Planning for homeownership in Florida involves considering various factors, from coverage needs to potential climate risks. Here’s a checklist to guide you in preparing for homeownership in the Sunshine State:
- Evaluate Coverage Needs and Deductibles:
- Carefully assess the amount of coverage you need for your home and choose a policy that is both appropriate and affordable.
- Consider deductibles for both auto and home insurance. Typically ranging between $500 and $2,000 per policy, these deductibles are crucial in the event of a claim.
- Most Florida homeowners have a separate wind or hurricane deductible, often calculated as a percentage of the dwelling coverage. For example, a 2 percent wind deductible on a home with $250,000 in dwelling coverage would be $5,000.
- Compare Insurance Quotes:
- Obtain quotes for both auto and home insurance in the areas where you plan to live. This can provide insights into risk factors specific to those locations and help you find the best coverage at a competitive price.
- For flood coverage, utilize FEMA’s online tool to access the National Flood Insurance Program’s average cost of flood insurance for Florida.
- Look for Homes with Damage-Mitigating Features:
- Homes with wind mitigation features are generally more cost-effective to insure. Considering Florida’s frequency of extreme weather events, purchasing a home that already has a raised foundation, a hurricane-resistant roof, or other modifications can be a wise decision.
- Utilize First Street Foundation’s Flood Factor Tool:
- Check the Flood Factor tool to assess the flood risk associated with potential homes. This resource can be valuable in making informed decisions about property purchases in Florida.
- Consider Future Climate Risks:
- Leverage online tools like ClimateCheck to project the impact of climate change in specific locations over 30 years. This proactive approach can help you identify communities less likely to be affected by rising seas and extreme weather.
Making informed decisions about insurance and property choices can significantly contribute to a secure and resilient homeownership experience in Florida.