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The Sunshine State is known for many things: warm weather, beautiful beaches, and oranges. Florida has the longest coastline in the continental US. However, Florida is also the extreme weather capital of the country, so there are important homeowners insurance risks to be aware of, from Tallahassee all the way down to Miami.
Florida has the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country. According to the most recent available data from the Insurance Information Institute, in 2014, the average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida was $2,055 almost twice than the national average of $1,132.
|Florida Annual Average||$2,084||$2,115||$2,055|
|Florida Price Per Month||$173||$176||$171|
|US Annual Average||$1,034||$1,096||$1,132|
|US Cost Per Month||$86||$91||$94|
Choosing a homeowners insurance company in Florida should be easier. Actually, it’s already easy; you could just go with whichever company your mortgage lender recommends, but you probably won’t get the best rates that way. The key to finding cheap rates is to get a home insurance quote comparison in Florida from multiple companies.
Last year, these were the most common home insurance companies reported by QuoteWizard users living in the state of Florida. Out of the 60,653 Florida homeowners that used QuoteWizard to request insurance quotes last year, 5,111 had no home insurance.
Why contact every individual company in Florida that you want a homeowners quote from when you can just answer a few questions about your home and desired coverage, and get competing quotes from agents? Save time and money with QuoteWizard.
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|1||Citizens Property Insurance Corp||$1,272,336||14.5%|
|2||Universal Insurance Holdings||$695,951||7.9%|
|3||Tower Hill Group||$607,700||6.9%|
|4||USAA Insurance Group||$427,704||4.9%|
|5||HCI Group, Inc.||$311,550||3.6%|
|6||Florida Peninsula Holdings LLC||$310,353||3.5%|
|7||United P&C Insurance Co.||$263,178||3.0%|
|8||St. Johns Insurance Co.||$255,852||2.9%|
|9||ARX Holding Corp.||$249,888||2.9%|
Source: A.M. Best (Ratings as of 8/19/2015)
|Rank||Company||Direct Premiums Written (in thousands)||Market Share|
|2||Citizens Property Insurance Co.||$646,851||6.7%|
|6||United Service Automobile Assurance Co.||$1,406,989||3.4%|
|7||American International Group||$1,219,439||3.0%|
|8||Travelers Companies Inc.||$1,007,793||2.4%|
|*Represents both home and auto insurance|
Many different factors come into play when insurance companies calculate the cost of homeowners insurance. Some, like the age of your home, are within your control. Others, like crime rates or natural disasters, are beyond your control. Here are some of the factors that affect the cost of homeowners insurance in Florida.
Home prices greatly affect the cost of insurance in any given state. A higher average home price generally means higher premiums in that state. For Florida, the average listing price is $309,743 as of July 2015, only somewhat higher than the national average of $284,748.
Burglary is a serious and sometimes violent property crime. States with higher average burglary rates generally have higher average homeowners premiums, because the likelihood that someone will need to file a claim is higher. According to data from the FBI Uniform Crime Report, in 2013, Florida’s average burglary rate was 710.5 per 100,000 people, which is much higher than the national average of 610.0 per 100,000.
States with more law enforcement per capita tend to be safer than states with fewer policemen and women. In Florida, there are 25.9 law enforcement personnel per 100,000 total citizens, which is slightly lower than the national median of 32 per 100,000.
While Florida receives on average of over 2,800 hours of sunlight per year, it also experiences extreme weather. These weather events can be devastating, and thus are major homeowners insurance hazards.
Lightning: Florida is the USA's lighting capital, where storms occur about 100 days of the year. The state's central region is the most at risk, due to its typical combination of high heat, humidity, and rain clouds. These brief flashes of electricity are five times hotter than the surface of the sun. As such, good preparation is required, because lightning can cause power outages, wildfires, and even death. The risk of wildfire is especially high with La Niña conditions, when Florida is abnormally dry through winter and into spring.
Thunderstorms: Associated with the high amount of lightning are thunderstorms, which occur quite often in Florida. These are very common in Florida, and thunderstorm season lasts from spring to autumn. In the summer, thunderstorms occur almost daily, usually brief but intense, and in the late afternoon. These heavy thunderstorms can cause severe damage to roads and homes, and can lead to flooding. It is important to note that the only way to obtain flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Program. Learn more about the NFIP here.
Florida is the most thunderstorm-prone state, home to the top four major US cities on the list of most days per year with thunderstorms. The major US city with the #1 most thunderstorms per year is Tampa, with 82.7 days per year on average. Orlando is second, with 81.8 days, followed by Miami with 72.3 days, and Jacksonville with 68.4 days. Miami is also the #2 rated major US city in terms of total rainfall, most of which occurs between June and October, mostly in the form of thunderstorms.
Tornadoes: Florida experiences frequent, but mild tornadoes. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Florida averages 52 tornadoes per year. Tornadoes are the most violent kind of storm, involving heavy winds that can cause considerable damage to property. Even a weak tornado can uproot trees and cause damage to homes and infrastructure. This risk should definitely be discussed with your insurance agent.
Hurricanes: Florida is the most hurricane-prone state. Hurricane season is June to November, but they are especially common between August and October. While the effects of hurricanes depend on many factors including intensity and size, some of the strongest hurricanes in US history have hit Florida. According to NOAA, 114 hurricanes have hit Florida, about twice the number that Texas has experienced, despite its much larger size. Of these, 37 have been major hurricanes, meaning category 3 or above. Of the total 114, 59 hit northwest Florida and 45 hit southeast Florida, making these two regions the most susceptible. The costliest hurricane in Florida history was Hurricane Andrew, which in 1992 cost the state $25 billion in damage.
Florida’s location in the southeast corner of the US makes it especially vulnerable to strong hurricanes, as they often hit Florida, then lose steam before moving on. And, Florida has four cities on the list of most hurricane-prone major US cities. Miami is #1, with 22 hurricanes. Orlando is second, with 14 hurricanes; Tampa is fourth with 10 hurricanes, followed by Jacksonville, which #6, with seven hurricanes per year. Hurricanes bring winds so forceful, they can completely destroy vehicles and buildings, as well as heavy rains, which can cause flooding and landslides. They can devastate whole cities at a time, and have second-order effects such as tornadoes, spread of disease, and coastal erosion.
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