We at Showcase Properties of Central Florida LOVE our office space. Just around the corner from both OBS and the Airport, we’ve been very fortunate to have a professional space with such a great location. Unfortunately, in October 2019, our office experienced a completely unexpected accident– our office flooded overnight. By the time we arrived, water was pouring from the ceilings and light fixtures down the walls to the flooring, where it soaked the carpets, drywall, and much more throughout our office.
While many may focus on the negatives, we’ve decided to use this situation as an educational tool for both ourselves and our customers. While we did experience quite a bit of loss from this event, we were fully covered by our insurance, which made all the difference between a catastrophe and a salvageable learning experience.
We wanted to take the time to highlight the importance of property insurance. A home is one of the biggest and most costly investments most of us will make throughout our lives. However, it’s also the investment that’s often the most vulnerable to a number of risks beyond our control. Storms, injury liability, flooding, vandalism– insurance safeguards your home (and your wallet!) from these and other debilitating circumstances. But not all insurance is the same. We’ve put together a list of things to keep in mind while figuring out the best policy for your needs and budget:
1. Consider the property’s location:
If you’re in the market for a new home, keep in mind that the location of your new home may impact how much you pay for home insurance. Homes that are more likely to be affected by natural disasters may be higher than those with a low likelihood of being affected. Crime rates and building costs in the area may also affect rates in the area.
2. Pay attention to the company rating:
If you’ve ever used Yelp to help you decide on a restaurant, then you’ll understand the importance of checking a specific company’s ratings when searching for the best fit for homeowners insurance A.M. Best is a wonderful source for those looking for the ratings of virtually any insurer in the United States.
3. Shop around:
We all want the best deal on what we buy. Insurance is no different, and we recommend shopping around to make sure you’re getting the best coverage for your needs at a reasonable price. Get a handful of home insurance quotes and compare their coverage, limits, and deductibles before making a decision, and make sure you’re not sacrificing your coverage for a bare-minimum pricing. 24/7 support and quality customer service never hurt, either!
4. Know what’s covered:
Homeowner’s insurance can have a broad range of coverage types, with a huge range of possible claims. It’s worth going over specific scenarios with the insurance company before settling on a specific policy. If your jewelry is stolen, does your contents insurance reimburse the purchase price or the depreciated value? Does a leaky roof fall under water damage or flooding? Thinking ahead to possible incidents eliminates surprise– and in the end, can help you figure out what other insurance plans you may need.
Your policy is important, and understanding what is an isn’t covered is important when making a decision about the best policy for you. If you have any questions or doubts when looking at a proposed policy, call and speak with your insurer to make sure you are up-to-speed on exactly what is and isn’t included in coverage.
5. Figuring out how much coverage you really need:
Figuring out how much coverage you actually need on your home means juggling a lot of variables. What’s the rebuild cost of your home? Does your home have a history of claims from the previous owner? How much stuff do I need to protect? And that’s just the beginning. An insurance representative should be able to help you determine exactly how much coverage you should have, and we definitely recommend you speak with them openly and honestly when researching the best policies.
Some additional things to keep in mind:
Flooding caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes and flash floods is NOT covered under homeowner’s insurance, but a separate Flood Insurance policy. Floods resulting from a burst pipe or other internal factors may be covered, depending on your policy. You can find out more about flood insurance at our blog here.
Florida does not require homeowner’s insurance. However, homeowner’s insurance may be required by your mortgage company! If you fail to keep your home insured, your lender has the ability to find coverage for you, and charge you in your loan premiums. If you own the home outright, coverage is up to you. However, we highly recommend maintaining a policy even if you do own your home.
While we are working on getting our office back up and in order, we were extremely lucky to have been fully insured. Unusual circumstances can be devastating, especially if you never considered they’d happen in the first place. Luckily, insurance is the shield between you and paying thousands of dollars out of pocket to cover unexpected incidents.
We are so thankful we were fully insured from a flooded office, and repairs are currently underway to get our office back into working order. Our office neighbors at Farm Bureau Insurance were kind enough to open their doors to us in the interim, meaning you can find us Monday – Friday from 9:00 to 5:00 right next door to our usual office.
We’d also like to extend our gratitude to ServPro of Ocala, who have been instrumental in removing excess water and getting our office to a point where beginning the repairs is a possibility. We highly recommend contacting Servpro of Ocala in the event you experience any floods, fire, mold, biohazards, and more. You can check their website to see their full range of services here.
Please feel free to reach out to us at 352.351.4718 for any questions or updates on our location. Thank you!