If you have a current homeowners insurance policy with Statewide Insurance, and you need to insure a secondary or investment vacant home, we have several programs available.
Most people don’t know that, once their home becomes vacant or unoccupied, there is a clause in their Florida homeowners insurance policy that will reduce or eliminate coverage after 30 days. To make sure the home is protected properly you need to have Florida vacant home insurance for your dwelling.
WHAT IS A FLORIDA INSURANCE COMPANY’S DEFINITION OF A “VACANT” HOME OR AN “UNOCCUPIED” HOME?
A typical Florida homeowners policy is written on a standardized form HO3 put forth by the Insurance Services Office, Inc. This ISO form HO3 defines:
- “Vacant” means the dwelling lacks the necessary
amenities, adequate furnishings, or utilities and
services to permit occupancy as a residence.
- “Unoccupied” means the dwelling is not being
inhabited as a residence.
*Vacancy exclusions typically do not apply to seasonal or secondary homes. Check with your agent for clarification and/or verification on this subject.
DOES MY CURRENT FLORIDA HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY COVER MY HOME IF IT IS VACANT?
The short answer is no. A Florida homeowners insurance policy is designed to cover an owner occupied dwelling. Once a change in the risk occurs you are no longer covered properly under that policy. The policy will explain that if your home is vacant more than 30 days certain coverages will be reduced or excluded. It is advisable, at that point to obtain a Florida vacant home insurance policy to protect your vacant dwelling.
WHAT COVERAGES ARE AVAILABLE FOR FLORIDA VACANT HOME INSURANCE POLICY?
- Florida Vacant Dwelling Coverage. This covers the home itself. Most policies insure for fire, lightning, and storm damage. Other coverages may include vandalism and malicious mischief as well as water damage caused by plumbing. Generally theft is not covered by these policies, but if you have a monitored alarm some carriers may offer it.
- Liability. This will protect you in the event a guest or neighbor is injured on your property and they sue you for negligence.
- Medical payments. This pays in the event a guest or neighbor sustains a minor injury while on the property.
WHAT COVERAGES MIGHT BE EXCLUDED IN A FLORIDA VACANT HOME INSURANCE POLICY?
- Water Damage. This applies to a plumbing leak or sudden discharge and is generally not covered. Make sure water is turned off.
- Theft. This is generally excluded from these policies. Some policies may extend coverage if there are signs of forceable entry.
- Vandalism and Malicious Mischief. This is a big one as it is the most likely claim for a vacant home. By purchasing a vacant policy, most carriers will include coverage for vandalism.
HOW CAN I SAVE MONEY ON FLORIDA VACANT HOME INSURANCE?
- The best way to save money on your Florida vacant home insurance is to shop around. Our experts have access to more than 10 top Florida vacant home insurance companies. GET QUOTES NOW!
- Age of home discount or surcharge. Most companies offer discounts based on the age of the home. Newer homes receive discounts due to more stringent building codes that have been applied in recent years. Older homes typically receive surcharges based on age. This is due in part to less stringent building codes used in years past.
- Territory. Where the home is located can make a substantial difference in premium. Some Florida counties have higher rates than others. Proximity to the coast will also be a factor.
- 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.
- Location. If the home is more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant and/or more than 5 miles from a fire department you will find yourself paying a much higher insurance rate.
- Type of construction. Masonry homes are less expensive to insure than frame homes due to their fire ratings.
- Carrier appetite. Certain companies experience better claims histories with certain homes, locations, and age groups. Their rates reflect this by offering lower rates to those groups they have found the best experience with.