When it comes to homeowners insurance in Florida, confusion and misconceptions about what types of damage are covered and which aren’t are commonplace. Although standard homeowners insurance covers the structure of your home and its contents, not everything is covered.
Homes in the Lakeland and Plant City areas of Florida are prone to several home damage scenarios that you may be surprised to discover are not covered by your home insurance.
Seven common damages to Florida homes that may not be covered
Earth movement, which refers to earthquakes, sinkholes, and landslides, isn’t covered. You can get separate policies for these types of events.
Polk and Hillsborough Counties in central Florida aren’t prone to earthquakes, but heavy rains, major landscaping construction, and the high water table should be considered as potential causes of earth movement.
Flooding in Polk and Hillsborough Counties
Flooding that’s caused by natural disasters like the typical Florida hurricane is generally not covered. For that, you will need separate flood insurance that you can get from The National Flood Insurance Program. However, accidental flooding such as that caused by a burst pipe in your home is usually covered by home insurance.
The Plant City and Lakeland areas of Florida have a lower flood risk than coastal cities like Tampa. In Lakeland, Flood Factor reports about 4% of properties have a greater than 26% chance of flooding in the next 30 years, giving it a “minor risk” status. In nearby Tampa the flood risk is much higher, with 36% of properties at severe risk. You can find out the flood risk for your specific area of central Florida at FloodFactor.com.
If your home is near Lake Hollingsworth, Lake Morton, Lake Bentley, Lake Parker, or Lake Mirror, check the flood risk map for your home. Call us 24/7 for professional water damage restoration services.
Further reading: Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage?
Sewage backups, which are mainly caused by main line clogs, tree roots, heavy rainfall, and damage to the sewer lines, probably are excluded from your Florida homeowner’s policy. To cover such events, buy a separate policy or an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy.
Because Florida is the fifth rainiest state in the U.S. with an average of 51 inches of rain a year, Plant City and Lakeland FL area homeowners should check their homeowners insurance coverage to ensure they are covered for sewage backups.
Mold in central Florida homes
Mold – Florida homeowner’s insurance coverage for mold depends on what caused mold to grow. If the source of moisture that led to mold was due to neglected home maintenance, it’s very unlikely that you’ll be covered. Also, mold occurring after flood damage caused by natural disasters like a hurricane or tropical storm isn’t covered either.
If the cause of mold growth was due to accidents like fire, lightning, or sudden water issues, then mold remediation is often covered by most homeowner’s policies.
Mold thrives in central Florida. The combination of high humidity (an average of 74% for most of Florida) and warm temperatures of, on average, 83 degrees during the day and 66 at night, make for perfect conditions for mold growth. Homeowners in the Lakeland, Winter Haven, Winston, and Eaton Park FL areas should watch attic spaces, garages, and bathrooms for signs of mold.
“Unfortunately, it is thought that most, if not all, heating and air conditioning systems in Florida will support mold growth at some point,” says the Florida Department of Health. You’ll need a mold remediation company to test for mold that is out of sight.
Read the Top 9 Myths About Mold Debunked
Construction work damage – Standard homeowners insurance likely won’t cover any damage that arises from renovating your Florida home. You may get insurance for that separately, though. Also, when hiring a contractor, make sure they are licensed for any liability.
Termite infestations in central Florida
Termite infestation is a big problem in Florida and throughout the U.S. The National Pest Management Association estimates termites cause $5 billion in damage across the country each year. To avoid this problem, hire a licensed pest control company to inspect your central Florida home regularly.
In its 2021 list of the top cities for termite infestation, Orkin puts Tampa Florida in third place, after Miami at first and L.A. at second. Homeowners in the Lakeland and Plant City areas should be on the lookout for termite swarms in the spring.
Pestworld notes, “In Florida, where temperatures are warmer year round, termites can breed and infest homes earlier in the year, oftentimes before the official first day of spring. The warm, humid climate associated with the Sunshine State makes it the perfect home for many different species of termites.”
Expensive jewelry and art – If your Florida home is burglarized or experiences a disaster like a fire, homeowners insurance will not cover the full cost of your valuable jewelry or art. The payouts are generally limited and you will need to purchase additional coverage for such items.
To learn more about what damage your homeowners insurance does cover, check out Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover Water Damage? and What Questions Should I Ask the Insurance Agent After a Home Fire?
For professional water damage repair or mold removal services, contact us for immediate assistance, 24/7.