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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 Florida homeowners insurance addresses the risks that come with living in Orlando, Florida.
A standard homeowners insurance policy will offer coverage any home, regardless of its location, usually needs:
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).
Florida home insurance policies have two separate deductibles:
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.
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.
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, 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.
Florida law requires insurers to provide catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage, which can cover losses resulting from certain types of geological activity. Sinkhole losses may be covered if all the following conditions are met:
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. Exceptions for previously scheduled closings may be submitted for approval, but plan ahead when you’re closing on a home in Orlando or if you want to switch insurance providers during hurricane season.
Additionally, if you have a mortgage in Orlando, your lender does require you to have 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:
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|
Many homeowners think they only need coverage that equals the amount they paid for their home. But that’s not always the case.
If you have a home in a really desirable area, some factors may have increased the price of your home that have nothing to do with how much coverage you need: the view, local attractions, the land the home sits on, etc.
In other situations, the cost of rebuilding your home may be higher than the purchase price. That’s usually true if you’ve made upgrades to the home, if you must comply with new building codes during repairs (worth noting if your house was built before 2001), or if the cost of construction and building materials drastically spike after a widespread disaster.
Ideally, you should insure your home for what it would cost to rebuild it at current market prices. This is the home’s replacement cost. Your home’s replacement cost estimate is based on local construction costs per square foot, your home’s square footage, and other characteristics of the home.
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