A homeowners insurance policy is a package policy for the average homeowner that provides coverage for multiple things – most notably coverage for the dwelling, coverage for personal property owned by the insured (aka. ‘contents’) and coverage for personal liability with respect to the insured. Within a homeowners insurance policy it’s not always guaranteed that coverage for an attached screened enclosure or carport is automatically extended. In fact, most Florida insurers specifically include language that excludes coverage for these types of attached structures. Because of this, if you have a structure that fits this definition, you’re likely paying a hefty premium to have it covered on your home insurance policy. To find out for sure, find your current declarations page, and find the area where it lists “Endorsements” or an itemization of your premium charges. Within this section, you’ll likely find an endorsement called “Limited Screened Enclosure and/or Carport” coverage.
So why am I really talking about this? Well, this endorsement can be expensive, and most people don’t really know about it. They don’t know what it covers, how much it’s costing them by having it, and they don’t know that they can remove it if they want to. On a recent quote I completed for a new customer, their rate dropped by over $900 per year by removing this endorsement only.
So, what does this endorsement cover? The Limited Screened Enclosure and/or Carport coverage language can vary from one carrier to the next, so it’s important to consult your insurance policy and your insurance agent directly for specifics about your coverage and how it may or may not apply to your home. Generally speaking, if you purchased this screened enclosure endorsement, then it will extend the selected limit of coverage as additional coverage for the qualifying structure. This coverage DOES NOT usually extend to the screened material (which means only the frame is covered), and the coverage itself is paid out on an Actual Cash Value basis (so the final payout can be depreciated based on the structures age and condition at the time of loss). Moreover, coverage is still subject to your selected deductible. Let’s paint a picture: If your homeowners policy is covering the home (aka ‘Dwelling’) for $300,000, then a 2% hurricane deductible would equate to $6,000, and a 5% deductible would equate to $15,000 – this means after your deductible and depreciation is considered, there may not be a whole lot left to cover. How your deductible and coverage selections work together is an important relationship to understand, as not understanding could mean you paying for coverage that you will never use.
If your home has a structure like this then I personally always recommend quotes that include this endorsement, because I believe in it's importance. In the event of a major weather-related event, screened enclosures are the first structures to go - but at the end of the day you are the homeowner and you are the one purchasing homeowners insurance, so you should make that decision.
If you think you are paying too much for homeowners insurance and you don’t feel like your agent is truly giving you all the options, request a quote from us. Although we recommend you buy the very best coverage available, we also understand that you may be looking for creative ways to save on homeowners insurance premiums in your Florida home – and one of those ways is reducing the coverage in some way. That’s where Evolve comes into play – we can provide you with options!
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
- How do I know if my structure qualifies for this type of coverage? Although there is no hard-and-fast rule, the general logic is like this: if the ‘screened area’ is NOT located under the main roof line, then it likely qualifies as an attached Screened Enclosure and needs this endorsement to be appropriately covered. However, if the screened area is UNDER the main roofline, then coverage is most likely automatically included within Coverage A. This a general guide, and to determine specific information about your property or insurance policy, please contact your insurance carrier or insurance agent directly.
- How can I tell if I currently have this coverage on my homeowners insurance? This should be noted somewhere on your declarations page ONLY if you have it on your policy. In most cases, it is a separate line item below the main coverage. A very small handful of carriers include coverage without explicitly stating so on the declarations page, so if you are unsure, call your current carrier or agent and ask them.
- I have a mortgage; will I be able to remove this coverage and still satisfy their requirements for insurance? Yes! Your lender is only concerned in you insuring the main building itself. They have absolutely no quarrels with the pool cage, carport, or other screened enclosure in terms of how it is or isn’t covered on your insurance.
- I don't currently have a pool cage or screened enclosure, but I am about to have one installed - what should I know? Believe it or not, we actually wrote a blog about this specific question! Go ahead and give it a read by clicking here!
- I really want to see a homeowners insurance quote without this endorsement, what do I do? That’s easy – click here and fill out our simple quote request form and we’ll provide you with options in less than 2 business days!
We hope this taught you something you didn't know, and we hope it helps you to build trust in us – your local hometown insurance agency. We would love to be given the opportunity to offer you an insurance quote for your home, so reach out to us today and see what we can do for you.
Evolve Insurance Agency