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Home Insurance FAQ with a Florida Insurance Agent

Finding that home insurance in Florida is a little tricky? To help home buyers navigate the ins and outs of home insurance we collected a few common questions that are difficult to find answers for. Then had Kagen Cooksley, CEO of Regency Insurance Group in Fort Meyers, give his take on each. You might find a few surprises in here, even if you think you know everything.
Doesn’t my condo association carry enough insurance to take care of me?

Kagen’s Take: When you buy a condo you’re responsible for everything from the drywall-in. Things like cabinets, floors, fixtures, appliances, etc – you’re responsible for covering those with your own policy.

For example, there’s a fire and your condo is rebuilt. The Condo Association has something called a “masters policy” that covers the only exterior and frame.  So when the place is rebuilt, the condo may be in what’s known as an “unfinished state”. You would have to replace the kitchen countertops, vanity, etc. Ultimately, you’ll need to make sure you have the proper insurance policy in place so you’re covered. 
How do I decide which items to separately schedule on my home insurance policy?

Kagen’s Take: Most home insurance policies cover personal belongings up to a specified dollar limit. Specific valuables that are individually more valuable may be separately scheduled on your homeowners, condo, or renters insurance policy. Scheduled items include jewelry, electronics, collectibles of various types and fine art.
Should I consider a recent appraisal for my jewelry items (such as an engagement or anniversary ring)?

Kagen’s Take: With items like jewelry we recommend that you get the value updated every 3 years or so with an appraisal. The prices on precious metals do fluctuate, so you’ll want to make sure that your policy does cover the full value of your items.
As a college student, isn’t my personal property covered under my parents’ homeowners insurance?

Kagen’s Take: Technically you’d need a rental insurance policy for this. Dorms are considered “high risk”. Off-campus housing, however, is much easier. Regardless of which you’re looking to do, insurance companies look at it as “temporary living”, since you come back on off-semesters.

For partial coverage, their parent’s personal property insurance covers around 10% of the policy for what the insurance company considers “stored off site”. So if a standard homeowners policy personal property coverage is 100,000, then 10,000 of the student’s belongings are covered by that homeowners’ policy.
A neighbor slips on my sidewalk and threatens to take me to court for damages. Does my homeowner policy protect me?

Kagen’s Take: They can try to sue you, but ultimately they’d have to prove negligence. If you’re served, you should immediately notify the insurance company. They’ll open a claim and get their lawyers on your side.

You’ll need to learn more about this, and the liability section of the policy is what covers these scenarios. In this example situation, your neighbor (who isn’t being very neighborly) will have to prove there’s negligence on your part that caused the fall, or a nuisance that’s not fenced (just so you’re aware, Florida code does require at least a 4 foot fence) with self-latching gate around a pool.

Lastly, it’s good to know that Personal Liability Insurance follows you the person, not so much the home.
Will I be reimbursed for additional living expenses if I cannot live in my home due to a covered loss?

Kagen’s Take: You can be. If a family of 4 living in a house has it tragically burn down, the bank is going to still want that mortgage payment, even if there’s no house. Now, the homeowner is still responsible for that payment, and they also have to live somewhere else while the house if being rebuilt. How do they solve this?

The “Loss of Use” section of their policy would pay the lease payment on the new rental house, plus additional costs they’re incurring. They would have to live in a furnished home or apartment since all of their stuff is gone.

It’s important to note that usually this doesn’t pay for food or expenses that the family would have to pay for if the house never burned down. It’s really designed to cover the lease/rental payment or hotel stay while the house is being rebuilt.

Lastly, if you’re in Fort Myers and are forced to live in Cape Coral, it’s worth seeing if the toll or any other additional cost that you incur because of the new living location is covered. You should contact your insurance agent to be sure.

Lastly, if you’re in Fort Myers and are forced to live in Cape Coral, it’s worth seeing if the toll or any other additional cost that you incur because of the new living location is covered. You should contact your insurance agent to be sure.

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