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February 17, 2023

Coastal Homeowner Insurance - Being better prepared for the storm

It’s finally happening --  after years of planning and saving, you’re ready to fulfill your dream of buying a home on the water. Now that’s something to celebrate, but before you start planning your first beach party, or sign up for sailing lessons, we’ve got a word of advice: make sure your second home is properly insured. 

Houses on or near the water require more, and different, insurance coverage than homeowner’s insurance policies typically offer. Whether you’re planning to spend winters in your second home on Florida’s Gulf coast, or have just purchased vacation property on the Atlantic, you’ll need to protect it from flooding, wind damage and other types of destruction caused by dangerous weather systems including hurricanes. 

Coastal property insurance will give you peace of mind knowing that, in the event of a natural disaster, you’ll be able to work with your trusted, knowledgeable insurance agent who will make getting your home the repairs it needs and replacing your belongings a priority. And depending on the location of your property, coastal homeowners’ insurance might even be required. 

What is coastal homeowners’ insurance?

Sometimes called beach house insurance, coastal homeowners’ insurance is a comprehensive insurance policy designed to protect homes that are close to or on the water. It’s an insurance plan that considers the fact that coastal homes are prone to damage from storms. 

Most coastal home insurance policies offer replacement cost coverage to help pay for damages or replacing property without deducting for depreciation. And while many coastal home policies protect dwellings from damages caused by heavy rain and lightning, for example, only some cover damages cause by hail and wind. 

In fact, to be fully protected, you’ll likely need to purchase additional flood and windstorm insurance. It's also important to note that some coastal property insurance policies include higher deductibles for hurricanes, or other named storms.

Frequently asked questions about coastal homeowners’ insurance

Now, maybe more than ever, people are investing in second home property – especially on the Florida and Carolina coastlines. This, coupled with the fact that storm systems are growing more severe, and hurricanes more frequent, means that coastal homeowners’ insurance is in high demand. 

If you’re in need of coastal home insurance but don’t know where to start, take a look at our answers to these frequently asked questions. 

What does coastal homeowners’ insurance cover? 

Standard coverage for coastal home insurance usually covers damages from fire, hail, snow and rain and lightning. It covers losses to the property and its contents and protects you from a lawsuit in the event that someone using your property (as well as their property) is protected. What it does not usually cover, however, is water damage, wind damage, and any damage caused by flooding. 

Will I need additional coverage for hurricanes or floods? 

Most likely, yes. Hurricane and flood endorsements can supplement your standard coverage. Flood insurance is sold through local agents as part of a national program by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  Hurricane, or windstorm insurance as its sometimes called, can be added as an endorsement to the policy you already have. 

It’s worth noting that, if you are declined by coastal home insurance carriers three times, you can apply for hurricane and wind damage coverage through the FAIR Plan, a program that aims at protecting homes on the water so that government agencies don’t absorb the cost if they’re damaged or destroyed by a major hurricane. 

Do I really need coastal homeowners’ insurance?

In general, if your home is three miles away or less from the coast, you will need coastal home insurance. This will likely be a requirement of most insurance carriers when they’re writing your policy. You might also be required to hold additional insurance if your home is within ten miles of the beach. 

This is why it’s important to work with a knowledgeable, experienced insurance agent who understands coastal homeowners’ insurance and can tailor a policy that’s best for you and your home. 

How much does coastal property insurance cost? 

Costs can vary, but on average, the annual cost of standard coastal homeowners’ insurance policy is about $1,000/year with a $1,000 deductible. However, hurricane and flood insurance can reach up to $10,000/year in Florida, and about $7,000/year along the Carolina coast. 

How are the deductibles set for coastal home properties? 

Deductibles are usually set at a flat fee for hurricane or other named storms. Or the deductible will be within 1-5% of the total property value of your home. The amount takes into account the location of your home, it’s inherent risks and other factors. 

If your coastal home needs protection, the team at Roehr can help. We work with homeowners across Cincinnati and beyond who have second homes on the coast, so you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your second home is as protected as your primary residence. 

Coastal homeowners’ insurance can be complicated, but Roehr agents are experienced – we can help you navigate the waters, so you have the right coverage to keep your beach property safe.

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