Hazard Insurance:  Can’t live with it, can’t live without it

It’s already peak season for storms this year. We’ve been lucky so far, but it’s time to think about hazard insurance on any Florida real you are now responsible for due to a recent inheritance.

Where real property is being managed by the Personal Representative of a Florida estate, that person is often faced with asking themselves: what do I do about hazard insurance?  When is it due for renewal?  Will they renew the coverage?  Homestead property- the deceased person’s permanent residence- is not necessarily the responsibility of the Personal Representative to maintain (although it could be if the Personal Representative also receives the homestead from the Estate).  Regardless, the Personal Representative often takes charge and assists with issues like insurance.

In our experience, some insurance companies cancel the insurance as soon as they learn the Florida house is vacant.  Others simply refuse to renew coverage after the policy expiration date if the house is vacant.  And some work with the estate to ensure coverage.   Either way, it is important that the Personal Representative of a Florida estate, or those who inherited the house, contact an insurance agent immediately to discuss their options, and if necessary, obtain coverage for the house in Florida- whether it is vacant (and therefore more expensive to cover), or can be called a "second home."    Many people do not know that once a storm is approaching, most companies won’t write a policy if the storm crosses into an imaginary “box” on the map.  So by the time you start to get nervous, it may be too late to get coverage.

With peak hurricane season upon us, you can’t afford not to be insured.