Florida Homeowners Insurance Definition: What Is Occupancy?

A homeowner's insurance policy has become a must-have in present time. It can provide you with timely financial help in your hour of need. You need to choose your homeowner's insurance policy very carefully. And for this, you should be aware of the important terms associated with it. One such important term is occupancy. In building codes and building construction, occupancy is defined as the use or intended use of any building or its part for the purpose of shelter or support to a property or any person or animal. In simple words, occupancy can be called the opposite of vacancy. As a homeowner, you need to have a brief knowledge of what occupancy is. Following information will help you in this regard: Occupancy may also be referred as the number of leased or rented units in a building.

You can have more than one occupancy within one building. For example, there may be a high-rise building wherein the upper levels could be for residential purpose and lower levels for commercial purpose. A fire-barrier, having a defined fire-resistance rating, separates the different occupancies within the same building. For a penetration such as a fire door, it's not uncommon to have a fire protection rating that is lower than the wall fire resistance rating, wherein it's installed. For instance, a 2-hour fire separation usually requires fire doors that are rated at 90-minutes.

Some high challenge occupancies may have a comparatively more stringent code of requirements or guidelines for an occupancy separation in comparison to other fire-barriers (including those with identical fire-resistance rating).

It is essential for the Fire-stops in occupancy separations to not only have an equal fire protection rating but also provide a temperature rating. This is very important to ensure that the components of the fire-stop systems, such as the penetrates, don't heat up above 180°C (356°F) on any single point or above 140°C (284°F) on average. This lowers the chances of auto-ignition on the unexposed side. This way, occupancy separations are treated in the same way as fire walls that remain structurally stable in an event of a fire, thereby lowering the chances of a fire-induced building collapse.

Majority of single-family homes have two occupancies, including the living space of the home and the garage. Since petrol or automobile gasoline is inflammable, it is essential to have an occupancy separation between the two to lower the damage in case of a vehicle fire.

Now that you have a brief idea about occupancy, you can choose the most suitable insurance policy for your home. Get the best Florida homeowners insurance quotes here today at Premier Homeowners Insurance. We help you shop and compare the best rates on the market.