Florida homeowners insurance has six different forms which include
- HO-2 – Broad Form
- HO-3 Special Form
- HO-4 Contents Broad Form (Apartment Dwellers)
- HO-5 Comprehensive Form
- HO-6 Unit-Owners Form (Condo or Coop Apartment Coverage)
- HO-8 Modified Coverage Form
Each of these forms (which is a confusing name) has two sections, Section 1 which is Property and Section II which is Liability. Section II is the same on all forms.
I had to give that information in order to start covering Section 1 which is Property Coverage as I stated above. In the policy declarations, a Section 1 deductible applies to the insured’s loss for each occurrence (not an annual deductible like health insurance). The standard deductible for most perils (excluding hurricanes) is $500. For hurricanes it is usually minimally $500.
Most Florida home insurance companies offer the insured an option to purchase hurricane deductibles of 2%, 5%, or 10% of the building coverage amount as long as the building is insured for $500k or less. The hurricane deductible is annual not per occurrence like property. And don’t try to change your hurricane deductible right before hurricane season as it can only be changed at policy renewal.
Can you decline hurricane coverage altogether? Yes you can reject windstorm coverage by signing a note that is very specific. But you cannot reject just hurricane coverage, you need to reject all windstorm coverages.
Section 1 is further divided into more subsections including Coverages, Perils Insured Against, Exclusions, and Conditions.
The first part which is Coverage is broken up into 4 more subsections.
- Coverage A – covers the dwelling building and attached structures as well construction material on the premises.
- Coverage B- covers other structures which include private structures on the residence premises that are not attached to the main dwelling such as a detached garage, guest house, fence, tennis court, or shed. It does not cover structures intended for business purposes.
- Coverage C- Excludes any specifically insured articles, such as, animals, birds, or fish, aircraft or parts, motorized vehicles, water or steam, etc.
- Coverage D – is loss of use coverage which covers damage which makes the residence unfit for occupancy.
Perils Insured Against
This portion of Section 1 states the causes of loss that are covered (also known as perils). Each HO form has its own peril rules. These peril rules get pretty complex but it is important to note that each Homeowners form has its own peril coverage.
Apart from coverage limitations specified for perils insurance against, a general section on exclusions eliminates coverage for loss resulting from earth movement; water damage from flood, rising waters, backing up of sewers or drains, underground seepage, power failure away from the residence, neglect to use reasonable means to preserve property, nuclear hazards, intentional loss, and governmental action.
Conditions refer to an insurer and the insureds duties and rights before and after a loss. The most important condition is Loss Settlement. Actual cash value adjustments apply to Section 1 losses.