Does Renters Insurance Cover Hurricane Damage in Florida?

Mandatory Credit: Photo by John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock (13429238b)Vehicles sit in flood water at the Palm Isle apartments in the aftermath of Hurricane Ian, in Orlando, Fla.
John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock / John Raoux/AP/Shutterstock

With Hurricane Ian still barreling across Florida, many renters may be wondering if their insurance covers hurricane damage, including storm surges, flooding and wind damages. The answer is: it depends.

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First, if you are renting your home and don’t have renters’ insurance, you will not be covered for the items you lost, such as furniture, clothes and electronics, according to the law offices of Anidjar & Levine. Your landlord may have homeowner coverage, but that will only provide coverage for the building or house.

Now, if you have purchased a renter’s insurance, it usually only covers the contents in the apartment or rental house, but it won’t cover damage to the building or your vehicles.

“Think of your apartment or rental home as a box. Renters insurance only covers what is inside the box. This coverage does not protect the box itself or things outside of the box. Depending on your insurer, your tenant insurance might provide a limited amount of funds for medical bills, but this type of benefit is not the norm,” according to law offices of Anidjar & Levine.

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Renters insurance typically provides coverage for the following types of hurricane damage, also known as covered perils: fire and lightning, non-flood water damage, falling objects, and wind and hail, according to The Law Place.

Indeed, another important point is that renter’s insurance doesn’t cover flooding — you will need to buy a separate insurance to cover for these damages. Another caveat: there’s a 30-day required waiting period after setting it up, according to WTSP-Tampa Bay.

“If you live in an at-risk area, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation advises that you take out an additional policy so that you are covered in case of storm surges or flash flooding. Although this will make your insurance costs higher, it will probably save you money in the long term,” according to The Law Place.

Finally, one other key point is that by Florida statute, “the application of hurricane deductibles is triggered by windstorm losses resulting only from a hurricane declared by the National Weather Service,” according to the Insurance Information Institute.

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“This means that any damage caused to your property or possessions by a tropical storm will not be covered by your homeowner or renter’s insurance policy,” according to The Law Place.

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About the Author

Yaël Bizouati-Kennedy is a full-time financial journalist and has written for several publications, including Dow Jones, The Financial Times Group, Bloomberg and Business Insider. She also worked as a vice president/senior content writer for major NYC-based financial companies, including New York Life and MSCI. Yaël is now freelancing and most recently, she co-authored  the book “Blockchain for Medical Research: Accelerating Trust in Healthcare,” with Dr. Sean Manion. (CRC Press, April 2020) She holds two master’s degrees, including one in Journalism from New York University and one in Russian Studies from Université Toulouse-Jean Jaurès, France.
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