SoWal Has Lowest Insurance Rates in Florida
January 28, 2013 by SoWal Staff
Lets face it, nobody likes buying insurance. Insurance for our homes and condos is expensive and can certainly be frustrating at times as insurance companies raise rates or change their rules relative to our properties.
In reality Northwest Florida coastal residents have the lowest insurance rates and best availability of coverage of any other coastal area in Florida. We have our neighbors in central and south Florida to thank for that.
The reason that our area has the best rates in Florida is because of the major concentration of insured properties in the highly dense areas central and south Florida. Insurance companies want to spread their risks geographically as much as possible to reduce their exposure to a single hurricane event.
The panhandle has not always enjoyed this situation. The evolution of stricter and better enforced building codes is a major consideration for insurance companies willing to expand their policies in a given area. Walton and Okaloosa Counties have good building departments and adhere to the most recent Florida building codes.
Even though rates do actually continue to be on the rise in all parts of Florida, including our area, the final rates and number of insurance companies willing to compete for your business is much better than other coastal regions.
One of the most important things that a Florida homeowner can do to control their insurance cost is secure a Uniform Wind Mitigation Inspection Report for their home. These reports generate mandated premium credits and are recognized by every insurance company in Florida. The report is a summary of wind mitigation construction components of your home and reduces your premium for meeting as many of the current building code components as possible.
Most homeowners will benefit from securing a wind mitigation inspection from a licensed general contractor or inspection service and the onetime cost of approximately $150 can save a homeowner thousands of dollars over the years.
Shopping around for the best rate is certainly the American way, but be careful. If one insurance company is dramatically less than what you are paying now it could mean that you are giving up valuable coverage and there could be damaging language hidden in the policy that you are not aware of.
Go enjoy the beach and the wonderful things that Sowal has to offer knowing that lower insurance rates are just another great reason to call South Walton home.
Grant Blackwell owns Coastal Insurance Agency in Seagrove Beach and is a 25-year veteran of the Property and Casualty Insurance industry. Coastal Insurance specializes in insuring coastal properties.