Changes in Florida Homeowner

As of July 1, 2013, the following changes to the House Bill 7119 have gone into effect.

Reporting to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR): In an attempt to take an accurate inventory of the number of homeowner’s association in the state, it is required by law that all Florida HOA’s report to the DBPR by November 22, 3013.

Board Member Certification and Education: Within 90 days of being elected or appointed to the board of a Florida homeowner’s association, the director is required to provide written agreement to the secretary of the association that he/she has read the governing documents and will uphold them to the best of his/her ability. Alternatively, newly elected or appointed directors may instead submit proof of attending an educational course through a provider that has been approved by the DBPR.

Insurance and Fidelity Bonding: All HOAs are required to maintain a fidelity bond (also known as “crime coverage,” “theft insurance” or “employee dishonesty coverage”) for all individuals who control or disperse association monies. Coverage is to be purchased in an amount sufficient to cover all reserved funds. This requirement may be waived annually by a majority vote of the voting interests of the HOA at an official association meeting. Although this legislation is designed to cover members of the board, it is also advised that the property management company (if applicable) also be endorsed on the policy, as well as all their employees with ties to that particular HOA’s financial accounts. If the property management company currently covers employee theft on their business insurance  policy, one might think this would also cover their HOA’s accounts; however, this only provides coverage for accounts owned by the property management company, not individual HOA accounts that are owned by the individual associations. Since the HOA account is owned by the association, not the property management company, the association would need coverage in the event of theft, not the property management company.

Homeowner’s access to official records of the association: Records must be maintained for seven years, and within  45 miles of the community or within the same county. HOA records are permitted to be maintained electronically.HOA members are authorized  to photograph records at no charge; however, additional restrictions have been placed on copying costs. 

For more information regarding Florida Homeowners Association laws, click here.


Red Flags in Real Estate

As an independent insurance agency, we have access to many insurance carriers. However, your homeowners insurance options become more scarce if the following “red flags” are a oncern.

Age of Home

If a house is 30 years of age or older and has not had any updates, it may be difficult to insure. In this scenario, insurance companies are concerned about the age and condition of the following items: the roof, the electrical, the plumbing and the heating and cooling system. 


As mentioned above, the condition of the roof is a primary concern for homeowners insurance companies.

Age of Roof: Roofs over 15 years of age catch the attention of insurers and may make them wary when it comes to insuring the property.

Damaged or Flat Roofs: Flat roofs are a concern for homeowners insurance companies because they are susceptible to leaks due to the fact that flat roofs allow for water to remain stagnant on the surface. In addition to standing water being a concern, most flat roofs are also made with less superior materials, such as tar and gravel, which are less sufficient than shingles.

Structural Concerns

Open Foundations: Open foundations allow critters to have easy access to wiring, which is often chewed and damaged, thus creating a potential fire hazard.

Structural damage: Any history of prior structural damage concerns insurance companies and may deter them from insuring the property.


Pools without fences or screened enclosures: Insurance companies are concerned small children may wander into unprotected pools and potentially drowning.

Pools with diving boards and/or slides: Pools with slides and/or diving boards concern insurance companies due to the higher risk of injury and potential for death.


Homes on over 5 acres of land: Home insurance companies like to know that your house is not secluded. For instance, if a fire occurs while you are not home and your property is not within eyesight of another homeowner, your house may be completely destroyed before the fire department arrives.

Homes over 5 miles from a fire station. Homes over 1000 feet from a fire hydrant: A home’s proximity to a fire station and fire hydrant is also a concern to many insurance companies. The further away your home is from a fire station, the longer it will take for firefighters to arrive – it’s just that simple. Additionally, if there is not access to a sufficient supply of water near by, fighting the fire will be more difficult. If a fire hydrant is not in close proximity, some insurance companies are willing to consider other means of water supplies, i.e. a lake, etc.


Homes with prior insurance claims: If it is documented that there was a prior claim filed for the property, insurance companies may be hesitant to provide insurance.

Insured’s with prior insurance claims: If you have prior claims, especially an extensive amount, an insurance company may view you as a potential risk to insure and either increase your premium or deny coverage all together.