Finding the best homeowners insurance can be a challenge, especially in Florida’s turbulent market. However, Bankrate can help. Our insurance editorial team (which includes four licensed insurance agents) is here to use our almost 50 years of combined industry experience, along with our proprietary premium data, to reveal the best home insurance companies in Florida for 2022.
Note that some of these companies may be unavailable for Florida homeowners in areas at higher risk for significant weather-related damage. Bankrate’s editorial team confirmed these five carriers are actively writing new Florida homeowners insurance policies. Because Florida homes face unique risks, however, coverage may be limited to certain ZIP codes, homes of a certain age or homes with specific safety features, like wind mitigation measures.
Florida Peninsula only sells home coverage in the Sunshine State, so it might be a good choice if you want to keep your coverage local. You might choose to keep your coverage relatively basic if budget is your primary concern, or you could choose from an array of endorsements to build a more robust policy. J.D. Power and AM Best do not rate Florida Peninsula because of its smaller market share, but the company, which is based in Boca Raton, carries an A (Exceptional) financial stability rating from Demotech.
Citizens is Florida’s “Fair Access to Insurance Requirements” (FAIR) plan carrier, which means it’s a state-backed insurance company of last resort. To qualify for coverage with Citizens, you must either show that you haven’t been able to get coverage in the private home insurance market or that the quotes you receive are more than 20 percent higher than a comparable quote from Citizens. Although Citizens may be the only option in some cases, that doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice coverage. The carrier does offer a few useful endorsements, including sinkhole coverage and replacement cost on personal property. Citizens was recently approved for a 6.4 percent rate increase on home insurance policies, though, so despite being able to offer below-market rates, your premium could still be substantial.
The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $1,648 per year for a $250,000 dwelling coverage policy. This is about 19 percent higher than the national average premium of $1,383 per year for the same amount of coverage. Keep in mind that your premium will depend on your specific rating profile, which includes factors like your home’s location and features, your claims history, the insurance company you choose, and the specific coverage types and limits you select.
The amount of coverage you purchase is one of the biggest factors that impacts your home insurance premium. More coverage generally costs more money but also provides more financial protection. Below are the average rates by coverage level for each of our top picks for Florida homeowners insurance.
Keep in mind, though, that dwelling coverage isn’t the only coverage type on a home insurance policy. Your dwelling coverage covers the structure of your house, while your liability coverage, for example, protects your finances from the fallout of injuries and damage to the property of others that you are found at fault for. Increasing or decreasing either coverage type — or any of the other types of home insurance coverage on your policy — will affect your premium.
Understanding what your Florida home insurance covers is important when building a policy that meets your needs. Florida is a prime target for tropical storms, and the state endures more hurricane landfalls than any other state in the country. Due to the high possibility of hurricanes and flooding, Florida homeowners should consider the potential damage resulting from these occurrences when choosing their insurance coverage. Here are some of the most common types of damage that cause Floridians to file home insurance claims:
Floods and water damage: Heavy rains and storm surges can cause extensive flooding and water damage, even to inland locations. However, flood damage is not covered in a standard homeowners insurance policy, so you will likely need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Wind: In Florida, wind-related damage can be incredibly costly. Home insurance typically includes windstorm coverage, and in Florida, carriers are required to cover hurricanes and tropical storms. However, a separate hurricane deductible is required for named storms and will typically be 1 to 5 percent of your dwelling coverage amount.
Fire: Hurricanes and extreme weather can cause damage to your home’s electrical system, which might start a fire. The good news is standard home insurance policies cover accidental fire damage, but you should ensure you have enough coverage to pay for your home and belongings in the event of a total loss.
How to get cheap Florida home insurance
Florida’s complex insurance market and the intense 2022 hurricane season means that home insurance costs will likely increase. Finding cheap home insurance may be a priority for many, but understand that “cheap” is a relative term. In some parts of Florida, home insurance is hard to come by and homeowners may not be able to shop for coverage to compare home quotes. Having realistic expectations for your premium may be important as you shop for coverage. However, there are some strategies you can use to find the lowest premium possible:
Understand your coverage needs: While finding cheap coverage may be important, price isn’t everything. Before you try to find the lowest-priced policy, be sure you know what kind of coverage and what levels of coverage you need. Undercutting your coverage to get a lower rate could leave you in a stressful situation if you file a claim.
Shop around: As you can see from the average rates of our top picks, rates vary widely between companies. Shopping around and comparing quotes can help you see how different companies stack up for the coverage you need. Keep in mind, though, that in Florida’s tumultuous home insurance market, some homeowners may struggle to find any coverage and won’t have the option to shop around and compare quotes.
Utilize discounts: Most insurance companies offer at least a few home insurance discounts, and these savings opportunities are often the easiest way to lower your premium. Common discounts include bundling your auto and home insurance with the same company, having security features like smoke alarms or a monitored alarm system, opting for paperless bills and statements, and having smart home devices.
Maintain your roof: Newer roofs generally help qualify you for lower rates, since it’s less likely that they’ll be damaged than older roofs. In a state so prone to wind damage, having a newer roof, or at least a well-maintained roof, could help you save.
Increase your deductible: Your home insurance deductible is the amount you agree to pay out of pocket if you file a claim. Increasing your deductible means you’ll pay more — and the insurance company will pay less — and that usually translates to a lower rate. Just be sure that you can afford the higher deductible amount before you make the change. Also remember that many policies have a separate hurricane deductible that you could increase separately.
When shopping for home insurance, Florida residents may want to work with a local insurance agent for guidance. Some areas of the state present a particularly high risk of weather-related claims, which means that a local company representative may need to be involved in the quoting and application process.