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ByPhilip Palermo Lead Senior Editor - For the Home

Philip leads the For the Home section, guiding home security and smart home content. His writing and photos have been featured on Engadget and several local Washington newspapers.

The Best Florida Homeowners Insurance Companies

The best Florida homeowners insurance companies protect against the extreme weather of the Sunshine State without breaking the bank. This means companies that insure your home against hurricanes, wildfires, and tornadoes, all while providing affordable coverage and the financial strength to pay out your insurance claims. While Florida has some of the highest average insurance rates in the country, there are a lot of factors that go into homeowners insurance rates, and you’re going to want to shop around to determine which provider can offer the best deal. We’ve put together a list of our six top picks for homeowners insurance in the Sunshine State to help you get started.

The Best Florida Homeowners Insurance Companies: Summed Up

The 6 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Florida

Tower Hill Insurance Group

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
Tower Hill Insurance Group

Tower Hill Insurance Group

Tower Hill Insurance Group is the third-largest homeowners insurance provider in Florida, but it provides some of the most extensive services, including coverage for water, sewer, valuables, and even identity theft. Tower Hill also offers its own flood insurance. Although Floridians can purchase flood insurance through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program, Tower Hill’s flood insurance provides coverage for up to $5 million in building replacement costs and $3.5 million for your home’s contents. For context, the NFIP typically only covers up to $250,000 in building replacement costs and $100,000 for personal belongings

We found Tower Hill to be affordable when we compared insurance rates, especially given the comprehensive nature of coverage offered. Tower Hill’s Emerald Endorsement offers a package that can cover additional items, and its Imperial Shield program is designed to meet the needs of high-value homeowners. Not only is it affordable, but it’s also reliable: Tower Hill received an A- rating from A.M. Best, which means it is very likely to meet its financial commitments (i.e., pay your claims).

If you’re new to insurance, Tower Hill has a trove of resources available on its website to kick-start your research process. The willingness to help doesn’t stop there — Tower Hill’s customer service reputation is solid as well. It offers live chat, which is a great option for people don’t want to sit on hold, but when we called Tower Hill’s customer service, we were able to connect with a representative in under a minute.

State Farm

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
State Farm

State Farm

State Farm is the only national insurer on our list aside from USAA, and it comes with a national acclaim. It received an A++ rating from A.M. Best — the highest possible ranking — and it offers a variety of coverages, including umbrella liability coverage, personal property coverage, and identity theft coverage. State Farm also includes a long list of discounts: If you’re looking for a multi-line discount for both auto and home insurance, for example, you might want to start with State Farm.

We appreciated State Farm’s easy-to-navigate website, its educational articles, and its customer service — as with Tower Hill, we were able to speak to a representative in under a minute. However, one of the biggest differences between State Farm and Tower Hill is the gap in rates. Upon comparing rates through the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, we noticed that State Farm’s were, on average, more expensive than Tower Hill’s. It’s also important to note that, like many homeowners insurance policies, State Farm does not provide flood insurance — so you might have to look to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for coverage. Our suggestion: Compare State Farm and Tower Hill for yourself by speaking to an agent or asking for quotes from both, as rates will vary.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation's state-backed insurance program is often called the “insurer of the last resort,” because it’s available to people who don’t have other insurance opportunities — but that doesn’t mean we need to put it last on our list. Citizens doesn’t offer as many coverage packages as Tower Hill or as many discounts as State Farm, but it does include options like personal property coverage and sinkhole damage coverage. You can also get discounts for installing fire or burglar alarms and installing wind-mitigation features in your home.

We were impressed with Citizens Property’s Learning Center — like Tower Hill, Citizens offers educational materials in both text and video form to help you better understand how to dissect policies. Unlike Tower Hill, Citizens Property also caters to Spanish speakers. However, there is no online form to request a quote — you have to speak directly to an agent to do this or request any specific information.

We were less impressed with Citizens Property’s customer service. Although the representative we spoke with was able to answer our questions, we had to navigate through multiple phone trees with lengthy menu options just to get the opportunity to talk to a person.

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc.

Universal Insurance Holdings (subsidiary: Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company) is the largest insurance provider in Florida and offers a wide range of optional coverage and discounts to cater to a variety of homeowners. Along with basic coverages, like homeowners insurance and personal property insurance, customers can also opt for limited animal liability, debris removal, personal injury, and a whole host of other add-ons. On top of that, customers might be eligible for discounts for things like getting a new roof, installing wind mitigation devices, and being claims-free. There's even a senior citizen discount for occupants over the age of 65.

Overall, Universal Property and Casualty has a sound reputation, with an A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau’s site. This means that the majority of people are pleased with the company as a whole. That said, most complaints deal with products and less-than-stellar customer service; if you're concerned about the quality of the company's service, it may be worth chatting to a rep yourself.

Universal does offer an online quote tool (and live chat) that can actually be pretty helpful when trying to gauge the annual price of your policy. The more information you fill in about your home, the more accurate the estimate appears on the right-hand side of the page. The tool even has a guide to help explain each step of the process. You can fill in as much information as you want, gauge a price, and continue with the process, or you can leave, conduct a quick comparison evaluation, and come back later. This is more interactive and results-oriented than most of our other contenders, which often feature online quote tools that end up directing you to an agent for more information. Granted, speaking to an agent will probably help you get you the most personalized and specific information possible, but we still appreciate the level of detail.

FedNat Insurance Company

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
FedNat Insurance Company

Federated National Insurance Company

Federated National Insurance Company is very forthcoming about its Demotech, Inc. financial stability rating of “A” ("Exceptional") and for having an A+ from the Better Business Bureau. While we tend to put more stock in ratings organizations like A.M. Best, Moody’s, and S&P Global, Demotech, Inc. is also a reputable judge of a company’s financial standing and has been in business since 1985. This means you can rely on FedNat to have the financial clout to settle your claims. However, we would have liked some more information about available plans and policies on FedNat’s site. As it stands, its website provides only a single generic paragraph about the benefits of homeowner insurance before urging you to contact an agent for a quote. On the plus side, you can fill out a quote request online and, like Citizens Property, FedNat also caters to Spanish speakers.

You can also buy umbrella liability insurance and flood insurance through FedNat, but you aren’t going to learn much about these policies until you talk to an agent. There isn’t even a learning center to help you understand what types of insurance you might need as a homeowner.

Although the lack of information on FedNat’s website likely won’t satisfy an initial search, even with the online quote request tool, it certainly isn’t uncommon among local insurance providers. The trend isn’t going unnoticed, though. Insurance companies have historically favored human interaction for sales purposes, and this has caused a lag in their reach to millennials, especially. However, as more people look to the web for quick answers, there is a significant amount of pressure for insurance companies to adapt.

USAA

Best Companies For
Florida Homeowners Insurance
USAA

USAA

If you’re one of the more than 55,000 active-duty military service members in Florida, USAA is definitely worth checking out (USAA is exclusively for active or retired service members and their families). With its solid financial strength, you won’t have to worry about the company being unable to settle your claims, and the company’s five out of five in overall customer satisfaction means you’ll likely walk away satisfied with your experience.

USAA’s site is easy to navigate, with each and every product (including homeowners insurance) clearly outlined along with any discounts. The company’s homeowners insurance policies cover things like fire, theft, and vandalism, as well as damages caused by most weather-related events. This last item is especially nice, since the Sunshine State isn’t always so sunny. The policy also caters directly to service members’ specific needs, such as coverage for uniforms should they be lost in a disaster.

Guide to Florida Homeowners Insurance

How much is homeowners insurance in Florida?

Make good use of the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s online rate comparison tool to make informed decisions about insurance in your area, especially if a provider’s website urges you to pick up the phone in order to gain any inkling as to the policy’s specifics. Although this tool doesn’t give you a personalized quote, it does let you select from a few different sample homes and view typical insurance rates for that type of home in your county.

For example, when we looked at potential rates for a $300,000 new construction home in Polk county, we learned that Tower Hill offered the best rates, starting at $1,896. Meanwhile, State Farm offered the most expensive rates at $4,420. You’ll want to get a quote of your own, but this tool can help you get an idea of which insurers offer the lowest rates for your property and in your area.

Tower Hill Prime
$1,896
Tower Hill Select
$2,064
Tower Hill Preferred
$1,980
Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company
$2,225
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
$2,128
Tower Hill Signature
$2,347
FedNat Insurance Company
$2,739
State Farm Florida Insurance Company
$4,420

Look for flood insurance

Flood insurance is a must in most Florida counties — but it isn't included in a standard homeowners insurance policy. If your insurer doesn’t offer a separate flood insurance policy, you can buy flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a U.S. Department of Homeland Security initiative to ensure that homeowners in areas affected by floods have the opportunity to purchase coverage.

Prepare to pay for a hurricane deductible

Florida is among 19 states (plus the District of Columbia) that require homeowners to have hurricane deductibles in addition to their standard insurance deductible. Hurricane deductibles are calculated as a percentage of the total value of your home, and in Florida, these deductibles can be as high as 10%.

Florida Homeowners Insurance FAQ

What is the average cost for homeowners insurance in Florida?

Florida has some of the highest homeowners insurance rates in the country. According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Florida homeowners with an HO-3 policy pay an average rate of $1,918. That’s over $700 more than the national average of $1,192. In order to make sure you’re getting the most bang for your buck, it’s important to really shop around for quotes and consider as many providers as possible.

Is it mandatory to have homeowners insurance in Florida?

No. While Florida law doesn’t require homeowners insurance, your mortgage lender might. If you decline to get coverage, some lenders may take the liberty of obtaining and placing coverage on your property in what is called a “force-placed” policy. They can then charge you for the policy and your loan premiums, which can add up to a lot more than if you were to just carry over homeowners insurance to begin with. Plus, with all the risk of owning a home in the Sunshine State — wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods — you’re going to want to make sure you have coverage for your home even if it isn’t necessarily mandatory.

Why are Florida rates increasing?

Florida has high insurance rates to begin with, and they’re only getting higher — especially because Florida contractors are filing more and more assignment of benefits claims. In some cases, homeowners are unaware that they are even signing over their benefits. The Tampa Bay Times reported that “assign over the benefits (AOB)” claims have gone up by nearly 7,000% in the last decade — and the more insurance companies have to deal with AOB claims and lawsuits, the more they have to raise their rates to compensate.

What is an AOB claim?

Here’s how an AOB claim works: A contractor offers to fix a common household problem, such as a burst water pipe, while also asking homeowners to sign over their insurance benefits — essentially seeking payment from the insurance company. If a contractor independently approaches you about damage to your home, they might be trying to get an AOB claim out of you — so tell them you’re not interested. You can always hire your own contractor if you need one.

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