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Old 03-10-2012, 12:55 AM   #21
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I have family in Brevard County. Talking to my brother recently he said that many insurance companies, including USAA are not writing new policies in his neighborhood. He also said that more and more people in his neighborhood were going naked on HO insurance.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:09 AM   #22
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I have the highest deductibles, 5% hurricane, a monitored alarm system and I have the value at $305 with the ins company. The premium for this year is just over 1800 for the year.
That's awful! Mine is $1603*, with the insured value at $126K, $6300 deductible for hurricanes (wind and hail), and $1000 deductible otherwise. The hurricane deductible is as low as allowed but the other one isn't. Taking into account that I live in New Orleans which would imply a certain level of risk, I am surprised at how much you must pay.

I also carry flood insurance for an additional $638 so the total is $2241. Flood insurance is a pretty good deal and something I don't want to go without in my location.

AFAIK insurance companies have not written new policies for wind and hail here since before Katrina (2005). I'm grandfathered in, but my dear friend F. is not and he has to get separate state sponsored insurance for wind and hail. Consequently he pays almost twice what I pay.


* This cost also reflects a 15% discount due to keeping my car insurance with them, and a 10% discount for being claim free, a 5% discount due to the age of my home, and some other discounts.
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Old 03-10-2012, 07:37 AM   #23
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The thing that gets me mad is the amount of increases the ins. comp's are allowed to charge each year. I've raised all my deductibles, signed up for monitering on my alarm system and shopped other ins comp's. Yet each year I keep getting raised $200 to $300. Not that I can't afford the $1800, I just don't feel they are entitled to these large increases each year.
This issue is one of the issues that keeps us from buying in FL but since USAA still won't write in Florida because they can't charge the price dictated by the risk, I assume the rates are actually still too low relative to the risk.

The flip side of the rates being too high is that they are too low to appropriately cover the risk and things get really ugly when there is a large storm with lots of damage and the insurance companies don't have the proper reserves to cover all the claims.
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #24
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I know it would cost less to rebuild but the Ins company won't come off the 305K.

The thing is not only the cost to rebuild, but also to rebuild when a lot of other people want to rebuild (higher cost)...

Plus, you have to pay to actually remove the old house unless you were wiped clean...

One option you can do is reduce the amount from 305 to say 250 or so... check how much that would cost... you would be self insuring on only a percent of the property....
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Old 03-10-2012, 08:21 AM   #25
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I just purchased a new policy effective 12-1-11 through Tower Hill. Total premium is $1770. Dwelling insured for $255K and $300K liability. Not in a flood area. Hurricane deductible is $5090 (2%), $2500 on all other perils. No sinkhole coverage. Dwelling and personal property is covered for replacement cost. The policy premium was reduced through credits for going with a higher deductible, windstorm mitigation devices and sinkhole exclusion (total credit of $990). The insurance agency talked me into getting a wind mitigation survey which cost me $100 but got me a credit of $278 which is good every year for five years.

You really have to shop around for the best rate. This policy was $500 less than my previous insurer was going to charge for the renewal policy. Got to have a good credit rating. The new insurange agency checked it right there in the office before they would even discuss writing the policy. I was also told that insurance companies change every month whether or not they will write a policy in your area. You just have to keep shopping.

Editing to add that of the total premium, $593 is for hurricane and $1177 is for non-hurricane premium.
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Old 03-10-2012, 12:05 PM   #26
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One option you can do is reduce the amount from 305 to say 250 or so... check how much that would cost... you would be self insuring on only a percent of the property....
Good idea but the insurance company won't allow me to lower the value, they actually made it higher this year by 5K.
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Old 03-10-2012, 01:51 PM   #27
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The thing is not only the cost to rebuild, but also to rebuild when a lot of other people want to rebuild (higher cost)...

Plus, you have to pay to actually remove the old house unless you were wiped clean...

One option you can do is reduce the amount from 305 to say 250 or so... check how much that would cost... you would be self insuring on only a percent of the property....
I think most policies cover removal of the destroyed or damaged property. In my case it covers 5% of the dwelling coverage or $12700.

I agree that just when you wantto rebuild, so does everyone else. And, if you can build new for $100/sq ft, I don't think you can rebuild for that price. Also, it's important to have "ordinance of law" coverage. This would cover additional cost to rebuild and include new construction standards
that were not in your original residence like hurricane roofing specs, wiring,
windows, etc. My policy would cover up to 25% increase in cost due to new standards.
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:13 PM   #28
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Good idea but the insurance company won't allow me to lower the value, they actually made it higher this year by 5K.
Are you using an agent or direct? I was using an agent.

I got mine lowered by insisting they write it at the value I stated... they did... that is where I learned about the 'self insure' aspect... IOW, if there were only $100,000 of damage and I self insured for 20% I had to pay $20K in addition to the deductible....
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Old 03-10-2012, 03:58 PM   #29
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Currently using an agent, but I've tried going direct. The Ins companies seem to be using the property appraisers site. Now we all know that the property appraisers site from the county is not likely to lower values as this is what the property taxes are based on. It's a no win here in old Fla., but it is Sunny out!
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:36 PM   #30
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While we do not self insure the entire value of our structures, we are more concerned about liability coverage. The exposure with respect to the dwelling is finite, but liability is a wild card.
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Old 03-10-2012, 05:48 PM   #31
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Currently using an agent, but I've tried going direct. The Ins companies seem to be using the property appraisers site. Now we all know that the property appraisers site from the county is not likely to lower values as this is what the property taxes are based on. It's a no win here in old Fla., but it is Sunny out!

I would suggest getting an insurance broker . They are more creative . My SO's son has been able to keep my insurance rates reasonable . The only thing they did have me do was ditch my sliding board as it was a big liability . I sold it on Craigslist .
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Old 03-10-2012, 09:07 PM   #32
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Thanks Moemg, reread my post, I have one.
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consider getting windstorm mitigation eval
Old 03-11-2012, 09:08 AM   #33
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consider getting windstorm mitigation eval

I, too, crapped myself when I saw this year's home owners' (FLORIDA)insurance go up $1000! When I called my insurance co. they suggested I do a windstorm mitigation inspection. For $99 the dude came when he said he would, poked around in the attic, peeked at the roof, took some pics, reviewed my documents on my new metal roof, and submitted all the info to my insurance co. Within a week, my premium was reduced by $800+. Might want to check into it! Was definitely worth it for me.
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Old 03-11-2012, 09:43 AM   #34
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Wow, I was feeling like my premium was getting high, but I see now that I am getting a deal. Guess not living in a hurricane prone area, or one with flooding potential, has its benfits.

I pay $936/year at that is for a max loss of $900K (house plus contents), $300K in personal liability, plus an additional/seperate $1M umbrella policy.

I was planning on increasing my deductible to $10K, from $2,500, to save another $200 per year, but all of a sudden I feel like I have a pretty good deal so maybe I will hold off.

It is one (of several) of the things that has always prevented me from buying a retirement house in a tropical location - escalating and expensive HO insurance.

Been paying HO insurance for 27 years and haven't made even a nickel of a claim yet in all that time.

FWIW: I also get better pricing for having top-tier credit, and insuring my cars thru the same company.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:30 AM   #35
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I, too, crapped myself when I saw this year's home owners' (FLORIDA)insurance go up $1000! When I called my insurance co. they suggested I do a windstorm mitigation inspection. For $99 the dude came when he said he would, poked around in the attic, peeked at the roof, took some pics, reviewed my documents on my new metal roof, and submitted all the info to my insurance co. Within a week, my premium was reduced by $800+. Might want to check into it! Was definitely worth it for me.
I had the mitigation done a few years ago, more BS IMHO.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:44 AM   #36
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I had the mitigation done a few years ago, more BS IMHO.
When we bought our house only Citizens would insure it and a wind mitigation inspection was mandatory. The premium quote assumed a "worst case" type of construction and it was designed to identify aspect, mostly roof, that reduced risk. The inspection reduced the premium cost by 20%.
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Old 03-11-2012, 11:50 AM   #37
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When we bought our house only Citizens would insure it and a wind mitigation inspection was mandatory. The premium quote assumed a "worst case" type of construction and it was designed to identify aspect, mostly roof, that reduced risk. The inspection reduced the premium cost by 20%.

Michael, are you currently using Citizens ins? If so what are your thoughts?

I have heard that the mitigation must be done every 5 years but I'm not sure about this. It's been over 4 years since we had ours done. We also received a large discount because of it but I have no idea why it must be done again. I still have the same roof so what's the deal with that?
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Old 03-11-2012, 12:39 PM   #38
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Michael, are you currently using Citizens ins? If so what are your thoughts?

I have heard that the mitigation must be done every 5 years but I'm not sure about this. It's been over 4 years since we had ours done. We also received a large discount because of it but I have no idea why it must be done again. I still have the same roof so what's the deal with that?
Yes, we still use Citizens. The only insurance companies that want to do business with us are new and unknown, and I do not trust them. We pay a lot as well, a similar % of the value of the house as you, but this is a hurricane and high risk area. The premium is painful but not unexpected. Damage is very expensive. For example, our premium x 7 is the cost of a new roof. We won't go without insurance because the risk is real and the financial loss of our house would be unacceptable.

The windstorm mitigation program originally was subsidized by the state (Fl), so it cost nothing when we used it. It makes sense to do it once, but not again, because they are not checking the condition of your house but how the roof (and a few other areas) were constructed. That doesn't change with time.

I can't help much otherwise. Parts of the country where insurance costs are low other costs are high. It would help if the state were to take a more proactive role, but that's not going to happen anytime soon.
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