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Florida Home Insurance Laws And Requirements

Even though it is not mandatory for home owners in the state of Florida to buy insurance, it is better to opt for this policy given the increase in the rate of the occurrence of storms, hurricanes and floods. Having a home insurance policy will help the policy holder to cover costs when the home gets damaged due to natural disasters. However, before insuring their homes, home owners should be aware of certain important home insurance requirements in Florida and the laws that govern insurance companies in the state. Knowledge about the various laws regulating the insurance firms and important factors will help the home owner in Florida to choose the right coverage needed for protecting their house against unforeseen risks and damages.

Office of Insurance Regulation

Matters related to home insurance in Florida such as the premium rates as quoted by the insurance provider and insurance rate filing are regulated and reviewed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. A request for insurance rate filing has to be accepted by this office. If the office finds out that the proposed rates as made by insurance firms are exorbitantly high or inadequate, it can reject an insurance rate filing request.

However, if the insurance filing is in conformity with the laws of the state and is supported by financial rationalization then the office is required to accept the insurance rate filing request. Insurance companies are required to maintain transparency with the office about rate increase. Any dishonest claim on the part of the insurance company can lead to fines and an enquiry into the firm's insurance rates.

Property Insurance Reform Act

New home insurance laws were created by 2007 Florida Property Insurance Reform Act. According to the laws, insurance providers are required to offer home insurance if they provide auto insurance policy to residents of the state. During hurricane seasons, insurance companies are also deterred from hiking rates and dropping home insurance policies. Insurance firms in Florida are also required to present multiple choices to the consumers with regards to home owners' insurance coverage. Insurers can provide different policy choices, including variety of deductive amounts, the inclusion of some types of insured disasters and the number of houses that can be insured. Variety of home insurance policy choices will help middle and low-level income earners in the state to find a suitable coverage for protecting their homes against any unanticipated risks and damages.

Mediation and Appraisal

Florida law requires home insurance claimants to go for mediation if the home insurance claim disputes are found much higher than $500. By doing this, a fair judgment can be reached upon by a neutral third party person. Mediators are required to be certified by the Department of Financial Services. In case there is no mediation agreement, appraisal can be invoked by a Florida consumer. Two capable appraisers are selected by the insurance provider and the homeowner. Appraisers then choose a neutral umpire, who can assess the amount of loss. Of the three appraisers, two are required to give their sanction to the eventual award amount.