Insurance rates vary by age of home, size of home, conditions of home, and location of home. Insurance is more expensive if you live near any type of water – pond, lake, river, Gulf. Insurance is more expensive if home was not built to current hurricane standards. You can get discounts the home qualifies for by having a wind mitigation inspection done at the same time as your home inspection. Discounts are available for building features that reduce damage during high wind events. Overall discounts include things such as age of home, style of roof, how close the home is to a body of water, how close to a fire hydrant, how the roof is tied down, if the home has hurricane shutters or impact resistant windows, frame or block home, etc.
If the home is in a flood zone, the insurance company will require a flood elevation certificate. That can be obtained by paying a survey company to prepare it. To check Flood Zones go to www.floodsmart.gov and type in the address of the property. It will give you the flood zone, rates, and insurance companies. If you are obtaining a mortgage, flood insurance may be mandatory. You can also check with the county tax records for the flood designation. When you purchase a condo, you are not required to purchase flood insurance for your particular unit. That is done through your homeowner/condo association fees.
National Flood Insurance Program – http://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
Flood Insurance April 1, 2015 – http://nfipiservice.com/Stakeholder/FEMA4/ATTACHMENT%20A%20-%20April%201,%202015%20Summary%20of%20Program%20Changes.pdf
Flood Maps – https://hazards.fema.gov/femaportal/prelimdownload/
Flood Insurance Grandfathering Rules – https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pdfs/Grandfathering%2BFact%2BSheet%2Bfor%2BAgents-2010.pdf
Get quotes from several different agencies and make sure you are asking for the exact type of policy from each agency; same coverage and same deductible. Ask questions such as what and who is covered? Do I have enough? What might be excluded? Does it cover water damage? Does it cover replacement cost? What discounts does my home qualify for? Are there limits on valuables?
State Insurance, Port Charlotte & Punta Gorda – Brian Chapman, 941-979-8426
AAA Insurance, Port Charlotte, FL – 941-627-1544
Island Insurance, Port Charlotte, FL – Mary Laurie, 941-764-8050
Key Agency, North Port, FL – 941-429-9709
Tower Hill Insurance – 800-342-3407