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Tenant Dwelling Insurance Port Charlotte FL

Tenant Dwelling Insurance

Port Charlotte Tenant Dwelling Insurance

Tenant Dwelling Insurance in Port Charlotte

Did you that an insurance company can deny your claim if you do not reside at a property you own?  Assuming you have that property insured under a homeowner’s policy, you may be incorrectly insured if you are renting it out or even letting someone else live there.  This is because homeowner’s policy is designed to cover the homeowner, who lives at the properties location.  What you would most likely need to make sure you are covered properly is called a dwelling fire policy, or a DP.  These policies may look like your typical homeowner’s policy (HO1, HO3, etc.), however a dwelling fire policy is designed insure a property that has a tenant living there.  Most coverage options available on your standard homeowner’s policy may be available on a dwelling policy, but with modifications specifically for a home who is occupied by a tenant. 

Also, did you know that most dwelling policies exclude theft and vandalism as a covered peril, and most companies have additional caps and limitations on your personal contents coverage?  This may make sense if you think about it, but it doesn’t make it any easier for those who turn up surprised when their claim is denied.  These people will be very upset when they receive significantly less money than they expected for some of their more personal property due to their policies limitations.

The point is, insurance can be tricky and it's what you don't know that can really hurt you.  No two companies write the same exact policy, and where one company may give you something another may take it away.  This is why having a good agent is so important.  When shopping for insurance make sure to find an agent that is willing to answer all your questions.  Maybe even more importantly, find an agent who you feel comfortable to communicate your entire situation.  There is no one-fits-all policy for every person out there, so make sure you can communicate your situation completely with your agent to ensure you are covered correctly.

Below, we have prepared what basically amounts to a check list of questions you should ask before buying dwelling property insurance.
If you prefer click the following link to open and print out our homeowners insurance questionnaire which can be used as a check list for items you need to ask about before buying homeowners insurance


Did you know that many tenant dwelling policies provide you liability protection? Many people are unaware of this very important part of their insurance policy. This is one of the most important parts of your dwelling policy, just think about it

Imagine your tenant has some friends and family over at your property. One of their friends is heading up the stairs to use the restroom and catches their foot as they near the top of the staircase. They do a quick tumble down the stairs and breaks their arm. They may be forced to seek help from you with fixing their broken arm, but if you refuse or aren't able to help then they may be able to seek legal action against you. This is where you will be happy you had your liability coverage. You can see how important it can be to you, especially when you weren't  

Water Damage

You may know that many companies exclude (or limit) water damage coverage limits for older properties, but did you know that water damage contributes to some of the largest residential claims in Florida.  To put it in perspective, water damage claims have been greater in recent years than fire and hurricane claims combined!

Whether you are new to Florida or born and raised in our wonderful state you may know that there is a lot of water here.  But do you know if you are covered for “all” forms of water damage? You may not have thought into this before but there are numerous ways water can cause damage to your dwelling, and headaches for property owners like yourself if you are not prepared.

Water Damage claims can come from various places.  Possible claims can arise from multiple water sources including but not limited to utility water pipes (outside and under), pipes within your walls, and pipes within neighboring properties (upstairs or next-door neighbor).  Before buying a dwelling insurance policy you should know the answers to all these questions.  If not, you could find yourself in a bad situation where you end up paying much or all of it out of your own pocket.

Questions to ask include:

  1. Does my dwelling policy cover me for Flood?
  2. Is my condo covered if my upstairs neighbor’s bath overflows and leaks into my unit?
  3. Is my water damage coverage limited?
  4. Does my water damage coverage only cover me for issues arising from my plumbing?
  5. Is my property covered for water backup and sump overflow?
  6. Will my company automatically exclude (or limit) my water damage if my property becomes too old?

Screen Enclosures

Did you know that most dwelling policies exclude Screen Enclosures?  Some companies may include this coverage, however most require you purchase a rider or buyback coverage.  In some cases your enclosure may be covered for a fire but might not be covered in the event a hurricane rips it to shreds.  You may have your Screen Enclosure covered, but do you know if it is covered at Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost?  Screen Enclosure claims are one of the most common claims after a hurricane hits so make sure you know what you are covered for before you purchase insurance.

Questions to ask include:

  1. Is my Screen Enclosure covered if it sustains damage from a hurricane?
  2. Is my Screen Enclosure covered at Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost?
  3. If I have Screen Enclosure coverage, does it cover my screens, metal cage, or both?
  4. Is there a capped limit on how much coverage I have for my Screen Enclosure?


Did you know that most dwelling insurance policies include a separate deductible for hurricane?  This separate deducible in many cases is much higher than your other peril deductible.  Depending on your tolerance for risk, some people may prefer to save money on their premiums and accept a higher deductible.  Some people don't want to come out of pockets thousands of dollars after a hurricane wreaks havoc on their property.  Where ever amongst those people you are, make sure you are aware of how much you would have to come up with if a hurricane causes damage to your residential property.

Questions to ask include:

  1. Am I covered if a hurricane causes damage to my house?
  2. How much is my separate hurricane deductible?
  3. Is my dwelling property covered by a storm that is not a tropical storm or hurricane?


There have been an estimated 358,300 residential fires per year over the last several years according to the NFPA.  If you have a standard dwelling insurance policy, fortunately you may already be covered in the event your dwelling property adds to this list.  You never know when a fire could strike, so below we have listed a few tips that may help avoid one yourself.

Tips Include:

  1. Make sure your smoke detectors are working and test every month. (Don’t forget to change the batteries!)
  2. Inspect wiring and electrical panels in your property regularly.
  3. Keep flammable material away from stove or other cooking equipment.
  4. Avoid aluminum wiring (most insurance companies won’t accept this any ways)
  5. Avoid using space heaters. (also something most companies do not accept)
  6. Never leave the property while cooking.

Personal Property & Contents Coverage

Did you know that a standard dwelling fire policy has additional exclusions and limits compared to most standard homeowner’s insurance policies?  This is just one of the big differences you may face if you are planning on furnishing a rental home that used to be your primary residence. 

Also, another significant difference you will find on most dwelling policies regarding your personal contents is that theft and vandalism (which is usually included on all standard homeowner’s policies) is excluded.  Although it might make a lot of sense why a company would do this, it certainly can catch you off guard when your claims denied unexpectedly if you weren’t aware.

  1. What limitations or caps does my personal contents coverage offer on my dwelling policy?
  2. What items are capped?
  3. Are these possessions covered while they are away from my insured property?
  4. Is my personal property covered at Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value? (very few companies offer replacement cost on dwelling policies, so make sure to check if it is available to you!)

Dwelling Insurance Policy Discounts

Did you know that getting a wind mitigation report can drastically cut down the cost of your dwelling insurance policy?  This valuable report’s primary purpose is to “mitigate” the portion of your premium derived from the risk of windstorm or hurricane damage.  It also is a report that no company will require you to get, which leads to a lot of people leaving hundreds (in some cases thousands, really!) of their hard earned cash on the table when purchasing a dwelling insurance policy.

There are tons of other discounts that can be acquired, some of which you may already be eligible for and didn’t even know it!  Below is a list of some possible discounts you should be asking about when obtaining insurance quotes for your property.

  1. Do I get a discount for my alarm system? (monitored or local)
  2. Do I get a discount for being in a secured community? (gated, guarded, single access, passcode)
  3. What discounts could I be getting on my current wind mitigation report? (additional savings may be worth upgrading)
  4. Was my property built by a preferred builder? (usually only new construction)
  5. Am I getting credit for my hurricane shutters and doors?

Replacement Value
Actual Cash Value

Although most companies do not offer Replacement Cost coverage on contents, there are still some that do and you should know the difference. 

An easy way to remember this:

Replacement Cost = Non-Depreciated Value
Actual Cash Value = Depreciated Value

The calculation for a covered claim using Actual Cash Valuation will usually result in a check that will cover “some” of the cost to repair your property.  The same covered claim using Replacement Cost Valuation could mean that you receive a check that will cover most or all the cost to repair (or possibly replace) your property. 

Fortunately, most dwelling insurance policies cover residential properties in Florida at replacement cost, but this is not always the case and varies from one policy form to another.  Also, you may not have known that your policy may cover your dwelling at replacement cost but your personal property at actual cash value.  Make sure you check that you have Replacement Cost included.  If you don't, check if it's an available option.

Questions to ask include:

  1. Is my dwelling covered at replacement cost or actual cash value?
  2. Are my personal belongings covered at replacement cost or actual cash value?

Useful Links

Tenant Dwelling Insurance Port Charlotte FL


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