Property insurance will vary depending on numerous factors. Please note that I cannot give you any quote on insurance- address those questions to a local insurance broker or agency and they will be happy to provide you with much more accurate information. I’ll however be happy to paint a general picture for you in the details below:
Property Insurance includes coverage for fire theft and vandalism hazards, as well as hurricane coverage. Here’s an important thing to note though: some Florida policies will have a 2% hurricane deductible while others have a 5%. In most all cases, choose the one with 2%, even if it’s a slightly higher premium! A 5% deductible can be a very large out-of-pocket expense. Property Insurance pricing will vary on several factors: Cement block construction (CBS) is cheaper than frame construction to insure. The newer the home's construction, typically the cheaper as well. Note that new construction is especially well priced . Also, those with hip roofs (no blunt ends) instead of gable ends (like a barn) are cheaper too. Proximity to the shoreline or river will also make prices escalate. Rural areas without fire hydrants and locations with only volunteer fire departments cost much more as well (ex: parts of Alva). Mobile home coverage can certainly be pricier too. When obtaining coverage you’ll likely want to get a couple quotes. No single insurance underwriter always has the best rates, so loyalty to one company may not net you a saving here in Florida. Also, pricing tends to fluctuate, so I highly recommend letting an insurance broker shop it on your behalf with multiple providers. The good news is that in general, insurance premiums tend to be lower in our metropolitan area than Tampa, St Petersburg, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Palm Beach and all of the Florida Keys.
To give the reader an idea as to what to expect, on the last couple Single Family Gulf Access pool home sales I was involved in, the hazard insurance policy costs for the year came in at figures between $1200 and $1700 per year. I hear stories from up North where people have been misinformed into expecting huge price tags. Thankfully that’s rarely the real case.
Condo insurance coverage: Condo buildings typically include partial coverage in your monthly homeowner’s fees. Their coverage is typically the exterior of the building, up to about the drywall. They are not responsible for flooring, cabinetry or anything from the drywall inwards. (The exact coverage will depend on the condo). To insure the inside of the condo and your personal belongings request a quote for H0-6 coverage from an insurance agency. I’ve seen prices around $600-800 a year... yours may vary so again, check with a broker.
Flood Insurance in Southwest Florida: This entire region is quite low, and quite flat. Because of this flood insurance is required in a notable number of locations on financed transactions. And if you want the best boating / shortest run to the Gulf / etc it pretty much goes without saying that they’ll be in such an area! If you’d like to see if a potential home of interest is in an area requiring flood insurance, just do the following. Go to this link, type in the address, close the pop-up ‘search result’ by clicking the X in the top right of the box, and view the map results. The classification system can get a little complicated, but here’s the general rule: if you see the letter ‘A’ or ‘V’ in the description or if it says “AE” or “VE” in it (Ex: AE-EL7), flood insurance is mandatory. If it mentions being in a zone B, C, or X it shouldn’t be required. On this system shades of blue, maroon & red are in flood zone. Yellow and brown are not. (If they aren’t displaying on the map click the green ‘layers’ button at the bottom and be sure to checkmark next to ‘flood zone layers.’ Now just because it isn’t required doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have it. In areas that don’t require it, it’s typically pretty cheap. Typically around $440/year. In the event floodwaters damage a property your homeowners/hurricane policy will NOT cover it (even if it happened during a storm with rising waters) so give it some consideration. Flood insurance rates vary by proximity to the shoreline and elevation of the finished floor. Numbers between $600-1200/year are rather common for homes in and around Cape Coral, Fort Myers and Naples. And as a general rule, newer homes tend to be built up a little higher.
Expect to pay more at the beaches and barrier islands for flood insurance (ex: $2300/year). Calculating precise numbers will require an elevation certificate, to determine the base elevation to the property.
And note that when it comes time to ask an insurance agency for a quote- there should be little variation from one agency to another for flood insurance as it’s backed by the federal government.
And please note that when I make mention of “mandatory” flood insurance, etc, I’m referring to the fact that if you finance the purchase, your lender will require that you obtain it. Should you be a cash buyer, you are of course free to do as you please, though in most all cases, it would of course still be highly recommended to place such a policy.
Another thought: Home Inspectors can also obtain a wind mitigation/inspection form for a small fee that can GREATLY reduce insurance costs. When we get to that step in your purchase, I’ll be happy to guide you through the process. We will also be sure to watch out for defective Chinese imported drywall which can cost $25-40 per square foot to totally remediate(!), as well as bad electrical panel boxes, potentially bad plumbing and other items you and the insurance company would take issue with! On homes more than 5 years old we will also be obtaining a ‘4 point inspection report’ as this is another form the insurance companies will require.
Note that sinkholes have historically NOT been an issue in this part of Florida. This can be confirmed by data from the Florida Geological Survey (FGS) and the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP). Those that have made the news in recent years are more towards Central Florida, between Tampa and Orlando.