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Old 05-22-2016, 07:30 AM   #21
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I often wonder if insurance companies have some sort of formula for increasing rates based on higher likelihood of a claim after x yrs of coverage with no claims.
Not that I know of, and I'm a retired property-casualty actuary. I can understand your reasoning- that it becomes less and less likely that you'll have X+1 years claim-free, x+2 years claim-free, etc. Rates (including all the variable rating factors that make your premium different from mine) have to be approved by a State Insurance Department before they can be used, and supported by data. Even when supported by statistics, I think regulators would have a hard time letting companies surcharge people because they have clean records. It could also drive profitable customers away from that insurer.
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Old 05-22-2016, 12:48 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by RobbieB View Post
You really want to avoid a claim on your homeowners insurance. Really.

Unless it was over 5% of the value of the home I would just fix it myself.
I guess following this logic, one would set their deductible as high as 5% of their homes value, if that is even allowed. Would be interesting to know if this is possible. If your plan is to self insure up to that amount then you might as well get it reflected in your premium.
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Old 05-22-2016, 01:07 PM   #23
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After reading this, I need to remind the HOA to tie to a few trees that they plan near my house before it collapses onto my roof. The wind was blowing hard and the tree bend into our yard.
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Re: house insurance... good!
Old 05-23-2016, 03:36 PM   #24
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Re: house insurance... good!

In my dotage have become pretty much a "live and let live" guy. I don't rock the boat too much, as it seems to always end up in more problems and anxiety.

When we had a hailstorm about a month ago, I found a few holes in my window screens, but chalked it up to just nature at work, and when I got time, to bring them to the hardware store for repairs.

A week ago, a young man knocked at my door and asked I wanted him to check for hail damage. I said no, that I'd take care of it myself, but he asked if he could check my roof. I didn't think so, as it looked fine to me, but he was very nice, and so I let him use his ladder to check.

When he came down, he told me I might be in line for a new roof. I brushed it aside but he offered to check with my insurance company. This morning, a rep from the insurance company came out, and wrote up an estimate for a new roof, some dented flashing, paint for a small drip stain in our kitchen ceiling (which meant painting the entire kitchen ceiling and our living/dining room ceiling as well), the screens, and some other minor repairs. On the spot, thousands of dollars in a check, with more to come when the job was finished.

I think the word is flabbergasted... Work to begin in two weeks, on a roof that looked fine to me. Total cost will be the $500 deductible.

Since the house was built in 2001, it means that the roof was just 15 years old. I thought that the insurance would cover depreciated cost. Not so... an entire new roof, with some upgrades which weren't required when the house was built... (ice/water shield).

The estimate included details for all repairs, including moving furniture, paint shielding, base coats, clean up etc...

I had anticipated a quick inspection and the adjuster to tell me that there wasn't enough damage to qualify. Impossible to see any damage at all on the roof, from the ground, and even looking at the shingles, no obvious damage as in holes, dents, or cracks.

At the least, I had expected to pay for a prorated portion of the damage, based on the age. As it turns out, I'll have anew roof, which, when we sell, should add substantial value.

So... if they raise my rates by a few hundred dollars a year, there'll be no quarrel. Am I satisfied with my insurance company? We've had them since 1978, and have been forever satisfied.
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Boo Home insurance
Old 05-23-2016, 03:47 PM   #25
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Boo Home insurance

I'm VERY wary of guys who come around knocking on doors or putting up signs ("Free Roof! *Must have insurance" ) after a storm. Although you went through proper channels with the insurance company I hope you researched the contractor.
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Old 05-23-2016, 03:48 PM   #26
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In my dotage have become pretty much a "live and let live" guy. I don't rock the boat too much, as it seems to always end up in more problems and anxiety.


I think the word is flabbergasted... Work to begin in two weeks, on a roof that looked fine to me. Total cost will be the $500 deductible.

Since the house was built in 2001, it means that the roof was just 15 years old. I thought that the insurance would cover depreciated cost. Not so... an entire new roof, with some upgrades which weren't required when the house was built... (ice/water shield).

The estimate included details for all repairs, including moving furniture, paint shielding, base coats, clean up etc...

I had anticipated a quick inspection and the adjuster to tell me that there wasn't enough damage to qualify. Impossible to see any damage at all on the roof, from the ground, and even looking at the shingles, no obvious damage as in holes, dents, or cracks.

At the least, I had expected to pay for a prorated portion of the damage, based on the age. As it turns out, I'll have anew roof, which, when we sell, should add substantial value.

So... if they raise my rates by a few hundred dollars a year, there'll be no quarrel. Am I satisfied with my insurance company? We've had them since 1978, and have been forever satisfied.
which I think is a big difference. If my roof had been 15 years old I may not have even called the insurance as my deductible was 750. My roof is less than 3 years old.
I guess i'm peeved about the assumption that if I make 1 claim I will make another and raising my rates based on that assumption.

Now considering I've had allstate for about 30 years lol since I was a newlywed and this is my first claim, how come the reverse assumption is not made. I don't have a discount every year for non use??

I guess I dislike the entire premise. You supposedly buy insurance of any kind for protection, yet if you use the so call "good hands", IMO they slap you
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Old 05-23-2016, 04:10 PM   #27
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Just to be clear, did the contractor contact your insurance (e.g. You gave him your info) or did you contact them yourself?
Also is the contractor who climbed up onto the roof getting the job or someone else? Finally, is the same contractor getting the interior job or someone else. I would say you have been very well served by these folks so far.



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Old 05-23-2016, 05:03 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by jazz4cash View Post
Imoldernu
Just to be clear, did the contractor contact your insurance (e.g. You gave him your info) or did you contact them yourself?
He did.
Also is the contractor who climbed up onto the roof getting the job or someone else?
Yes... he is

Finally, is the same contractor getting the interior job or someone else.
He will do both
I would say you have been very well served by these folks so far.
I am pleased. Both the Contractor and the Adjuster were professional, straightforward, and pleasant to deal with.
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Old 05-23-2016, 06:10 PM   #29
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I just did a review of our homeowner's policy. For the very issue raised, which makes me very, very reluctant to make a claim, I realized it was foolish to pay for a low deductible. Since I wouldn't make a small claim anyway, I just raised deductible to $5,000. Saves $1,800 per year.


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Old 05-23-2016, 06:25 PM   #30
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Speaking of Allstate, they announced in Georgia that they are raising auto rates an average of 25% but perhaps as high as 58.3% in some cases. Yep...you're in good hands, for sure if you are in Georgia.

Georgia Insurance Commissioner warns of big Allstate rate hike | www.ajc.com

FWIW...Amica has been great to me. I have had my home owners insurance actually DECREASE two years in a row!
Decrease with Amica in GA? I am in GA also (metro Atlanta area) and have had two increases for over 24% in the two renewals I have had with Amica. Next year I market my policies hard. I realize they are rated high and am willing to pay a little more for good claims service, but averaging over 12% increase in premiums without claims is unacceptable to me.
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Old 05-25-2016, 03:14 PM   #31
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I had a worse experience. After a claim my insurance company refuse to insure me at renewal. I ended up with the state run insurance. Taught me a lesson on making claims!
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Old 05-25-2016, 04:04 PM   #32
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So at what point do you make a claim? Say you raise your deductible to $5k, and have a $7k claim, do you file a claim to recoup the $2000, and be out of pocket $5k, or do you now go out of pocket $7k and make no claim, at which point you should have had a $7k deductible. If you say your deductible is 5% of total home value, then what $ amount over that are you willing to exceed before making a claim.

Seems like some are saying they would only file a claim if they were involved in a catastrophe (total fire loss, or certain % of total loss)

It seems like the insurance industry has been good at getting us to buy something that we are then afraid to use and for which there are penalties for using.

Is it really just a matter of you'll know it (a claim to be filed) when you see it?
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:15 PM   #33
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We raised our deductible and are viewing home insurance as catastrophic coverage. Not worth turning in smaller claims when it just leads to either increased rates or your insurance being cancelled. The question, yes, is at what point do you consider a loss catastrophic enough to turn it in? We aren't sure.

I found this article (and other articles on the same website helpful):

To Claim or Not To Claim…That is the question - by David Shaffer | United Policyholders
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Old 05-25-2016, 05:28 PM   #34
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And if you'd like to get a copy of your CLUE report, apparently you can do that for free once a year. I haven't tried it, as I don't want to put our SS# out more than necessary, but here are instructions for anyone who may be interested.

I read that it is possible even if you inquire about a claim, but don't take a payment, they can report it. That is ridiculous!

https://personalreports.lexisnexis.c...disclosure.jsp
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Old 05-25-2016, 06:10 PM   #35
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'I read that it is possible even if you inquire about a claim, but don't take a payment, they can report it. That is ridiculous!'

I just heard this from my neighbor today. A roofer came by after a hail storm and asked if he wanted him to look at the roof, he said ok, the roofer looked and said, yep you have hail damage, he contacted the insurance company to have their adjuster come look at it and the adjuster said no it wasn't bad enough to replace. So no claim filed, but he got a ding for inquiring. I did something similar though no roofer was involved, and maybe that explains my annual increases each year of 20%+, GRRR
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Old 05-25-2016, 08:15 PM   #36
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'I read that it is possible even if you inquire about a claim, but don't take a payment, they can report it. That is ridiculous!'

I just heard this from my neighbor today. A roofer came by after a hail storm and asked if he wanted him to look at the roof, he said ok, the roofer looked and said, yep you have hail damage, he contacted the insurance company to have their adjuster come look at it and the adjuster said no it wasn't bad enough to replace. So no claim filed, but he got a ding for inquiring. I did something similar though no roofer was involved, and maybe that explains my annual increases each year of 20%+, GRRR

Ohhhh, that is so frustrating! We called to see if the water line that burst entering our house was covered (it wasn't), but after the adjuster came out, they raised our rates, saying they realized our house wasn't insured for enough. (That may have been true, but it just shows how these things call attention to your policy.)
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Old 05-25-2016, 09:35 PM   #37
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Simple Girl that was a great article, and confirms what we've always suspected. I wrestle with our broker every time our insurance comes up for renewal. I want high deductibles, virtually no coverage for contents, and no coverage for our outbuilding (an old shed). This is harder than it would seem.
I had a friend whose husband had a kitchen fire claim a few years before they married. They are still rated, many years later.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:01 AM   #38
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Simple Girl that was a great article, and confirms what we've always suspected. I wrestle with our broker every time our insurance comes up for renewal. I want high deductibles, virtually no coverage for contents, and no coverage for our outbuilding (an old shed). This is harder than it would seem.
I had a friend whose husband had a kitchen fire claim a few years before they married. They are still rated, many years later.
So glad you liked the article - I found that entire website very educational!

As you know I've been doing lots of research on homeowners insurance due to our upcoming purchase in FL. Here is what I learned:

1) Dwelling coverage.

Many homeowners are underinsured but don't realize it until a major loss occurs. Make sure you get replacement coverage (NOT ACV - which is the depreciated value...hadn't realized our policy on our rental property was ACV - they snuck it in in the small print!). Replacement coverage means cost to rebuild, not market value. Don't trust what your agent's calculator tells you, estimate it yourself via a tool like building-cost.net. Agents may underestimate upgrades in your home, and, in an effort to show a lower premium and get your business, you end up underinsured.

2) Other structures

Yes, you can reduce this - we actually took ours to $0 since we purchased a townhome and have no outside structures. I verified that our attached garage, paver patio, and lanai (which is under the roof) are covered under Part A dwelling coverage. However, no policy covers the rescreening of a lanai, according to our agent (strange!).

3) Personal Property

Again, check to see if it is replacement cost or ACV. If ACV, it is the depreciated value...so even though you have to pay full price for a new couch, if you have an ACV policy, they will only pay the depreciated value based upon how many years you owned it (if I am understanding this correctly).

Check the fine print. Sometimes they will sneak this in as ACV and you need an endorsement added that states you will be covered at replacement cost.

We did a whole house inventory and came up with a number that was half of what some policies offered - so we would have been overinsuring in this case. We chose a policy that covered the amount we feel we'd need. Saved us some $ esp since we had increased the dwelling the coverage. It also kept us from underinsuring, as we had underestimated how much it would cost to replace everything we own (we don't have tons of fancy furniture, etc., but it still really all adds up!)

We plan to use this app to do a more formal inventory and recording when we have a bit more time: https://knowyourstuff.org/

4) Loss of Use

Sources said this should cover rent for at least 2 years' time after a total loss, to allow for rebuild time. Many companies require you to use the whole $ in the first 12 to 24 months, even if you haven't exhausted the limits. The policy we chose requires us to use it up in 1 year's time - not ideal, but we settled for it b/c we liked the other features of this company compared to the competitors.

5) deductible

Already discussed above - go with highest you can afford to self-insure for and only make a claim for large losses.

One last great resource I found - researching the # of complaints and type of complaints at https://eapps.naic.org/cis/. I saw a huge difference between companies, and I could see certain ones had a lot of complaints for canceling policies and claim denials. This sealed the deal for us on which company we chose.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:23 AM   #39
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Just to make things more complicated, insurers in Florida are now looking for ways to limit claims for plumbing based water damages. This has been in the news since late last year, when Citizens announced some policy changes and new limits. Since then at least a half dozen other insures have made similar announcements.
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Old 05-26-2016, 08:30 AM   #40
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Just to make things more complicated, insurers in Florida are now looking for ways to limit claims for plumbing based water damages. This has been in the news since late last year, when Citizens announced some policy changes and new limits. Since then at least a half dozen other insures have made similar announcements.
Not surprised!

I was told the limit for water backup/sump overflow is $5K. So, if you are going with a high deductible, it doesn't make sense to carry it...until I read that if the backup makes your house uninhabitable (due to mold, etc.), you will not receive Loss of Use benefits unless you carry the backup coverage. So, we kept the backup coverage just for that reason.
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