Florida is the Sunshine State, but non-sunny weather can sometimes turn ominous. It’s critical to insure your home against lightning during thunderstorms, extreme heat, wildfires and hurricanes. Florida has some of the highest home insurance rates in the country because of its inclement weather, so finding the best Florida homeowners insurance is important.
Whether you’re searching for a new insurance policy or have never had homeowners insurance before, we’ve gathered some important facts about Florida homeowners insurance. Here are our top picks if you live in the Sunshine State.
The Best Florida Homeowners Insurance
Best Florida Homeowners Insurance
We’ve done exhaustive research and categorized these 4 as the best homeowners insurance providers in Florida: State Farm, Security First, United Property and Casualty (UPC) and Chubb.
1. Best for Existing Policyholders: State Farm
State Farm is 58% cheaper than the average Florida home insurance carrier, at an average cost of only $710 per year.
State Farm always has a local agent available to assist you, as well as well-regarded customer service ratings and few complaints.
State Farm has incomparable financial stability and has scored an A++ rating from A.M. Best. This means the company will be able to pay out insurance claims regardless of a widespread disaster.
- You can more easily work with a local agent than with other carriers
- The company is financially sound
- Remember that State Farm has had a history of not paying claims after major disasters
2. Best for Seniors: Security First
Focused on the cheapest possible rates for home insurance in Florida? Security First is the company to keep an eye on. The annual premium rate is an average of $519 a year.
That’s less than one-third of the average statewide rate — and it beats State Farm by $209. Its cheap premium is about all Security First has going for it.
Security First doesn’t offer products beyond the basics any carrier offers. Security First also has 33% more registered complaints than the average home insurance company in Florida.
- Prices for policies tend to be rather low
- This basic coverage helps you protect homes that are in safer areas
- While average annual premiums are low, there’s no way to know that your policy will be that cheap
- There are several complaints lodged against the carrier
3. Best for Coastal Properties: United Property and Casualty (UPC)
Do you live in a hurricane-prone area? You may want an insurance company that specializes in dealing with the perils of coastal living.
UPC specializes in the coverage of coastal states and the risks associated with owning a home near the ocean.
The carrier’s upper-tier package comes with water backup and refrigerated contents coverages, which handle common situations that occur after major storms.
- This platform specializes in coastal coverage, so they know the risks you face
- You can work with UPC to learn about historical claims in your area
- Upper-tier packages are much more robust, but they may also be quite expensive
Average Annual Homeowners Insurance Premium in Florida
You’ll pay an average annual home insurance premium of $1,918 if you live in Florida, the National Association of Insurance reports. That’s $700 a year more than the national average of $1,192.
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance policies vary significantly when it comes to what they cover. When you’re shopping for homeowners insurance, it’s essential to dig into the fine print. Ask questions about any aspects of the policy you’re not clear about. Policies do typically include these 4 types of coverage:
- Coverage for your home: If your home is damaged or destroyed due to covered events, your policy will help pay the costs to repair or rebuild. Policies typically cover damage due to fire, hurricanes, hail and thunderstorms. Most policies include detached structures like garages and sheds.
- Coverage for your belongings: Coverage for your belongings is typically a percentage of the amount of coverage you have for your home. Depending on the belongings you have, this may or may not be enough coverage. You may want a separate endorsement (an addition to your policy) if you have expensive belongings like jewelry or art.
- Liability protection: This coverage helps other people. It provides coverage if someone is injured in your home. It also covers lawsuits filed against you if a member of your family causes bodily injury or property damage to someone else’s property. If a family member damages your own property, you aren’t covered. Those concerned about lawsuits may want to consider extra liability coverage.
- Additional living expenses: If the damage to your home is severe, you may not be able to live there. This coverage helps to pay your costs while living away from home. It typically covers hotel and restaurant expenses. This coverage is usually limited.
What Doesn't Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners' insurance policies don’t cover everything. Here are a few types of coverage that aren’t included in standard policies.
- Sinkhole coverage: Florida is particularly vulnerable to sinkholes. Standard homeowners insurance policies sold in Florida do have some coverage for sinkholes, but the criteria for the insurance company to pay may be challenging to meet. You may want to talk to your insurer about a separate sinkhole policy.
- Flood coverage: This is essential for Jacksonville residents. Standard homeowner policies don’t cover flood damage, and damage from flooding can be expensive to repair. When you get a homeowners insurance quote, be sure to ask about flood insurance as well.
- Earthquake coverage: While you might not worry about earthquakes, they can happen anywhere. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover earthquake damage. Ask potential insurance companies about how much it would be to add earthquake damage to your policy.
How are Homeowners Insurance Rates Determined?
Your homeowners' insurance rates are determined by how likely you are to file a claim. The higher the risk you pose, the higher your insurance premiums will be. Carriers determine your premiums by the level of coverage you want, the location of your home, its square footage, type of construction and age.
The build costs and likelihood of inclement weather in your area will also have an effect on your premium — and so will your deductible, the local crime rate and your insurance score.
Key Points: Home Insurance Rates
Remember, the following factors play a part in determining your home insurance premium.
- Which neighborhood you live in
- Your home’s condition and age
- How your home was built
- Your financial background
- Your property claims history
- Likelihood of inclement weather
Common Home Insurance Discounts
Since your premiums may be relatively more expensive in Floridathan in the rest of the country, discounts can help whittle down your costs. Whether you want to get a new policy or make changes to an existing policy, remember to ask your agent about adding on these optional discounts and credits to cut your costs:
- Bundling: Companies that offer other types of property insurance like auto insurance offer you a discount if you buy more than one policy.
- 55 or older: You probably qualify for a senior or mature discount except on non-hurricane portions of your policy if you or your spouse is at least 55. Some insurers offer as much as 20% off your premium for that age group.
- Military and veterans: Are you an active duty or military veteran? You can get 5% off with some insurance carriers.
- Secured and gated community: You’ll qualify for a discount on your premium if you live in a gated community because your home is more protected from vandalism and theft. That can help keep more money in your pocket.
- Burglar or fire alarm: Install a home security system to help you save money on your annual insurance premium. You must provide a current alarm certificate from the monitoring company dated within the past year to get this 15% to 20% discount. You could save even more money if you have fire sprinklers.
- Being claims-free: Insurance companies also provide discounts for not filing claims. These typically happen a few years after you start a policy.
- Improving your home: Some companies offer discounts based on how your home is constructed. For example, you could receive a discount for having an impact-resistant roof.
- Insurance score credit: You can earn an insurance discount if your insurance credit score is higher than average. Ask your agent to run your insurance score to see how much you can save.
- Wind mitigation credit: Hurricane windows and roofs that have been installed since 2002 will help you save on your insurance.
- Loyalty discounts: Stay with your insurance carrier for at least 3 to 5 years and get up to 5% off your premiums. Stick with the carrier for 6 years or longer to get a 10% discount.
- Buying a new home: If you just purchased your home, insurers may offer you a discount to secure your business.
Inclement Weather and Nature-Related Risks in Florida
There are many severe weather threats that harm people, property and businesses in Florida.
The biggest threat to Florida isn’t actually hurricanes — it’s lightning. Florida is the nation’s lightning capital. Lightning killed 47 people in Florida from 2008 to 2017, the National Weather Service reports.
Extreme heat is the 2nd largest severe weather risk in Florida. Heat causes more deaths each year than hurricanes, lightning, tornadoes, earthquakes and floods combined. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that more than 600 people die from extreme heat each year in Florida.
It’s no surprise that Florida is at high risk for hurricanes. It’s often a bullseye for hurricanes and tropical storms because of its location. Storms develop off the coast of Africa, make their way through the Caribbean and gather more strength and speed as they head toward Florida. Hurricane Irma slammed into the state in 2017, killing 84 people and causing more than $8.6 billion in property damage.
Most Affordable Cities for Homeowners Insurance in Florida
Homeowners insurance in Florida is already expensive, but you can get the most affordable annual rates if you live in one of these cities:
- Gainesville – $1,044
- Bradenton – $1,061
- Tallahassee – $1,075
- Palm Coast – $1,086
Most Expensive Cities for Homeowners Insurance in Florida
Florida’s home insurance rates are climbing, and in some cities, have increased more than 7,000% in the past decade. These increases are mainly because contractors file insurance claims and drive up rates. Do you live in or plan to relocate to one of these 4 cities? If so, it may cost you.
- Conch Key – $11,702
- Big Pine Key – $11,684
- Big Torch Key – $11,684
- Big Coppett – $11,599
Choose the Best Florida Homeowners Insurance
Be sure you know and understand all the details about your Florida homeowners insurance coverage before you make a final decision on a policy. You don’t want to make the mistake of not buying a rider to cover repair and replacement costs after a disaster already hits. Knowing for sure will spare you any headaches and catastrophic losses that can be difficult to overcome.
It's essential to go beyond simply looking for the best price as you consider an insurance company to protect your home. Consider customer service and financial stability, too. An affordable insurance company might undervalue your claim, provide sloppy service — or even worse — not have the money to pay out claims.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does home insurance liability coverage work?
Most home insurance policies provide liability coverage that can help protect you and your family against several types of lawsuits or liability claims. Coverage limit options usually begin at $100,000 and can go as high as $1 million. Your liability coverage provides coverage for common mishaps, like slip and fall accidents or animal bites and can protect you even when you are away from home.
What are the most common types of home insurance claims?
Wind and hail claims top the list with nearly 40% of all home insurance claims due to these two acts of nature. Fire and lightning are the second most common, but claims due to fire tend to much bigger than claims dues to other types of risk.
What is the average home insurance rate in Florida?
You’ll pay an average annual home insurance premium of around $2000 if you live in Florida, the National Association of Insurance reports.