Orlando, Florida, beloved home of Disney World, Universal Studios, SeaWorld, and the Kennedy Space Center, is unsurprisingly a great place to live. From the exceptional dining in 50 Mills District near Park Lake Highland to the historic downtown of Winter Garden, Orlando has something to offer everyone. That might explain why 277,173 people call this city home.
But the same features that make Orlando an attractive place to plant roots also make the city prone to risks that impact your home insurance needs. For example, West Orlando’s flat and low terrain and its proximity to swamps and Lake Apoka make it flood prone. In East Orlando, homes in Delaney Park and Lake Davis and near the Econlockhatchee River are prone to flood risk, too.
And don’t forget about those resort-gobbling sinkholes, either.
Let’s take a look at how you can make sure your homeowners insurance addresses the risks that come with living in Orlando, Florida.
Finding Home Insurance in Orlando, Florida
A standard homeowners insurance policy will offer coverage any home, regardless of its location, usually needs:
- Replacement-cost coverage for both the house and the personal belongings within.
- Coverage for structures like garages, fences, sheds, and more.
- Additional living expenses in case the home is uninhabitable after a covered event.
- Personal liability coverage for injuries or property damage the homeowner causes others.
- Medical payments coverage to pay for an injured visitor’s immediate medical expenses.
But owning a home in Orlando means you’ll also want to understand your hurricane coverage and consider flood and sinkhole insurance (excluded from a standard homeowners policy).
Orlando Hurricane Deductibles & Wind Mitigation Discounts
Florida home insurance policies have two separate deductibles:
- The standard home insurance deductible, which applies when you make a claim over fire, non-hurricane wind, theft, and vandalism damage.
- A hurricane deductible, which applies when you make a claim over hurricane-level wind damage.
You can choose your hurricane deductible, though most policies default the deductible at two percent of your home coverage (this is true for Kin). So if you have $300,000 in dwelling insurance, your two percent hurricane deductible would be $6,000. You can increase your deductible up to 10 percent, which will lower your monthly premiums. However, that means you will pay more out of pocket when you need to make a claim for hurricane wind damage.
Another way to save money is to make wind mitigation improvements to your home. Florida requires home insurance companies to offer insurance discounts for homes that are hurricane resistant.
If your home was built before the Hurricane Andrew building codes took effect (prior to 2001), you may want to reinforce your roof and install impact-resistant windows to qualify for cheaper home insurance.
Orlando Flood Insurance
Though you aren’t legally required to have flood insurance for your Orlando home and Orlando isn’t along the coast, it is surrounded by lakes, swamps, and other bodies of water that might cause flooding. Take, for example, nearby Maitland which is struggling to maintain sufficient storm water drainage to nearby lakes.
Even if Orlando has been historically safe from some of this flooding, the fact is that hurricanes are becoming more frequent and it’s difficult to predict which locations will be spared the resulting flood damage.
"One inch of standing water inside a one-story home causes $23,635 in damage."
It’s also worth considering that standard home insurance doesn’t offer coverage for flood damage caused by storm surges. What’s more, even one inch of standing water inside an average one-story home costs $23,635 in repairs. If that’s not a price you can comfortably afford out of pocket, you may want to talk to a Kin representative about purchasing flood insurance.
Orlando Sinkhole Insurance
Orlando, like other parts of Florida, is susceptible to sinkholes, which form in conditions where aquifer levels change drastically. High volumes of water dissolve the limestone underneath the surface, but when the water disappears, it leaves unsupported caverns that collapse, causing a sinkhole. These can be extremely expensive for homeowners to manage on their own.
The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance reported insurers received more than 24,000 sinkhole damage claims between 2006 and 2010, an average of 17 a day.
To cover sinkhole damage, Orlando homeowners must have sinkhole insurance. This isn’t included in a standard homeowners insurance policy, but it can be purchased as an endorsement to your policy. A Kin representative can help you discover your options.
When to Get Orlando Homeowners Insurance
The only time it’s too late to get insurance is when a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued for any area in Florida. Insurance companies control how long that bind suspension lasts – sometimes it’s days before and after a storm has passed. Plan for this eventuality if you need home insurance on a deadline, such as when you’re closing on a home in Orlando or you want to switch insurance providers before your current policy renews.
Additionally, if you’re paying a mortgage in Orlando, you’re legally required to have insurance.
Median Cost of Orlando Homeowners Insurance
Our data shows the median cost of Orlando home insurance is $1,265. However, the price you pay for your coverage depends on several factors, including:
- The location of your home
- Your home’s construction and wind mitigation improvements
- The amount of coverage you choose
- Your insurance score and claims history
That said, the median home insurance premiums for the following Orlando ZIP codes can give you a general idea of what your policy may cost:
Orlando ZIP Code
Median Home Insurance Premium
How Much Coverage Is Appropriate for Orlando Homes?
Many homeowners think they only need coverage that equals the amount they paid for their home. However, if you suffer a complete loss, the cost of rebuilding your home may be at least 20 percent higher than your purchase cost.
Therefore, purchase price (or potential selling price) should not be the only factor when you purchase or switch your home insurance in Orlando.
Ideally, you should insure it for the amount it will take to rebuild your house on the current market. This number can often be higher than your purchase price because of costs associated with complying with new building codes, especially if your house was built before 2001.
To estimate how much replacement-cost coverage you might want for your home, look up local construction cost per square foot in your area, then multiply that figure by your home’s square footage. That will give you a basic idea of how much coverage you want. If math isn’t your thing, a Kin representative will happily help you out with this.
Give us a call at (855) 717-0022 if you have questions or get a quote today.