Understanding Your Home Insurance Tampa FL Declarations Page
Understanding how home insurance Tampa FL works can be complicated. But, a little learning can go a long way in understanding your coverages, deductibles, endorsements, discounts, and other important aspects regarding your home insurance.
You’ve probably heard the term “Declarations Page” before, but what is it? The declarations page is an important piece of your home insurance Tampa FL puzzle. It provides information regarding the dates your coverage in in force, how much (and what kind) of coverage you have, what your deductibles are, what endorsements are applicable to your policy, and how much your premium is.
The declarations page often starts with the policy type and effective dates. The policy type (homeowners, condominium, dwelling fire, wind-only, etc.) lets you know what kind of policy you have. The effective dates tell you what dates the policy is “in-force” or effective.
Next is normally the coverage section. The coverage section tells you how much coverage could be available to you, in the event of a claim. I use the term “could be” because ultimately you are only able to collect up the amount of your loss, minus any applicable deductible.
Home Insurance Tampa FL Coverages:
Coverage A – Dwelling – This is the amount of home insurance Tampa FL applicable to your home. In a homeowners policy, think of this coverage as the amount that would be available to any physical damage to your home.
Coverage B – Other Structures – This coverage is applicable to any other structures on your property not physically attached to the main home, such as a detached garage, in-law suite, fence, etc.
Coverage C – Personal Property – This coverage is applicable to your personal property inside of the home. If you turned your house upside down, anything that would fall out would be considered personal property. This can include things such as furniture, jewelry, clothing, dishes, etc.
Coverage D – Loss of Use – This coverage would provide you funds should your home become inhabitable due to a covered loss. If your home was destroyed by a fire, you’d probably need to be able to rent another home or stay in a hotel while the damage is repaired. That’s where this coverage applies.
Coverage E – Liability – This important coverage provides protection for your liability as a result of home ownership. As an example, it would protect you from suit, up to the coverage amount, should someone be injured due to your negligence. So if someone comes over and slips and falls on wet spot on your kitchen floor, is injured, and decides to sue you, this coverage would then apply.
Coverage F – Medical Payments to Others – This coverage is designed to provide a small amount of coverage for small injuries to prevent suit against you. The “to Others” part is applicable as this coverage is not available to those considered an insured.
The next part we’ll look at are your deductibles. In Tampa, and all of Florida, there are normally two deductibles listed. One that is referred to as an “AOP,” or All Other Perils, and one generally defined as Wind or Hurricane deductible.
The deductible is designed to help with a few things. The deductible helps keep the cost of home insurance Tampa FL down. If there was no deductible, some individuals would file many small claims, ultimately increasing the cost of home insurance Tampa FL for everyone. Common AOP deductibles are generally $500, $1,000, or $2,500, meaning you would be responsible for the first $500, $1,000, or $2,500 of any property loss. Generally speaking, the higher the deductible, the lower the cost of the insurance.
The Wind or Hurricane deductible is normally defined as a percentage deductible of either 2%, 5%, or 10%. In a homeowners insurance policy, the wind/hurricane deductible percentage represent a percentage of the building coverage amount. So if the building coverage on your home is $200,000 and you have a 2% wind/hurricane deductible, you would then be responsible for the first $4,000 of any loss due to wind/hurricane.
There are generally no deductibles for the liability portion as the insurance carriers want to be made aware of the potential for a loss instead of an insured attempting to settle this on their own.
The declarations page also lists endorsements. Endorsements are changes to the actual policy form. For example, the standard homeowners insurance policy provides actual cash value for your personal property. A common endorsement that many clients choose to add is the personal property replacement cost endorsement. For a fee, the insurance company places this endorsement into the policy, which then provides coverage for personal property at a replacement cost valuation, rather than actual cash value.
Certain carriers offer discounts that others may not. Some common discounts include wind mitigation credits, burglar and fire alarm credits, secured community credits, etc. Some discounts offered by some, but not all carriers, may include credits for a good credit score, senior citizen discounts, etc. It is important to review your discounts with your agent to ensure you are receiving all of the discounts you are entitled to receive.
In conclusion, finding the right policy for you, with the right coverage, at the right price is something we at the Omega Insurance Agency strive for. We pride ourselves on the level of customer service we provide and look forward to providing you that same level of service.
Contact us today to have us review your current home insurance Tampa FL and see if we can find you better coverage at a better price! 813-341-1530 or 888-663-5088