Reading insurance policy documents is about as fun as, well, reading insurance policy documents. Although it probably ranks somewhere between a visit to the dentist and cleaning your gutters, reading your insurance policy is a necessary evil if you want to ensure that your policy information is correct and you’re receiving the right amount of coverage for your home and belongings.
Fortunately, you don’t have to painstakingly read through every page of your Florida homeowners insurance policy to understand your key coverage. The Declarations Page is a condensed overview that provides a quick overview on your homeowners insurance policy. Think of this "Dec Page" as the “Cliffs Notes” for home insurance coverage.
Understanding Your Florida Home Insurance Policy Declarations Page
Use the tips below to better understand the information included in your home insurance policy Declarations Page.
Primary Information: Always make sure the information in this section is accurate. The mailing address and insured policy location are both located in this section. The insured policy address should exactly match the address of the property you’re insuring and not the mailing address.
Section I: This section displays your coverage liability limits and annual premium. The coverages in this section range from A-D depending on your policy type. Contact your local agent or insurance company for help if you are unsure about any of your coverage amounts.
- Dwelling (Coverage A) - Think of Coverage A as the amount it would take to rebuild your home. This amount may not be the same as your home’s market value (and often isn't).
- Other Structures (Coverage B) - The amount listed here covers damage to a detached garage, work shed, fencing or similar structures.
- Personal Property (Coverage C) - This is the amount available to repair or replace your personal belongings. Examples include furniture, clothing, jewelry, television, stereo, and appliances.
- Loss of Use (Coverage D) –This coverage provides you money for living expenses you experience while you are living away from your home if your home becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril.
Section II: This section displays your liability limits for Coverages E and F.
- Personal Liability (Coverage E) – This offers you coverage for lawsuits from accidents occurring on your property.
- Medical payments (Coverage F) – This covers medical expenses for a person who does not live at your residence and is injured on your property.
Forms and Endorsements: This section includes a list of the policy forms and endorsements that apply to your policy. Review these forms to better understand your policy. Your local agent can help you better understand items listed in this section.
Rating Information: This section displays factors that affect how your rate is calculated. Check the accuracy of these factors, especially year built, device credits, and usage. If you have devices that might make you eligible for insurance discounts, such as burglar alarms and automatic sprinklers, make sure they are listed here.
Deductibles: This is the amount you must pay before insurance will cover the damage caused by a covered peril. It’s important to note that residents of Florida, and most coastal states, have two different deductibles for their policy:
- All Other Perils (AOP): This is generally a flat fee and applies to damage caused by any covered event except for a hurricane.
- Hurricane: This is generally a percentage of your Coverage A amount. When selecting your hurricane deductible, it's important to consider an amount that would be affordable for you if your home is damaged by a hurricane. This will help avoid delays in the repair of your home.