over the age of 50, some carriers offer discounts.
- Carrier appetite. Certain companies experience better claims histories with certain condos, locations, and age groups. Their rates reflect this by offering lower rates to those groups they have found the best experience with.