Five Frequently Asked Questions About Your Homeowner’s Insurance Policy

If a burst pipe, storm, fire, flood or some other disaster were to damage or destroy your home, would you have the right insurance coverage to rebuild? Below we attempt to answer some of these questions and more as we address some of the most frequently asked questions we receive regularly at Acle Law. As a homeowner, especially in Miami suburbs such as Pinecrest, Palmetto Bay, South Miami and Coral Gables, it’s important that you know what is covered in a standard homeowner’s policy and what is not. You should know where gaps in your coverage exist and how to fill them.

To simplify the answers below, we’re going to assume you have a policy known as a Homeowner’s-3, or HO-3, which is the most common policy across the entire U.S.


Question #1: Am I covered for direct loss due to fire, lighting, theft, windstorm, hail, explosions, smoke and vandalism?

Yes and no. A standard HO-3 provides broad coverage for these and other disasters, or “perils,” as they are typically noted in a policy. It’s important to check the dollar limits of the insurance you carry in your particular policy to make sure you are comfortable with the amount of coverage you have for specific items. However, since we call South Florida home, there are restrictions on your coverage for wind and you need to secure an additional wind coverage policy to protect yourself form hurricanes and other tropical weather.


Question #2: A pipe bursts and water flows all over my house, walls and floors. Am I covered?

Yes. In fact, we’re seeing a rise in these types of claims over the last several years as homes that were built in the 1960s and 1970s across Pinecrest and Palmetto Bay used copper piping, which is now reaching the end of its typical lifespan. Burst pipes and the ensuing water damage can be extensive. It’s a good idea to check your plumbing system at least once a year so you can address problems before they arise.


Question #3: Am I covered for flood damage?

No. Most of South Florida is considered a flood-prone area, so it’s wise for you to consider purchasing an extra flood insurance policy. The federal government, under a program run by the Federal Insurance Administration, provides flood insurance. You should work with your insurance representative directly in order to secure the flood coverage you need.


Question #4: Are my jewelry and other valuables covered?

Yes. The standard policy provides only from $1,000 to $2,000 for theft of jewelry. If your jewelry is worth a lot more, you should consider purchasing higher limits. You may also want to consider adding what is called a “floater,” which will provide higher limits not afforded in your normal policy while covering specific pieces of jewelry and other expensive possessions such as paintings, silver, china, or electronic equipment, for example.


Question #5: A tree falls on my house during a storm and damages my roof. Am I covered?

Yes. You are covered for the damage to your rood. You are also covered for the removal of the tree, generally up to a $500 limit. You should cut down dead or dying trees near your home and prune overhanging branches as safety precaution because while your insurance does cover damages, a falling tree or branch could injure you or your family.


If you have experienced loss from a storm, burst pipe, theft, vandalism, fire – or you have questions about your existing policy - contact one of our experienced South Florida property insurance lawyers at Acle Law Firm for a free consultation. We will walk you through the terms of your insurance policy and provide representation in any dispute in Florida where your insurer is denying, delaying or under-paying your claim. Call our Miami property insurance claim attorneys at the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit Acle Law for a free consultation