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Old 02-09-2016, 03:58 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,759 posts, read 7,038,572 times
Reputation: 14295

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bette View Post
You are correct, however, when I wrote that, I was focusing on only flood.

Now, I see the OP was thinking of a condo and those require an HO 6 policy (think contents insurance) because in a condo, your master insurance (held by the HOA) covers the exterior, roof, etc.

The flood policies I've seen were in the Fort Myers, St. Pete and Tampa areas. Those were higher than on the East Coast of Florida.
Again, depends on your location and the elevation of your building relative to the base flood elevation where the building is located. And on the assessed value of the building, of course. We're told flood insurance would be less expensive for us at our current location than it was when we had it in Miami.

You just mentioned "insurance" in your original post, you did not specify flood insurance.

I hope you are referring questions from your real estate clients about insurance to an insurance agent.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:37 PM
 
51,950 posts, read 41,815,822 times
Reputation: 32413
WARNING!

OP, the current main insurer in the state is Citizens Insurance which is the state of Floridas own company. This should tell you something right off the bat about the state of the marketplace there.

They are admittedly underpriced but then they vote and then don't increase the rates because they like to stay elected.

So, next time Florida has a major hurricane season you are going to see:

1) Assessments of another 10% or so on not only home insurance but also auto insurance and other kinds as well to get Citizens back on it's feet again. These would go away within a few years assuming more don't hit.

2) Rate hikes. Big rate hikes.

3) Potentially Citizens insolvency and massive capital shortages meaning that you might even have to buy from some else at an even BIGGER rate hike as you move to a carrier that actually can't sell it's product at a loss and then expect the taxpayer to make things whole.

So basically, take whatever numbers are given to you and mentally cushion that they could go up 50% or more any given year and stay there.

Essentially, coastal and southern Florida have for decades had subsidized hurricane insurance by design of the state politicians. The first breaking point came back in 2006 when for profit insurers essentially revolted and the states solution was to write the insurance themselves. Fortunately there haven't been any major hurricanes but wow....when there are again don't count of the subsidy holding.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,704,692 times
Reputation: 4111
Quote:
Originally Posted by John7777 View Post
I was thinking about moving to Florida, but after reading about property insurance there I've more or less put the state at the bottom of my list. Not only are the rates outrageous, but if you have a claim, what are the chances that the insurance company will actually live up to their end of the bargain? Why should I set myself up to be another victim of the insurance companies?
In land rates are a lot more reasonable.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:47 PM
 
536 posts, read 631,961 times
Reputation: 1473
I agree with Mathguy. I am on Citizens, as everyone east of I-95 is. State Farm walked in 2005 or 2006. H. Wilma beat up my neighborhood and put a 150 year old oak tree through my roof. No computer for two months or more. No electricity for three weeks. No stop lights.

Fast forward: FL is trying to cushion Citizens by appointing new "insurance" companies to take over the policies. I have been reassigned twice. According to an article I read in the Tampa Bay Tribune, the first co. I was "assigned" to was not adequately underwritten even for a minimal storm.

FL is a place of smoke and mirrors when it comes to insurance. I have no complaints with State Farm, which are expensive and cover my auto and regular non-wind, non-flood coverage. They have been more than fair. When they won't play, to me that is a bad sign.

Premiums are lower than with Citizens with these new policies, which means they are even less fully supported by invested capital.

I have owned my house sinve 1990. Insurance is 5 to 7X higher than it was when I first enrolled. The costs will go up the next time there is a storm. There could be a cycle of no-storms for a good long time, but they will come, and everyone will be left stranded.

If I didn't still carry a small mortgage, I wouldn't pay insurance except to FEMA, which is at a reasonable rate. It's a major detriment to living in SE FL, a wonderful place in many ways--but woefully undercapitalized for the hurricanes that periodically visit the coastal areas.

Just my thoughts after 20+ rather eventful yrs of home ownership here.

Just to clarify: insurees are sent letters informing them that their accounts have been transferred by Citizens, but if one sends a certified letter, the transfer doesn't take place. Citizens then raises its rate on the home. I will not deal with a no-name insurer; at least the State of FL has an Attorney General to hold accountable if the terms of insurance are not met.

Last edited by ladyalicemore; 02-09-2016 at 06:00 PM..
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:47 PM
 
Location: Florida
4,365 posts, read 3,704,692 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ibelieu View Post
Again, I want to express my gratitude to all of you who have offered helpful information here.


We have been thinking of buying an apartment/condo, 1500 to 2000 sq. ft., close to the beach around the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. The plan is to spend winter in Florida and summer somewhere else, like in California where my son is.


My other candidate location is Las Vegas (or maybe Phoenix), which is close to California.


After reading some stories about alarmingly high insurance cost in Florida, and getting information from you kind folks here, we are leaning toward the west.
I think most are thinking of individual homes. You might have a lower cost if you are not on ground level and in new constructon.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:55 PM
 
15,199 posts, read 31,159,793 times
Reputation: 18364
I am on Gulf coast of Fl. Live in a 1954 small 1350 sq. ft. ranch house, pay $3500 total for regular HOI and flood. Will pay off in a few years and drop the expensive flood. Our taxes are low as are other costs, so it evens out. There are many things to take into consideration when you move to a place. Even with these high costs for insurance, our total costs for living here are low and the quality of life is very high. You need to look at the big picture.
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Old 02-09-2016, 05:58 PM
 
Location: In a little house on the prairie - literally
10,202 posts, read 6,092,389 times
Reputation: 4527
I have a condo I bought in Florida in a flood zone. I bought it a few years ago for distressed value (remember, the market crashed in the Tampa Bay area more than most places). The condo association carries replacement insurance for the outside of the building, I am responsible for the inside.

So, if the SHTF and a hurricane causes a surge or wind damage, the building infrastructure gets replaced. I decided not to insure the inside, as I felt that I would about break even in 11 years if nothing happens, and be money ahead if nothing happened for longer. I can do most of the work myself, so I am comfortable in self-insuring. It is not an option for all, but it is an option you may want to consider.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:02 PM
 
51,950 posts, read 41,815,822 times
Reputation: 32413
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyalicemore View Post
I agree with Mathguy. I am on Citizens, as everyone east of I-95 is. State Farm walked in 2005 or 2006. H. Wilma beat up my neighborhood and put a 150 year old oak tree through my roof. No computer for two months or more. No electricity for three weeks. No stop lights.

Fast forward: FL is trying to cushion Citizens by appointing new "insurance" companies to take over the policies. I have been reassigned twice. According to an article I read in the Tampa Bay Tribune, the first co. I was "assigned" to was not adequately underwritten even for a minimal storm.

FL is a place of smoke and mirrors when it comes to insurance. I have no complaints with State Farm, which are expensive and cover my auto and regular non-wind, non-flood coverage. They have been more than fair. When they won't play, to me that is a bad sign.

Premiums are lower than with Citizens with these new policies, which means they are even less fully supported by invested capital.

I have owned my house sinve 1990. Insurance is 5 to 7X higher than it was when I first enrolled. The costs will go up the next time there is a storm. There could be a cycle of no-storms for a good long time, but they will come, and everyone will be left stranded.

If I didn't still carry a small mortgage, I wouldn't pay insurance except to FEMA, which is at a reasonable rate. It's a major detriment to living in SE FL, a wonderful place in many ways--but woefully undercapitalized for the hurricanes that periodically visit the coastal areas.

Just my thoughts after 20+ rather eventful yrs of home ownership here.

Just to clarify: insurees are send letters informing them that their accounts have been transferred by Citizens, but if one sends a certified letter, the transfer doesn't take place. Citizens then raises its rate on the home. I will not deal with a no-name insurer; at least the State of FL has an Attorney General to hold accountable if the terms of insurance are not met.
Thanks for sharing your first hand experience.

I hesitate to share my views sometimes on these topics because the politicians and a handful of populist news writers tried to further their own careers and prominence by taking a tough issue and making themselves into some sort of "defender of the people" by portraying the insurers as the villains.

It really poisoned the public discourse there.

So, I try to leave the private insurers out of the discussion and focus on the basic admitted fact that Citizens KNOWS they are underpriced but it's politically unpopular to raise rates. Anyone looking to buy there, read that previous sentence 3 times and we all know that can't last forever.

Me personally, I hope you don't have a hurricane for 50 years...but when it comes....Citizens and a bunch of gutless politicians in your state are going to leave you in a tight spot so leave some flex in your budget.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:34 PM
 
Location: Miraflores
786 posts, read 894,545 times
Reputation: 1531
We are considering coastal FL for the 5 years we must spend in the states. I have decided to rent and leave the headaches to someone else.
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Old 02-09-2016, 06:54 PM
 
1,288 posts, read 1,749,253 times
Reputation: 697
Quote:
Originally Posted by gg View Post
You don't have to carry that crap if you don't have a dumb mortgage. We all know it is a scam anyway.
Well you do if your HOA requires it
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