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Understanding Limits to the Protection Offered by a Standard Homeowner’s Policy

If you are a homeowner in Florida, there are many potential hazards that could threaten your home, such as fires, sinkholes, tropical storms, vandals, personal injury lawsuits, and burglars.  Although homeowner’s insurance can protect your residence, home furnishings, and other items within your home, all standard Florida homeowner’s policies have perils that are not covered and forms of loss that are excluded or subject to coverage limits.

Although the coverage provided by a standard homeowner’s insurance policy can be expanded by paying additional premiums for policy riders, many homeowners are not certain about the scope of coverage under a standard homeowner’s policy in Florida.  In this blog post, our Miami insurance claims lawyers have provided some examples of common perils and forms of loss that are either not part of the protection offered by a standard homeowner’s policy or typically subject to separate policy limitations.

Swimming Pools without Fences & Gates: Florida law requires property owners to enclose swimming pools with fences and gates to mitigate the risk of accidental drowning.  If a property owner installs a swimming pool that is not secured behind a fence to prevent children from unintentionally falling into the pool, lawsuits for brain injuries suffered during a near drowning incident and drownings will not be covered by the homeowner’s policy.

Certain Recreational Equipment: There are certain types of recreational equipment that are considered high risk for injuries, such as trampolines, slides into swimming pools, and diving boards.  Injury claims arising from use of this type of high risk recreational equipment usually are not covered under a standard homeowner’s insurance policy.

Collectables and Rare Art: While the personal property in a residence is generally covered when it is destroyed or damaged by a covered peril like a hurricane, certain potentially high ticket items typically will be subject to special policy limits.  If you have valuable jewelry, art, antiques, coin collections, and similar high valuable collectible items, it is important to carefully review your homeowner/s policy to ensure that you have adequate coverage.  Typically, you will need to purchase a rider that provides additional coverage.
Cash: If you operate a cash business or for other reasons tend to store large amounts of cash around your home, it is important to be aware that homeowner’s insurance generally will not cover cash.  Even if you secure the cash in a commercial grade safe within your home, the cash will still not fall under the coverage of your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Flood Damage: Many people presume that they have flood insurance because they know their homeowner’s policy covers hurricanes, which can cause flooding.  However, flood damage to a home generally must be covered by a separate policy under FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.  The insurance carrier you use for your homeowner’s policy might also be able to provide you with flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Write-Your-Own policy program.  However, the coverage will be part of a separate policy with an additional premium.  Even if you have both forms of coverage, the amount of your recovery might differ dramatically based on whether it is covered by your standard homeowner’s policy or your flood insurance policy.  Whether damage following a severe storm or even the overflow of a swimming pool is considered flood damage or not can be a complex issue, so you should seek legal advice to ensure that your claim is not lowballed.

Dangerous Dogs: Dog bites, mauling incidents, and canine attacks constitute the most significant form of liability claim against homeowner’s, insurance policies.  If you have a dog that is considered a dangerous breed or that has demonstrated that it is vicious based on prior behavior, your insurance might exclude coverage for injuries caused by your dog.

Greenberg Stone and Urbano:  Seeking Maximum Recovery for Homeowner’s Experiencing Wrongful Denials of Insurance Claims

If your insurance company refuses to pay your claim or unreasonably drags out the claims process, our Florida Insurance Coverage Lawyers at Greenberg Stone and Urbano will tenaciously pursue the full compensation you deserve.  For over 130 collective years, our firm has assisted accident victims in personal injury and wrongful death actions across Florida.  We seek to obtain compensation for your tangible and intangible damages, including medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and more.  Our skill and dedication has earned us an AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and recognition as one of South Florida’s top firms by the Miami Herald.   Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.

 

 

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