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Florida Overview
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August 8, 2012

How many perils does a Florida home insurance policy actually face? Your homeowners insurance agent knows and a smart homeowner will know, too. Otherwise the insurance carried on a Florida home may turn out to be unmatched to the genuine threats facing the structure.

Florida homeowners are most aware of the threat of wind and water, which is apt to come to a block near them in a form called a hurricane. The consternation hurricane season brings to homeowners in Florida is matched by the dread that insurance companies feel. The state’s insurance industry has been in convulsions in recent years over the impact of hurricanes on both homeowners and insurance companies.

But under the heading of “perils,” or causes of loss, the Florida Department of Financial Services includes many more threats to a home. These include aircraft and other “falling objects,” explosions and “tearing apart,” lightning and “catastrophic ground cover collapse” (i.e. sinkholes). Some possible perils are not likely to be experienced by a Florida homeowner—volcanic eruptions, for example, and damage from the weight of ice and snow—yet it is the unlikely event that has the potential to destroy a homeowner’s financial planning.

What a homeowner’s insurance policy does not contain is coverage for flooding. A separate flood policy must be purchased. In a low-lying state like Florida with water on two sides of most of it and the real danger of wind-blown tides and torrential downpours in some seasons, flood coverage is not an esoteric insurance product. Many homeowners buy it if they can afford it.

Florida’s nickname is The Sunshine State, which Floridians remind themselves when massive hurricane clouds are rotating overhead. The disposition of state residents indeed is more sunshiny than gloomy, and this positive outlook has been a huge attraction to people living far from the Gulf Coast. Since the Florida was declared a state in 1845, its population has grown from about 85,000 people to more than 18 million.

Many are happy homeowners confident that their top financial investment is protected against manmade and natural hazards. Homeowner insurance is the cause of their confidence.