I am currently shopping for homeowners insurance where do I begin?
You are not alone currently there are thousands of Floridians asking themselves the same question. State farm and Nationwide are following the footsteps of Allstate and many others and are non-renewing thousands of policies in Florida to reduce their hurricane exposure.
First and foremost Be an independent shopper. By doing your homework and shopping around you could save yourself hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
If you are offered a policy through Citizens Property insurance find out why! In many cases agents dont have many options so Citizens is their company of choice. This is unfortunate when there are usually many authorized insurers that would be happy to insure your home. Applicants can however obtain coverage through Citizens if they cannot locate insurance through an authorized insurance company or if the authorized company has quoted a premium that is 15% or greater than what Citizens has offered.
Find a good Independent Agent. Independent agents dont work for any one company so they represent many authorized insurers and can offer you a policy that will best fit your needs. Ask your agent about the discounts available. For example you may have to pay to get a wind mitigation inspection on your home but the result could save you many times over the cost of the inspection.
Evaluate the Financial strength of the company. Most companies post this information on their website or it can be found through the Florida Department of Financial Services. This information is very important when making an informed decision.
Finding quality, affordable insurance may not be as difficult as you may think. Once you find an agent you are comfortable with meet with them face to face. Prior to the meeting make a list of all your questions so you dont forget any of them. If you know and trust your agent you can rest assured they will always be looking out for your best interest.
NOTE: The answers to coverage questions are primarily based on ISO forms generally used in Florida by most companies. However, please keep in mind that all companies forms are NOT necessarily the same. Some companies may provide broader coverage and some may be more restrictive. IN ALL CASES, THE CONSUMER MUST REFER TO HIS OR HER OWN POLICY FOR SPECIFIC COVERAGE INFORMATION.