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Homeowners insurance is a means of protecting you from a loss that would otherwise be your full financial responsibility. It covers your property when damaged by a covered cause of loss and also protects you in the event of lawsuits that arise out of certain types of actions that occur on and off your property. Covered causes of loss included in a standard home insurance policy are fire, lightning, wind, hurricane, (with a separate deductible), and theft. A standard home insurance policy includes these coverages:

  • Coverage A – Dwelling (dwelling on residence premises and attached structures)
  • Coverage B – Other Structures (detached structures on residence premises set apart from the dwelling by clear space)
  • Coverage C – Personal Property (contents owned or used by an insured)
  • Coverage D – Loss of Use (Pays for additional living expenses when your home is uninhabitable due to a covered cause of loss)
  • Coverage E – Personal Liability (protects you if you are sued and found legally liable)
  • Coverage F – Medical Payments (Covers medical bills to others injured on your property)

Coverage A – Dwelling usually means the dwelling on the “residence premises” including structures attached to the dwelling. The coverage limit shown for coverage A should be an amount that would pay for the cost of repairing or replacing the entire dwelling in the event of a total loss. The amount should include the cost of all materials, labor, and the cost of debris removal to replace or repair the home.

Most disasters are covered by a home insurance policy, but Flood is not covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Flood insurance must be purchased separately. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do give you some sort of water damage coverage to cover pipes bursting, breaking, leaking or accidental discharge or overflow of water. Depending on the age of your home, insurance carriers may automatically exclude this coverage and offer a limited amount of coverage for an additional premium.

Quick Reference Guide to Obtain Home & Flood Insurance

Inspections needed:

  • Home is 25 years old or older: 4 Point Inspection
  • Home is built in 2001 or earlier: Wind Mitigation
  • Homes in Flood zones: A, AE, V, VE
  • Home is built after FIRM was created: Elevation Certificate (After 1975 for Pinellas County or 1981 for Hillsborough County; subject to change in specific areas)

Concerns To Be Aware Of

  • Heating & A/C:
    • No hazards or deficiencies.
    • No portable heaters or space heaters.
    • Air conditioner’s maximum age should be 20 years old.
  • Roof:
    • Underwriters may allow up to 30 days (14 days during Hurricane Season) after closing for roof replacement.
    • Roof needs 4-5 years of life expectancy. No leaks debris allowed on the roof.
    • Trees and brush cannot be in contact with the roof covering.
  • Electrical:
    • No deficiencies or hazards.
    • Aluminum wiring: 110 volts single strand requires remediation.
    • Panels with concerns: Syvania, Zinsco, Federal Pacific, Challenger
  • Plumbing:
    • No leaks or deficiencies.
    • Polybutylene is not accepted by most carriers.

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