November 9, 2021

A Guide to Florida Landlord Insurance

Learn what factors affect the price of Florida landlord insurance for your rental properties.

A Guide to Florida Landlord Insurance

Boasting everything from white sand beaches and amusement parks to vibrant nightlife and entertainment, Florida is among the top vacation destinations in the United States — not to mention a leader in the rental property market.

But sunny skies and subtropical temps come at a steep cost to homeowners, particularly for coastal properties that have a much higher risk of damage from hurricanes, storms, and flooding. The average annual cost of Florida landlord insurance is $2,340, while the national average is about $1,957 per year.

Learn what factors affect the price of Florida property insurance, why you need it, and how to find the best coverage at the lowest cost for your rental properties.

Why are landlord insurance rates so high in Florida?

Usually, landlord insurance policies are 20% more expensive than traditional homeowners’ policies. This is because tenants are considered a greater liability, and in turn there’s a higher expected risk of property damage. 

In Florida, this is exacerbated by several other factors — one of the most significant being catastrophic weather events. Between wildfires, hurricanes, and tornadoes, the average amount of property damage per year in Florida is $3.45 billion

While every landlord needs to protect their investment in rental properties, it’s absolutely essential in Florida, where unexpected weather could cause damage that costs thousands of dollars. In fact, wind and hail damage accounts for $11,000 in annual building damage claims, while water damage sits at $9,000 per year. 

Alongside weather damage, theft and burglary are another leading cause of high property insurance rates in Florida. The average yearly building damage claims for theft and burglary in Florida are $4,000.

Recent events also have a role to play in high insurance costs, most notably the Surfside condo collapse that killed at least 97 people in Miami. After this tragedy, many insurance companies threatened to cut off coverage for older buildings that weren’t up to safety code. Florida’s unpredictable weather, paired with this unfortunate event, have only increased hesitancy around insuring coastal properties. 

How much insurance do I need for my Florida investment property?

While some states and zip codes require minimum coverage or specific policies — as do mortgage companies — choosing how much insurance you buy is mostly a personal decision. That said, there are some important factors to consider when setting the limits of your personal property and liability coverage, including:

  • Your property’s unique risks. Are you on the coast? Close to a body of water? In a high-rise building? If so, your property may be more susceptible to damage from wind, water, and other natural perils. Be sure to have coverage in place for these types of perils, and ask your agent to recommend other policies or coverages that may help you be more comprehensively protected.
  • How much of your personal property is available for tenant use. What personal property can tenants use, and how expensive is this property? This helps determine your personal property limits on a landlord insurance policy.
  • Your personal risk tolerance. What makes the most financial sense for you? Are you willing to have a higher deductible for lower premiums?

Important considerations for Florida property insurance

Though Florida property insurance is not required by law, it’s an essential part of protecting your investment. If you’re thinking about getting Florida landlord insurance, you will most likely need to pass a four-point inspection that allows insurance companies to see the status of your property and determine risk factors before providing coverage. 

The inspection examines the following elements of your property:

  • Roof. The covering material, age and condition, and existing leaks or damage.
  • Electrical system. The type of wiring, electrical panel functionality, and overall condition of your electrical system.
  • Plumbing. The type of supply and drain lines, age and condition of your plumbing system, and any signs of leakage.
  • HVAC. The property's air conditioning and central heating, age and condition of units, and any signs of leakage.

Passing this inspection is mandatory to obtain Florida property insurance from a growing majority of carriers — so be sure that your property is safe and up to code before the inspector arrives at your door. 

Tips for lowering your Florida property insurance premium

Your premium depends on a number of factors, including geographic location, property condition, and claims history. You can also change your rates by adjusting your desired coverage and deductible. Here are a few tips to help you lower your Florida property insurance premiums:

1. Schedule a wind mitigation inspection 

A wind mitigation inspection, or a windstorm mitigation inspection, is when a certified professional looks over your property for specific weather withstanding features that could help decrease property loss from hurricane winds. 

This includes an inspection of door and window coverings, roof attachments, water resistance, and how well the roof is sealed to prevent water damage. Though a wind mitigation inspection is not mandatory to get Florida property insurance, the average cost of this inspection is $100 — and can end up saving you hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your annual premium. These inspections are also valid for five years and will help you discover what additional improvements you can make to your property to prepare for future disasters. 

In advance of your wind mitigation inspection, familiarize yourself with the following information:

  • Building code
  • Roof covering
  • Roof-deck attachment
  • Roof-to-wall attachment
  • Roof geometry
  • Secondary water resistance
  • Opening protection

2. Consider raising your deductible 

In Florida, you have the option to adjust your standard deductible, as well as your hurricane deductible, to reduce your premium. For this reason, raising your deductible can be a strategic opportunity to lower your premium. That said, make sure you aren’t taking on too big of a deductible in the event that you need to make a large claim. 

3. Relocate strategically 

As a rental property owner, you understand the unique pressures of renting your home to tenants — especially on the coast. If you are considering relocation, opt for an inland property that is farther away from the water but still a desirable destination. By reducing your property’s risk of hurricane damage, you can potentially save significant cash on Florida property insurance and annual premiums. 

4. Partner with a specialized local insurance agent through Azibo

Navigating lengthy property insurance policies is difficult in any state — but especially in Florida. Committed to enhancing the landlord experience, Azibo is the only national online commercial insurance producer focused solely on independent landlords. 

According to NerdWallet, the average cost of homeowners insurance in the U.S. is about $1,631 per year. This would mean the average landlord premium is approximately $1,957 per year. Yet many Azibo customers pay annual premiums well under $1,000 for landlord coverage. We’re proud to provide you with quick access to a curated set of high-quality insurance carriers — so you get the right coverage, at the right price. 

Ready to put insurance headaches and hassles in the past? Azibo is here to help. Simplify the Florida property insurance process and get your free quote today

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Looking for more state-by-state insurance guides? Check out these resources:

Guide to New York Landlord Insurance

Guide to California Landlord Insurance

Guide to Illinois Landlord Insurance

Azibo Insurance Services LLC f/k/a Zibo Insurance Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Azibo Inc, is a licensed insurance producer. Contact us to discuss your specific insurance needs.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post does not, and is not intended to, constitute insurance advice; instead, all information, content, and materials are for general informational purposes only. This content may not constitute the most up-to-date insurance information. Readers must contact a licensed insurance agent or company to obtain quotes, advice, and guidance with respect to any insurance matter. No reader, user, or browser of this article should act or refrain from acting on the basis of information herein without first seeking the advice of a licensed insurance producer.