6 Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Miami of 2021
Miami has always been a hot town to live in. If you have a house on the coast, you probably have incredible views of the water and lots of natural sunlight coming through your windows.
You have access to sandy beaches and you can work on your tan while relaxing on a chaise lounge. When night arrives, Miami comes alive with its vibrant and bustling nightclub scene.
But everyone who lives in Miami and other coastal towns in Florida knows that living here can be very expensive.
Miami is the most expensive city in Florida.
And Florida is one of the most costly states for homeowners insurance in the country.
If you live in Miami, what really takes a bite out of your paycheck is your homeowners insurance, which is higher in cost compared to the national average.
That’s because the Sunshine State is prone to natural disasters like hurricanes and windstorms that can flood your home and rip its roof off.
However, many people believe that their homeowners insurance can pay for flood damages.
But this is wrong; flood damage in Miami is not covered by a standard policy.
Since natural disasters in Miami always results in flood damage, it’s wise to invest in flood coverage protection.
It will drive up your rates, but it will also give you peace of mind.
If serious wind indeed rips off your roof, you won’t have to worry about paying out of pocket.
Here are capsule home insurance policies that carry unique features with Florida residents in mind.
Best Homeowners Insurance Companies in Miami
State Farm: Best for No-Fee Replacement Costs
Liberty Mutual: Best for Discounts that Lower Your Premium
Travelers: Best for Unique Optional Coverages
Nationwide: Best for Rebuilding or Repairing Your Home
AIIG: Best for Extra Flood Coverage
Farmers: Best for Customer Service
State Farm: Best for No-Fee Replacement Costs
State Farm’s standard policy includes replacement costs without you having to pay a fee.
This means you don’t need to buy a rider to get this feature.
Typically, an insurer will offer ACV, but State Farm covers the current market value of lost or destroyed property even if your property items depreciate.
It will pay in full the amount needed to replace your loss.
In addition, if you insured your home up to its estimated replacement cost, State Farm will automatically extend your replacement cost coverage up to 20%
For example, a covered peril destroys your house that costs
If the cost to hire a contractor and the materials to rebuild your house goes up because of demand, the policy will pay you up to 20% more.
So, you’ll get $240,000 to rebuild your home, which is great!
How Well-Received is State Farm?
J.D. Power ranked State Farm for above-average customer satisfaction.
A.M. Best: A++ rating for its financial strength, which is the highest rating that an insurer can receive.
|Great for customers that want to connect with a local agent.||Affordable coverage, but that’s only if you bundle your home insurance with your auto insurance.|
|Agents offer personalized service.||Only a few discounts.|
|Simple to use website and app.||No unique endorsements.|
|If you have energy-efficient appliances, you can get coverage for that.||Lower than average consumer satisfaction with homeowners claims.|
Liberty Mutual: Best for Discounts that Lower Your Premium
Liberty Mutual is known as the cheapest renters insurance in the nation.
Policy premiums cost around $11 per month.
And then you can get discounts that will lower your rate significantly.
Some of these include bundling, if you haven’t filed a claim and are claims free, and getting a discount if you up the security in your home, such as posting cameras outside, having smoke detectors and smart home features, and adding multiple locks to your doors.
You can also get a discount if you opt for automatic payments linked to a bank account.
These are just some of the discounts you can get. There’s more, making Liberty Mutual one of the best insurers that give back to its policyholders.
How Well-Received is Liberty Mutual?
BBB (Better Business Bureau: A
Ranked #9 by US News and World Report in 2021.
|Available in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.||Higher number of complaints from customers than average.|
|Customer service is available on the weekend.||Insurer may increase the price of your policy or decline to insure you if you own certain dog breeds.|
|Easy to connect to an agent via phone.||Can only purchase up to $25,000 of personal property coverage.|
|Easy online claims filing,||Earthquake coverage not available in all areas.|
|Get 10% off your base policy when you buy it online.|
Travelers: Best for Unique Optional Coverages
Travelers Insurance has the cheapest Florida home insurance rate, $1,762, which is more than half the state average of $3,643.
Travelers has some of the most unique customizable coverage compared to other insurances in the same league.
However, these coverages are add-ons and will increase the cost of your policy.
Still, these add-ons can help. These include:
- Water backup coverage
- Equipment breakdown
- Personal property replacement
- Decreasing deductible
- Identity fraud expense
- Valuable item coverage
- Extended liability
How Well-Received is Travelers?
NAIC gave Travelers a complaint index of 0.50, which means it received only 50% as many complaints as a typical insurer of its size.
AM Best: A++
|Numerous discounts can bring down your rate.||Higher rates than other insurers. A standard policy costs $1,762 a year.|
|Coverage options not found with other insurers.||No monthly payment schedule. When coverage begins, you pay the annual coverage cost upfront.|
|Easy to use website and app.||Not that many add-ons that stand out.|
|Reliable customer service.|
Nationwide: Best for Rebuilding or Repairing Your Home
One of the 10 largest U.S. insurers, Nationwide stands out for offering you unique rebuilding or repairing costs for your home.
One is ordinance or law coverage, which is offered with Nationwide’s standard policy and would cost you extra with other insurers.
With this policy, Nationwide pays to rebuild your home up to current building codes with a limit of up to 10% of your dwelling coverage.
Two, if your home is destroyed and you need it rebuilt, Nationwide’s “replacement cost plus” coverage pays up to an additional 20% more than your policy limit if it costs more to rebuild your house.
How Well-Received is Nationwide?
BBB rating: A+
|Some coverage is standard; other insurers will charge extra for it.||Could offer more in terms of coverage variety.|
|Plenty of discounts to bring down your rate.||Customer reviews claim that pay-outs are not met.|
|Fewer customer complaints than expected for a company of its size.||Not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Louisiana, or Massachusetts.|
|Water backup coverage for damage due to an overflowing sump pump or a backed-up drain.||Doesn’t insure mobile or manufactured homes.|
|Covers losses up to $500 due to unauthorized credit or debit transactions, forged checks, or counterfeit money.||Mobile app can get you a quote or pay your bill, but most of the app is designed for auto policies.|
|One-stop insurer offers most types of personal insurance policies.||Low rating for overall customer satisfaction.|
American Integrity Insurance Group (AIIG): Best for Extra Flood Coverage
American Integrityspecializes in Florida homeowners insurance to cover Florida residents.
You may know that flood damage is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy.
But in Miami, with its catastrophic national disasters, you need to be protected by flood insurance, or else you may have to pay out-of-pocket to replace damaged belongings.
But flood insurance can be costly, so much so that many insurers don’t offer this as either part of their standard policy or else as an add-on.
With AIIG by your side, its comprehensive flood insurance endorsement has rates that are as much as 15% lower compared to other comparable insurers.
AIIG’s flood insurance covers your property against storm surges and flooding during torrential rains, hurricanes, and tropical storms.
This endorsement is truly comprehensive. It has no waiting period and offers up to $5M in coverage for building limits.
|Formed in 2006 in response to the lack of solid home insurance options in Florida.||Comprehensive flood endorsement only available to “qualified customers” in certain areas.|
|Repairs your carport, pool, and screen enclosures.||Reviews on BBB and Clearinsurance contain multiple complaints from policyholders who have to wait for extended periods without contact from insurer.|
|Offers greater coverage limits than its competitors.||Customer complaints regarding the sending of non-renewal notices.|
|Higher coverage amounts for unattached structures, personal property, watercraft, personal liability, and more.|
Farmers: Best Homeowners Insurance for Customer Service
Customer service is ranked high for Farmers because you can call a live agent to buy a policy or make a claim.
Using a website or app for homeowners insurance is certainly convenient, but customers in the older range or who are technically challenged would rather consult with an agent.
Also, policyholders value building a relationship with an agent over time so when it’s time to speak with a customer service rep, they get personalized coverage.
Coverage that Stands Out
With optional coverage, if you need to replace large-item possessions such as a TV or an appliance, your policy with cover the current prices without depreciation.
If you pay on time, you can get a discount.
You can get a discount of up to 10% if you don’t make any claims for three years or more.
How Well Received is Farmers?
Policygenius rating: 7.5
J.D. Power Rating: 3/5
A.M. Best Rating: A
U.S. News and World Reports ranked Farmers #4 in best homeowners insurance companies of 2021.
|Agents offer superior customer service.||Using agents means service is not always available 24/7.|
|The policy provides identity theft protection and credit monitoring for a hard-to-beat cheap rate.||Farmers is one of the most expensive insurance company.|
|Claim forgiveness prevents a rate increase for longtime customers after their first claim.||Policy claims you can get a quote using the app and website, but it only takes your information and passes it on to an agent in your region.|
|Discounts are available for teachers, doctors, and certain other professions.||Some coverages are only available as part of a package.|
|Deductibles decrease over time if no claims are made.|
How We Decided
When it came to determining the best homeowners insurance in Miami, certain items were taken into consideration to help narrow down the choices.
Coverage and Discounts
We looked at homeowners insurance policies based on how much coverage they offered.
Did an insurer offer more coverage options than others?
If the standard insurance policy didn’t offer enough coverage, did it at least have ways to broaden the scope of what it offered? As such, we focused on insurers that had the best add-ons or endorsements.
What mattered most to us, however, are the discounts that each insurer offered. With an eye on keeping costs down (this was also the occasion in which we considered the price of a policy and whether or not it was affordable) we looked at those insurers that had the most discounts that would lower your premium.
Finding many for each insurer, we narrowed down our focus on those that had the most unique or easy-to-qualify discounts. Some insurers won’t take you if you live in a natural disaster area or if your dog is of a certain breed.
By now, every customer looking for an insurer knows how easy it is to get a quote through a company’s website and app.
Since the tech side of an insurer makes it more convenient for potential customers and existing policyholders, it also helps them save time so they don’t have to reach a live agent and wait for him or her to answer.
In addition, we took to customer reviews for accessibility and how easy it is to use a website or app. If many consumers had a rough time navigating a company’s site and app, we removed that company from our list.
Customer reviews were used to narrow down the options. The reviews also helped determine each category.
Using customer reviews allowed us to see how customers chose a company that was based on three points: affordable cost, accessibility, and overall coverage.
Let’s take a look at what you need to know about Miami homeowners insurance, such as what’s covered and what’s not, average costs, and how to stay protected from national disasters.
Is it Mandatory to Buy Home Insurance in Miami?
Homeowners insurance isn't mandatory by law.
However, if you have a home mortgage, the lender will likely require it to protect its investment.
Even if you own your home outright, homeowners insurance can spare you from spending a lot of money on out-of-pocket costs to rebuild your home if it gets damaged due to a covered peril.
What Homeowners Insurance Covers in Miami
Homeowners insurance covers four main categories. These are liability, personal property, loss of use, and medical coverage.
If your neighbor comes over to your home and your floor is wet because you just mopped it, and they slip and fall, sustaining injuries, they might seek compensation from you.
Liability protects you against lawsuits from people who have bodily injuries or property damages that you or your family caused to them.
Furthermore, if your neighbor seeks other damages because their injuries caused them to lose work or business, your liability will cover your legal defense and a standard policy includes up to $100,000 in liability coverage.
This policy protects your personal property in the event there’s a covered peril.
A covered peril is a damaging event that’s covered in your policy such as theft, vandalism, fire, and smoke damage, to name a few.
In Miami, there are two items specific to its location to look out for--theft and climate changes.
Miami’s crime rate is higher than the national average.
Climate change happens frequently in Miami since it’s on the coast and is susceptible to not just hurricanes, but also windstorms, lightning, and other natural disasters.
If climate change damages your personal belongings, you’ll also be covered.
Loss of Use
If there’s a covered peril in your home such as fire and smoke that makes it difficult for you to breathe and makes your house unlivable, loss of use will reimburse you for any hotel stays, as well as for any meals you have at restaurants.
Medical payments pay for medical care expenses if, say like in the earlier example where your neighbor fell and got injured, that occurs in your home, regardless of fault.
It’s important to remember that if medical care exceeds your coverage limits, you will be held responsible for paying the costs that aren’t covered.
So you should consider adding a rider to your insurance to increase your policy limits so you don’t pay for a thing.
Dwelling coverage in your standard policy covers damage to your house and attached structures like a porch.
The insurance will pay enough to rebuild your house or structure.
Will Your Standard Homeowners Insurance Cover National Disasters?
In a word, no.
Floods, earthquakes, and landslides aren’t covered by home insurance.
For example, say your roof starts leaking due to a hurricane. Your standard policy will cover the water damage, but it won’t cover flood damage from the same hurricane.
For coverage, you need special policies such as flood insurance or earthquake insurance.
How Much Does Homeowners Insurance Cost in Florida?
The average cost of basic or standard homeowners insurance in Florida is $3,643 per year, which is $1,338 more than the national average of $2,305 for the coverage level of:
- $300,000 dwelling coverage
- $1,000 deductible
- $300,000 liability
The average flood insurance premium in the nation is $642.
The average amount of flood coverage per policy in the U.S. is $257,000.
These figures are according to the Insurance Information Institute.
However, your rate will go up astronomically if you live near the coast.
And several factors can affect your insurance premium.
If there’s an increased likelihood of experiencing wind damage, your property will make it riskier to insure.
The location of your home is what ultimately impacts your premium. If you choose to move inland where there is no proximity to a body of water, your rate will decrease.
Insurers who decide on your rate also take into consideration your age, gender, marital status, credit score, and claims history.
Coverage for Property Crime
Safety is one of the biggest concerns for homeowners in Miami.
That’s because property theft in Miami is about 70% higher than the national average.
So, if you live near a beach that’s densely populated and has a high crime rate, your insurance rate will be likely high.
But if you own a home that’s a little farther from Miami and is a suburb known for its safe neighborhood, your rate will be lower.
What’s Not Covered in Homeowners Insurance in Miami?
Water damage caused by flooding from a hurricane that ruins your personal belongings is usually not included in a standard policy.
A standard policy will only cover a limited expense that’s not up to the full value of your most prized possessions.
Many things that aren't covered under your standard policy stem from neglect and a failure to maintain your property.
For example, termites and insect damage, bird or rodent damage, rust, rot, mold, and general wear and tear are not covered.
How You Can Protect Your Home and Your Personal Belongings
Since Florida—particularly in Miami, Cape Coral, Tampa, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, and St. Petersburg—has hurricane seasons and frequent wind storms, your home is more susceptible to damage than homes elsewhere in the country.
To make sure you are protected, and before you purchase additional or supplemental insurance, it’s wise to talk to your homeowners insurance agent to properly identify what coverage you need.
While it depends on your home insurance company, you can get added coverage to your standard policy.
Flood and sinkhole insurance and hurricane coverage are policies you can get from your homeowners insurance as a supplemental add-on and which will raise the price of your premium but give you peace of mind that your belongings will be covered.
This includes additional liability protection or added personal belongings coverage for valuables like jewelry and artwork.
For Miami residents, here are the essential coverages that you should not do without.
Flood insurance covers flood-related water damage to your home and all your personal belongings within.
It is not covered in a standard policy and has to be purchased separately from your homeowners insurance as an add-on.
Read more: Best Flood Insurance Companies
Wind damage is covered in a standard policy, but because Miami is a coastal city, wind is more hazardous and can wreak havoc on your home.
If your standard insurance policy may not fully cover you, you may have to pay out-of-pocket.
That’s why wind damage as a special add-on is wise to have.
Guaranteed Replacement Cost
If your home is destroyed, you should have enough homeowners insurance to rebuild your house back to the way it was before the damage.
However, the money needed to repair or replace your home may go beyond your coverage limits and you may have to pay out of pocket.
And when there’s widespread damage in Miami, policyholders will try to get their home repaired as soon as possible to avoid a long evacuation period.
In this sense, then, contractors and their materials will be in short supply.
To fully protect your home, you should get guaranteed replacement cost as a rider on your homeowners insurance policy.
Guaranteed replacement cost is a dwelling coverage offered by some homeowners insurance companies. Check with your insurance agent to see if it’s covered or available, as the coverage can be invaluable to you after a disaster strikes.
So, if you have guaranteed replacement cost and your home is seriously damaged, the policy will pay all the costs needed to reconstruct it regardless of your coverage limits.
The best part is that the policy doesn’t factor depreciation in your claim settlement.
So, if you have this policy, you can rest assured that you are fully covered regardless of how much the rebuild costs.
In Miami, because it is home to recurring natural disasters, your add-on will be very expensive.
Water Backup Coverage
Some types of water damage are covered by a standard policy.
But water backup is not.
Water backup coverage is good to have because it covers flooding due to a broken sump pump or a sewer backup.
A standard homeowners insurance policy does not include sinkhole coverage.
A sinkhole happens when the ground below the land surface gets overflowed with groundwater and eventually collapses inwards.
If you want protection, you can get sinkhole coverage as an add-on policy to cover your house and your personal property from sinkhole damage.
Sinkhole insurance can be invaluable, as it also pays to stabilize your home’s land and covers the cost of repairing your foundation.
Identity Theft Protection
As we suggested, because Miami has a high crime rate, you have more of a chance of becoming a victim of identity theft.
An example can be the fraudulent use of your credit cards or your social security number.
This add-on will help you pay legal fees, any associated bills, and other costs to recover your identity.
What Are the Types of Homeowners Insurance?
There are two primary types of homeowners insurance policies: actual cash value (ACV) and replacement cost.
If your home is damaged, replacement cost will pay the actual cost of rebuilding your home even if there are increases in inflation, zoning updates, labor, materials, or other expenses.
For this reason, replacement cost coverage is more favorable to customers than ACV.
That’s because ACV will pay for repairs up to the preset limits of your policy, and no more. If that limit is $300,000 and repairs cost $400,000, you’re responsible for the difference.
ACV costs lower than replacement cost.
Replacement cost is generally more expensive than an ACV because you don’t have to pay the difference.
You don’t pay a dime.
What Homeowners Insurance Discounts Are Available in Florida?
Homeowners insurance, regardless of what city it covers, often comes with discounts that can lower your premium.
However, discounts, or the type of discounts, vary per insurer but can add up to many savings.
Do your research to find a policy that has the most favorable discounts that apply to you.
The most popular discount that all the insurance companies we looked at have is a multi-policy discount. If you bundle your homeowners insurance with your car insurance, for example, you’ll save more each year.
The following discounts are offered by all Miami insurance companies and are the most popular.
If you install a home security system or security devices like smoke and motion detectors or if you add on more locks to doors that lead to outside, you’ll get a discount.
If your home is new or if you remodel it (like getting a new roof), you’ll also get a discount.
No More Snail Mail
You’ll get a discount if you choose to go paperless and instead get your coverage details and information about your policy electronically.
If you set up direct deposit, that will also save you money.
If you stay with your insurance company for a while, you will earn a loyalty discount.