What To Look For In Choosing A Homeowners Insurance Company
Whenever discussing any topic related to Florida homeowners insurance, you will often hear us say that coverage depends on your policy and you should read your policy. But how do you choose an insurance company? What are the things you should look for when deciding what insurance company to use to protect your home?
No Legal Requirement
Homeowners insurance is not required by Florida law. You legally could carry no homeowners insurance. The requirement for most people comes from their mortgage lenders, which require proof of homeowners insurance, as a requirement to get a mortgage—and proof that you continue to have coverage, in order to not be considered in default of your mortgage.
This is all aside from the obvious fact that your home is likely the biggest investment you’ll ever make, so whether required or not, it is always in your best interest to insure your property.
How to Choose a Company
Certainly, you could go into the offices of numerous insurance agents, but they will all tell you that whatever company they represent or sell is the best insurance company to use.
Companies like J.D. Power conduct relatively neutral evaluations of insurance companies, and online reviews can be helpful, even though admittedly, people tend to complain more than they compliment online.
You may want to research how often a company cancels policies. In an age when companies seem to cancel people after every hurricane season, having a company that is stable, and sticks with its customers even after a catastrophe, is always a good place to start.
If cost is a concern for you, you can certainly look for the cheapest policy—but before you choose the cheapest, make sure to ask why. Is there a bigger deductible? More exclusions? Some other coverages that other policies have, that yours does not?
Damages and Disputes
Ask about the different kinds of damages that a policy can cover. But in addition to the usual suspects, like flood, wind or water damage, make sure to ask about the lesser thought of parts of an insurance policy, like mold, sinkhole, pest, or wildlife damage.
If there is a dispute as to the value of a claim, how is that value resolved? Does the insurance company choose, or do you have a right to have your own appraisal of value done? If your property cannot be lived in while it is damaged, or while it is being repaired, do you have coverage for the expenses related to living in a hotel or other accommodation?
You also want to make sure you know what happens after a disaster, especially a hurricane—but don’t forget about other hazards, like hail, or sewage spills that emanate from off your property.
Contact the Miami homeowners association claims attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help and a free consultation to help interpret your insurance policy, and determine what your rights are.