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Old 02-08-2010, 12:25 PM
 
Location: Newbury Park
3 posts, read 9,254 times
Reputation: 14

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Quote:
Originally Posted by manchul View Post
Hi,

We presently have our single family house on the market for sale. We have moved out of the state, so the property is presently unoccupied. Our realtor and two neighbors help us keep a tab on the property. I spoke to our home insurance company and they said that since it is no longer our primary residence, they cannot honor the policy anymore. They have been very nice and willing to work with me till I find an alternative. I have spoken to couple of major national carriers (like Liberty Mutual and All State) and they said that they cover only primary residences.

I called Geico and they quoted me a price of $5K to insure a single family house (they work through an independent provider (Foremost), they themselves don’t underwrite vacant homes).

I just wanted to see...
- If anybody had a similar experience and what did they do?
- If anybody has any experience working with an insurance company which covers vacant homes and if you can suggest a decent company
- Can you please let me know what was the increase in the home-owner’s policy (you don’t have to tell me the exact, but by how much the premium increased. In my case I was quoted a price which was 8 times my regular HO policy)
- Do you have any idea of how much it should or may cost to insure a vacant home in NJ
- Do you have any tips or suggestions for getting a decent quote

Any help will be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!
Preferred insurance companies like Farmers Insurance, State Farm, etc. don't have much of an appetite for vacant properties. Your best bet is to turn to the surplus lines market and find a policy with a company like Lloyds of London, or Scottsdale. Good insurance companies, but generally non-admitted, and the cost will be higher. The upside is that they will write a short term policy, thus cutting the high cost of insurance period down to a minimum.
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Old 04-06-2010, 12:35 PM
 
20 posts, read 100,407 times
Reputation: 13
After much searching and getting quotes from various agents, I found one company (or rather a web-site) called “Vacant Home Insurance Now (VHIN)”. They seem to offer an ‘all risk policy’ rather than ‘named perils’ policy (which is very restricted and is offered by companies like Foremost). The underwriters are Lloyds of London.

Unsure of whether to trust the company, I tried to get more information about them to see if they are reliable. I found them being referred to by couple of blogs and quoted by couple of magazines. I found an ‘Ezine’ article quoting them too (but I think the person writing that article is associated with VHIN). I could not find them on BBB, nor on NJ State’s official web-site listing agents/companies authorized to write policies in the state.

I just wanted to see if anybody knows about this company and/or has any experience dealing with them and are they reliable. Please let me know if you have any information.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:04 PM
 
Location: Northern NJ
365 posts, read 923,583 times
Reputation: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by manchul View Post
I could not find them on BBB, nor on NJ State’s official web-site listing agents/companies authorized to write policies in the state.

I just wanted to see if anybody knows about this company and/or has any experience dealing with them and are they reliable. Please let me know if you have any information.

Thanks for all your help.
You are smart to check these sources. I took a quick look at their site and googled around a bit. They appear to be connected to this insurance agency in Malvern, PA. hopefully with the necessary non-resident NJ license which allows them to solicit and place business in New Jersey. Ignore the marketing names on the site and confirm the formal name of the agency as it is licensed in New Jersey.

Like every other retail agency, they place that business with a wholesale broker who is licensed to place Surplus Lines business with the London markets. (They may also have a separate company that acts in such a capacity, which is not uncommon.)

Since you do not have an existing relationship with an independent agency of your choosing, once those questions are resolved, you should be okay.

Rhys
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:12 PM
 
20 posts, read 100,407 times
Reputation: 13
Hi RhysNJ,
Thanks for your prompt response and the tip. You maybe right, they might be operating under a different name in NJ. The quote that I received from them states 'XN Financial Services'.

I will check with BBB and NJ State’s DMV's web-site again later today and see if the name is listed there.
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Old 04-07-2010, 09:10 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
365 posts, read 923,583 times
Reputation: 158
XN is most likely the Surplus Lines agency that your broker is using to access Lloyds. Both agency names come up as properly licensed on the Dept. of Insurance and Banking licensee search.

Rhys
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Old 04-07-2010, 05:17 PM
 
20 posts, read 100,407 times
Reputation: 13
Hi RhysNJ,

Thanks for checking out the two companies on NJ DOBI.

Yes, you are right VHIN may be an agent of ‘XN financials’ and the latter in turn is the policy holder for Lloyds of London.

I called Matt McKinley of VHIN and asked him a few questions. He told me that earlier this program was available only for expats, and that about 6 years ago they decided to extend it to folks like me who needed vacant home insurance while being in the country. It seems I may have to deal with XN financials directly. I found that they have a good rating and are a global Insurance company. They seem to have a whole gamut of products.

They offer an 'all risk' policy. Things like fire, flooding (rising water), sewer back-up and some other things are not covered (but tat’s the case with the regular HO3 policy too). Otherwise things like vandalism etc. are covered and that's why it is called an 'All risk Policy'.

Independent agents also provide you a policy from Lloyds of London, but they offer a different product 'called 'named perils' as opposed to 'all risk' (which is akin to your regular Home Owners Insurance policy).

Few things going in favor of VHIN:
- their web-site offers lot of good information (which I think is always a good sign). There is very little information available about vacant home insurance
- The company is quoted by a few web-sites and has couple of blogs. They have a 5-part You-tube video talking about their vacant home insurance product
- they are associated with XN Financials, which seems to be a good company
- They offer a policy underwritten by Lloyds of London (which is kind of a standard in this surplus lines business)
- It is an all risk policy

I am still a bit nervous and would have liked to deal with somebody ;like Geico (a big known company), but I think given that this is an 'all risk' policy I will go with VHIN.
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Old 04-08-2010, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Northern NJ
365 posts, read 923,583 times
Reputation: 158
I'd be careful with that term "all-risk", which is very rarely used in property insurance today. It was replaced decades ago with "Special Form" because the term all risk created unrealistic expectations (and court verdicts) that everything is covered, etc. Same concept.

On any surplus lines policy offering to cover vacant property, here's the question you want to ask: How is the Special Form dwelling coverage affected by a known vacancy exceeding 60 days? Typically there is no coverarge for "vandalism and malicious mischief, theft or attempted theft, and any ensuing loss caused by any intentional and wrongful act committed in the course of the vandalism or malicious mischief, theft or attempted theft."

That's how the standard ISO DP-3 form reads, but surplus carriers often add other more restrictive endorsements. Ask to see any such forms that alter coverage due to vacancy, so you know what you're getting.

I would disagree that their Lloyds offering is necessarily different or better than what other agencies can obtain. Also, GEICO does not write what you are looking for even if you still lived there. They subcontract their homeowners business to other carriers.

I'm not sure there is a financial connection between XN (shown as being based in Boca Raton, FL) and VHIN. One may just be brokering the business through the other. You usually do not deal directly with the surplus lines broker, in this case XN.

Good luck!

Rhys
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Old 04-08-2010, 04:34 PM
 
20 posts, read 100,407 times
Reputation: 13
Hi RhysNJ,

Thanks for your helpful tips.

I will try to get more information on “Special Form dwelling coverage affected by a known vacancy exceeding 60 days?” In my case when the coverage starts the dwelling would have been vacant for less than 30 days.

I had specifically inquired about ‘vandalism and malicious mischief, theft or attempted theft’ and Matt (from VHIN) told me that it is not specifically mentioned because the property (the building being covered) has an ‘all risk’ coverage. I wanted to know because Geico and others charge about $550 (or more) for this coverage. One of the documents that I received from them says "The XN policy provides "all risk" coverage on the building and to other structures. All risk coverage is superior to the named perils coverage typically provided by most vacant home policies". The contents in the house are not covered under 'all risk'. They are covered under 'named perils' (i.e. I will be reimbursed only if the damage caused by those 'named perils').

You are right, Geico offers vacant home policy through Foremost. I had mentioned Geico, just as an example of a big carrier (like Liberty Mutual, All State etc.)

I will try to get the actual product name that Matt had mentioned to describe the difference between the policies written by other insurance companies and VHIN. You may be right, it may not be different, just a gimmick. I am not sure.

The letter that I got states that in case of a claim, I may have to contact XN, but Matt told me that I can go through him too.

I think I will buy the policy from VHIN. Let's see!

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 04-22-2014, 08:34 PM
 
3 posts, read 1,123 times
Reputation: 10
I'm having a hard time finding a HO for a condo/Hotel in Vernon N.J. only 1 bed Under 1000SQ '. Can anyone help me??

'
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