Asset Protection S
Asset Protection Strategies: Accidents happen. When they do, often the last concern is whether your personal property is covered by insurance. But when the dust settles and it comes time to replace your valuables, it can be overwhelming and expensive.
Which is why it’s best to know what type of insurance you need to protect yourself and your property before disaster hits.
Here is a general guide to help you determine what type of insurance you need and what additional policies to include.
First and foremost, read through your policy and make sure it includes the following:
Personal Liability Protection
This provides protection for you, your home, and anyone inside of your home during the accident or disaster. This is important because if someone sustains an injury on your property, regardless of the cause, you may be held responsible.
Additional Living Expenses
This will cover the cost of the living expenses you incur while repairs are being made to your home after a natural disaster (i.e., fire, flood, windstorm, etc.)
Actual Cash Value
The insurance company will give you cash value for your belongings that were damaged or lost due to theft or a natural disaster.1
Although most Florida home policies include coverage for wind damage, if you live on the coast, your house is vulnerable to wind and flood damage, and you may need a more comprehensive policy.
Windstorm insurance should include shattered windows, roof damage, and rainwater entering your home because of the wind.
All other water damage, such as flood water entering your home due to heavy rain and coastal storms, require a flood policy.
Be sure that your policy doesn’t contain a “flood-exclusion” clause. If it does, the insurance company will not pay for any damage to your home as a result of floodwater.2
The origin of the water damage may be a point of dispute for insurance companies to avoid honoring your policy. Which is why it is a good idea to have both a windstorm and a flood policy included with your homeowner’s insurance.
Some landlords require this. But it’s also good to have to protect your valuables.
There are several types of coverage you can include in your policy to make one comprehensive plan (e.g., replacement cost, loss of use, medical payments to others, dog liability, and wind coverage).3
Along with personal injury protection, Florida requires drivers of vehicles with four or more wheels to have Property Damage Liability insurance. This protects you from any damage you or an authorized driver causes to another person’s property while driving. Florida drivers are required to have a minimum coverage of $10,000.4
Florida is a “no-fault” state. With this clause, each person is responsible for any damage or injuries sustained during an accident, regardless of who might have caused it.6
When dealing with insurance companies, be sure to document your claim. Keep a record of all your valuables (i.e., purchase price, date of purchase, etc.)
It’s not always a good idea to take the first offer for your insurer. Do your own research to determine costs for repairs or replacement and if the offer amount is unreasonable, negotiate a better deal.8
List of References
- Florida Homeowners Insurance, Heritage Insurance website, https://www.heritagepci.com/products/homeowners-ho3/florida-homeowners-insurance-ho3
- Hurricanes and Homeowners Insurance 5 Questions Answered, Insure.com website, https://www.insure.com/home-insurance/hurricane-insurance.html
- The Smart Way to Ensure Your Home for Florida Renters, Effective Coverage website, https://www.effectivecoverage.com/florida-renters-insurance/#canlandlord
- Florida No-Fault Car Laws Insurance, The Balance blog site, https://www.thebalance.com/florida-no-fault-car-insurance-laws-527447
- Consumer Pamphlet: Automobile Insurance, The Florida Bar website, https://www.floridabar.org/public/consumer/tip002
- What Does Florida No Fault Auto Insurance Really Do?, Schwed Law website, https://schwedlawfirm.com/insurance/florida-no-fault-auto-insurance
- Vehicle Insurance Questions and Answers, Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles website, https://www.flhsmv.gov/ddl/frfaqgen.html
- Property Damage Guide for California Claims, Timothy J. Ryan and Associates website, https://tjryanlaw.com/property-damage-guide