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6/2/2009 - Homeowner Insurance Required by Condo Owners

The provisions of the Florida Condominium Act were amended in 2008 to require that, beginning in 2009 every condominium owner in the State of Florida must have an HO-6 homeowner's insurance policy on their condominium unit. Florida Statute 718.111 (11) (g)

A letter detailing this requirement and the steps that unit owners need to take to be in compliance with the law was mailed to all condo owners by Castle Management Inc. Click here for a copy of the letter.

If you already have a homeowner's policy with wind insurance, you can probably have your insurance agent handle the compliance details by simply sending them a copy of the letter that was sent to you and asking them to send the required documentation to Castle Management Inc.

If you don't have a homeowner's policy with wind insurance, you will have to get one. And getting one may not be easy as very few main line insurance companies e.g. State Farm and Allstate, offer homeowners insurance for condos in Florida anymore - see Q & A's below for my recommendation.

Q & As

What does the insurance cover?

 H-06 insurance protects against loss from fire, internal or accidental water damage (not flooding from rain or overflowing bodies of water), lightning damage, hurricane damage, and liability losses for accidents to visitors in your home. Theft is included if the condo is your primary residence, but not for investment or rental units.

The insurance covers everything that the building insurance doesn't cover i.e. personal property within the unit, and floor, wall, and ceiling coverings, electrical fixtures, appliances, water heaters, water filters, built-in cabinets and countertops, and window treatments, including curtains, drapes, blinds, hardware, and similar window treatment components, or replacements of any of the foregoing.

Note: Flood insurance from rising water is not included in H-06 insurance policies. It can be purchased separately for about $150/year. If I lived in a ground floor condo unit, I would get this insurance too even though we live in a flood zone with a FEMA x500 annual probability of flooding of 0.2% to 1%.

Why must I to have insurance?

The reason for the law and the insurance is to make sure that homeowners are able to have their unit repaired in the event it is damaged by fire or wind. Imagine for example that your neighbor had a fire in their unit that burned the rugs and kitchen cabinets and scorched the walls. Now imagine that your neighbor didn't have the money to get their unit fixed. They would not be able to live in the unit and you would have a damaged, abandoned, and probably smelly unit next door until they could afford to get it repaired. Not a petty picture. Thus the law requiring unit owners to have insurance.

What is the least I can spend?

I asked my Allstate insurance agent what the cost minimum cost of a policy would be that conformed to the new Florida law.

My question - What would be the minimum policies that Green Cay Village condo owners could get that would meet the new Florida condo insurance law, for $200,000, 2 bedroom condos and $250,000, 3 bedroom condos?

His answer - I would have to place residents without current insurance with Citizens.  The minimum coverage limits would be dwelling $6K and contents $6K.  The premium would be approximately $265/yr. (2/25/2010)

For more information and a quote, contact the Todd Miller Allstate Insurance Agency located just up the street at the corner of Jog Road and Boynton Beach Blvd.

Office: (561) 736-5700
Fax: (561) 736-6868
Email: Todd Miller

Note: Todd Miller is my insurance agent and based on the service he has provided me in the past, I highly recommend him. However, I do not get paid to advertise for him. Also I will accept no responsibility or liability for the service he provides.

What is the effect of decreased property values?

None. While our assessed valuations are down as much as 50% from the original sale price, the assessed value doesn't have any bearing on the price of the policy since the insurance only covers the interior. For example, if a kitchen fire destroyed your appliances and your kitchen cabinets, these would have to be replaced at current market costs independent of what you paid for your unit or it's current assessed value.


Peter Schulz - Editor - Email C

 
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