December 02, 2016 |
Finding that home insurance in Florida is a little tricky? To help home buyers navigate
the ins and outs of home insurance we collected a few common questions that are
difficult to find answers for. Then had Kagen Cooksley, CEO of Regency Insurance
Group in Fort Meyers, give his take on each. You might find a few surprises in here,
even if you think you know everything.
Kagen’s Take: When you buy a condo you’re responsible
for everything from the drywall-in. Things like cabinets, floors, fixtures, appliances,
etc – you’re responsible for covering those with your own policy.
For example, there’s a fire and your condo is rebuilt. The Condo Association
has something called a “masters policy” that covers the only exterior
and frame. So when the place is rebuilt, the condo may be in what’s
known as an “unfinished state”. You would have to replace
the kitchen countertops, vanity, etc. Ultimately, you’ll need to make sure
you have the proper insurance policy in place so you’re covered.
Kagen’s Take: Most home insurance policies cover personal
belongings up to a specified dollar limit. Specific valuables that are individually
more valuable may be separately scheduled on your homeowners, condo, or renters
insurance policy. Scheduled items include jewelry, electronics, collectibles of
various types and fine art.
Kagen’s Take: With items like jewelry we recommend that you
get the value updated every 3 years or so with an appraisal. The prices on precious
metals do fluctuate, so you’ll want to make sure that your policy does cover the
full value of your items.
Kagen’s Take: Technically you’d need a rental insurance policy
for this. Dorms are considered “high risk”. Off-campus housing, however, is much
easier. Regardless of which you’re looking to do, insurance companies look at it
as “temporary living”, since you come back on off-semesters.
For partial coverage, their parent’s personal property insurance covers around 10%
of the policy for what the insurance company considers “stored off site”. So if
a standard homeowners policy personal property coverage is 100,000, then 10,000
of the student’s belongings are covered by that homeowners’ policy.
Kagen’s Take: They can try to sue you, but ultimately they’d
have to prove negligence. If you’re served, you should immediately notify the insurance
company. They’ll open a claim and get their lawyers on your side.
You’ll need to learn more about this, and the liability section of the policy is
what covers these scenarios. In this example situation, your neighbor (who isn’t
being very neighborly) will have to prove there’s negligence on your part that caused
the fall, or a nuisance that’s not fenced (just so you’re aware, Florida code does
require at least a 4 foot fence) with self-latching gate around a pool.
Lastly, it’s good to know that Personal Liability Insurance follows you the person,
not so much the home.
Kagen’s Take: You can be. If a family of 4 living in a house
has it tragically burn down, the bank is going to still want that mortgage payment,
even if there’s no house. Now, the homeowner is still responsible for that payment,
and they also have to live somewhere else while the house if being rebuilt. How
do they solve this?
The “Loss of Use” section of their policy would pay the lease payment on the new
rental house, plus additional costs they’re incurring. They would have to live in
a furnished home or apartment since all of their stuff is gone.
It’s important to note that usually this doesn’t pay for food or expenses that the
family would have to pay for if the house never burned down. It’s really designed
to cover the lease/rental payment or hotel stay while the house is being rebuilt.
Lastly, if you’re in Fort Myers and are forced to live in Cape Coral, it’s worth
seeing if the toll or any other additional cost that you incur because of the new
living location is covered. You should contact your insurance agent to be sure.