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Old 02-10-2016, 02:00 AM
 
Location: R.I.
977 posts, read 605,084 times
Reputation: 4232

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyalicemore View Post
Thanks so much for the info, Nightengale! I was just looking at Tiverton RI yesterday. Some very charming houses. I'm just beginning to consider RI. Looking at Povidence, too.

Your car insurance is comparable to what I pay in FL (horrible drivers here contribute to high costs). The homeowner's insurance is a fraction of what I pay overall, though I don't have a state income tax here as in RI, so it's more or less a wash.

There are very, very low auto and home insurance costs in Maine and Vermont, but then there is winter heating to provide for.

Since my family is in New England and I miss them, I'll try to get up there somehow but figuring out the budget is like playing 3-dimensional chess. Real info helps a lot--
Glad the info I shared was of help to you. Tiverton is a lovely town about a 15 minute ride from where I live. We looked very seriously at Tiverton when we were on a land hunt, but when a lot came up in Bristol where I am from that had studded into the property line sewer, water, and gas and that was the selling point. Plus, Tiverton more rural, has no walkable downtown which I like also factored in. Do not discount southcoast Mass towns like Westport, No. Dartmouth, So. Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Mattapoisett, Marion, etc. which are very nice and are a hop skip to upper Cape Cod and a reasonable ride to Providence and Boston.
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Old 02-10-2016, 04:49 AM
 
Location: Anthem, AZ
2,118 posts, read 3,014,748 times
Reputation: 655
I'm on a Gulf Access canal in Port Charlotte, 45 minutes either way between Venice and Ft Myers. My home was built in '82. Our primiums have steadily risen over the past years. Homeowner and wind policy started at 1400 and is now 2000. We out of the flood plane, at 16' elevation and flood is optional. Started at 250, now near 400. That's through FEMA so you can't shop it.

2 years back we put a pool and cage in. Last year we substantially upgraded the house with impact resistant doors/windows/garage, every opening. We just finished the new wind mitigation inspection ($75) and can't wait to shop for new insurance. Not a fan of my current broker, so she's getting fired. Hoping to drop $500 off the home/wind policy.

The $20k in upgrades we made were to weather the storms, not to save on insurance. Recently got hit by 90 MPH straight line winds and watched it play out from behind the impact glass. Damaged carriage lights on the home, tore tree limbs apart, and dropped a couple screen tension beams from the pool cage. No claim made. Couple hundred to our handyman and we were good to go.

Florida coastal living is paradise found. Don't let the costs deter you from living the dream.
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Old 02-10-2016, 05:08 AM
 
Location: ☀️ SWFL ⛱ 🌴
2,431 posts, read 1,667,352 times
Reputation: 8663
Coming from downstate NY, our car insurance is $100 more in FL and home insurance is double plus we carry optional flood. We are two miles from the Gulf, so flood is reasonable. DH is still working, so no income tax in FL is huge. Even without the no income tax and much higher insurance, our costs are less than half in FL compared to our area of NY because of property taxes and utilities there. Lower kwh costs with FPL, coupled with cooling using less energy than heating is a significant savings we weren't expecting.

Last edited by jean_ji; 02-10-2016 at 05:22 AM..
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Old 02-10-2016, 10:56 AM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,753 posts, read 7,033,290 times
Reputation: 14275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
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.
Well, a lot of what you have said in your post is correct regarding Citizens Insurance, and the general health of the homeowner's insurance in Florida, but not everything you have said is true. Citizens Insurance IS a governmental entity, created after the biggest majority of the major insurance companies cancelled homeowner's policies and refused to write new policies after Hurricane Andrew- the Citizens website says it was created in 2002, I thought it was earlier than that, but guess they should know. In any case, Citizens has always billed themselves "the insurer of last resort", initially for people who could not obtain homeowner's insurance anywhere else. To that end, the FL legislature passed laws stating that rates for Citizen's policies had to be higher than rates of any other insurance companies, supposedly to discourage homeowners who could obtain homeowner's insurance with private companies from getting those policies from Citizens. Of course, that left lots of folks
having to pay those rates and get insurance from Citizens because there was no other insurance available to them. So no,
indeed, Citizens rates are NOT lower than those of other jnsurance companies, and as a former Citizen's policyholder for our former home in Miami ( we had windstorm only coverage from them for the tune of $5000 annually at the time, and homeowner's sans windstorm coverage grandfathered in from State Farm as a long time customer, for another $1100 annually), I can assure you Citizens raised its rates big time every year. We sure didn't see any subsidized insurance rates there, and from everyone and everywhere folks were paying for Citizen's coverage, I'd doubt seriously anyone had any subsidized insurance rates.

It's true that the governor and other FL politicians, as well as Citizen's administrative folks have sounded warnings about Citizen's inability to pay claims for damages from another major hurricane event without major surcharges to policyholders ( as well as non-Citizen's policyholders and to their automobile and other insurance policyholders since they can probably get away with that. Maybe I am cynical but I do have to wonder just what has become of all that premium money and surcharges they have collected in the 10 yrs since the last major windstorm event. They have also claimed for a number of years now, that they want to get out of the insurance business, to that end they have created and gone forward with their "depopulation" program. In this program, they transfer their customer's policies to small, "startup" insurance companies, many of which, IMO, are good at collecting money but the jury is still out as to how well they would pay claims in the event of a storm. But the policy rates of these smaller companies can be significantly less than those of Citizen's, at least initially.

So that, basically, is the state of homeowner's insurance here in the Sunshine State. Citizens or a takeout insurance.
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Old 02-10-2016, 01:49 PM
 
18 posts, read 17,024 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by rjm1cc View Post
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.
Lots of good information to chew on.


Indeed, we are thinking of buying an apartment, 1500 - 2000 sq. ft. in area, right on the beach.


We are thinking it should be on the 4th floor or above.


We will not have any mortgage.


We know the outside and roof are covered by the HOA.


So our question is really what is the total insurance for the four walls and inside if, say, it is located in Fort Lauderdale and its purchase value is $800,000.
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Old 02-10-2016, 02:40 PM
 
51,927 posts, read 41,791,093 times
Reputation: 32398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
Well, a lot of what you have said in your post is correct regarding Citizens Insurance, and the general health of the homeowner's insurance in Florida, but not everything you have said is true. Citizens Insurance IS a governmental entity, created after the biggest majority of the major insurance companies cancelled homeowner's policies and refused to write new policies after Hurricane Andrew- the Citizens website says it was created in 2002, I thought it was earlier than that, but guess they should know. In any case, Citizens has always billed themselves "the insurer of last resort", initially for people who could not obtain homeowner's insurance anywhere else. To that end, the FL legislature passed laws stating that rates for Citizen's policies had to be higher than rates of any other insurance companies, supposedly to discourage homeowners who could obtain homeowner's insurance with private companies from getting those policies from Citizens. Of course, that left lots of folks
having to pay those rates and get insurance from Citizens because there was no other insurance available to them. So no,
indeed, Citizens rates are NOT lower than those of other jnsurance companies, and as a former Citizen's policyholder for our former home in Miami ( we had windstorm only coverage from them for the tune of $5000 annually at the time, and homeowner's sans windstorm coverage grandfathered in from State Farm as a long time customer, for another $1100 annually), I can assure you Citizens raised its rates big time every year. We sure didn't see any subsidized insurance rates there, and from everyone and everywhere folks were paying for Citizen's coverage, I'd doubt seriously anyone had any subsidized insurance rates.

It's true that the governor and other FL politicians, as well as Citizen's administrative folks have sounded warnings about Citizen's inability to pay claims for damages from another major hurricane event without major surcharges to policyholders ( as well as non-Citizen's policyholders and to their automobile and other insurance policyholders since they can probably get away with that. Maybe I am cynical but I do have to wonder just what has become of all that premium money and surcharges they have collected in the 10 yrs since the last major windstorm event. They have also claimed for a number of years now, that they want to get out of the insurance business, to that end they have created and gone forward with their "depopulation" program. In this program, they transfer their customer's policies to small, "startup" insurance companies, many of which, IMO, are good at collecting money but the jury is still out as to how well they would pay claims in the event of a storm. But the policy rates of these smaller companies can be significantly less than those of Citizen's, at least initially.

So that, basically, is the state of homeowner's insurance here in the Sunshine State. Citizens or a takeout insurance.
Ok, so you have a company that hasn't had to really pay hurricane claims for about a decade but even then they've not managed to amass enough premium and will have to surcharge EVERYONE IN THE STATE for car insurance etc. but there isn't a subsidy?

Also, prior to 2006 the state forced homeowners insurers to keep their coastal rates down and if they chose not to write homeowners insurance in the state....they were told they couldn't write any other lines either.

I cannot speak to your anecdotal example but Citizens has been underpriced and relying on assessments on everyone in the state is a subsidy because eventually they will help pay for the money citizens doesn't have.
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Old 02-10-2016, 03:18 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
9,753 posts, read 7,033,290 times
Reputation: 14275
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mathguy View Post
Ok, so you have a company that hasn't had to really pay hurricane claims for about a decade but even then they've not managed to amass enough premium and will have to surcharge EVERYONE IN THE STATE for car insurance etc. but there isn't a subsidy?

Also, prior to 2006 the state forced homeowners insurers to keep their coastal rates down and if they chose not to write homeowners insurance in the state....they were told they couldn't write any other lines either.

I cannot speak to your anecdotal example but Citizens has been underpriced and relying on assessments on everyone in the state is a subsidy because eventually they will help pay for the money citizens doesn't have.
Don't know where you are getting your information but it's not accurate.

There is no subsidy, never has been, at least not to the homeowners. You are correct in that surcharges have been added to other insurance policies, including auto policies, homeowners insurance policies from other companies, for catastrophic coverage (ie, windstorm) although I don't see that on the auto insurance bill we just got from State Farm although I have seen it in the past. Perhaps you mean subsidies to Citizens, that would be more like it.

The insurance industry has always been regulated in Florida as it is in many states, they have always been required to submit rate hikes to the state, which has generally granted them hikes less than what they wanted. When most of the insurance companies decided to leave the state, not write homeowners policies any longer, there was talk of not allowing them to write auto or other policies either but that never came about.

And Citizens has always charged the highest rates for their homeowner and wind policies, as I said, this was mandated by law. Definitely never underpriced.
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Old 02-11-2016, 06:21 AM
 
Location: Ponte Vedra Beach FL
14,628 posts, read 17,927,825 times
Reputation: 6716
Quote:
Originally Posted by ibelieu View Post
Lots of good information to chew on.

Indeed, we are thinking of buying an apartment, 1500 - 2000 sq. ft. in area, right on the beach.

We are thinking it should be on the 4th floor or above.

We will not have any mortgage.

We know the outside and roof are covered by the HOA.

So our question is really what is the total insurance for the four walls and inside if, say, it is located in Fort Lauderdale and its purchase value is $800,000.
The more important question is whether the condo association has adequate insurance. Some do - many don't. A problem which became very apparent after Hurricane Wilma.

Singer Island Tiara condo loses $35 million lawsuit vs. broker | www.palmbeachpost.com

Also - when dealing with a condo - you have to realize that insurance isn't based on the fair market value of a unit. It's based on repair/replacement costs. Which can be less than fair market value (important if there's a total loss).

Another important issue is what you'll pay in condo fees. Because the association's insurance costs are simply passed on to unit owners. If the condo fees seem low to you - it's a red flag. Because perhaps the association doesn't have adequate insurance coverage. I would definitely find out what the story is today before buying a place.

An important aspect of your personal homeowners' policy will be loss assessment coverage - what your company will pay to reimburse you for condo assessments. The maximum - at least in terms of my insurance company - is $50,000. You'll have to ask yourself whether that is adequate protection in light of the overall condo insurance situation.

Another important aspect is temporary relocation expenses - which many companies don't offer today.

Note that the only homeowners' claims we've ever made were for loss assessments and relocation expenses and interior repairs after Hurricane Andrew. About $20-30,000 IIRC.

Overall - I think condo insurance is a huge can of worms. And am not unhappy that we don't live in a high rise condo anymore. Robyn
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Old 02-11-2016, 07:39 AM
 
51,927 posts, read 41,791,093 times
Reputation: 32398
Quote:
Originally Posted by Travelassie View Post
Don't know where you are getting your information but it's not accurate.

There is no subsidy, never has been, at least not to the homeowners. You are correct in that surcharges have been added to other insurance policies, including auto policies, homeowners insurance policies from other companies, for catastrophic coverage (ie, windstorm) although I don't see that on the auto insurance bill we just got from State Farm although I have seen it in the past. Perhaps you mean subsidies to Citizens, that would be more like it.

The insurance industry has always been regulated in Florida as it is in many states, they have always been required to submit rate hikes to the state, which has generally granted them hikes less than what they wanted. When most of the insurance companies decided to leave the state, not write homeowners policies any longer, there was talk of not allowing them to write auto or other policies either but that never came about.

And Citizens has always charged the highest rates for their homeowner and wind policies, as I said, this was mandated by law. Definitely never underpriced.
1) You say they have to be the highest? Let's discuss the Glitch Bill.

Quote:
Florida Senate Bill 2498, known as the Glitch Bill, was signed into law by Governor Crist on June 11, 2007. This legislation permitted agents to write a Citizens policy for customers if the premium for a comparable policy offered by a private carrier was 15% (instead of 25%) more expensive
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citize...n#Model_change

In short, they get to buy from Citizens if the private insurers are too much HIGHER than citizens. It's the exact opposite of them being the most expensive.

If Citizens is more expensive than other carriers then why did they skyrocket to 1.1million policies and are now trying to greatly reduce that? People just like paying higher rates to citizens?
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Old 02-11-2016, 09:23 AM
 
18 posts, read 17,024 times
Reputation: 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robyn55 View Post
The more important question is whether the condo association has adequate insurance. Some do - many don't. A problem which became very apparent after Hurricane Wilma.

Singer Island Tiara condo loses $35 million lawsuit vs. broker | www.palmbeachpost.com

Also - when dealing with a condo - you have to realize that insurance isn't based on the fair market value of a unit. It's based on repair/replacement costs. Which can be less than fair market value (important if there's a total loss).

Another important issue is what you'll pay in condo fees. Because the association's insurance costs are simply passed on to unit owners. If the condo fees seem low to you - it's a red flag. Because perhaps the association doesn't have adequate insurance coverage. I would definitely find out what the story is today before buying a place.

An important aspect of your personal homeowners' policy will be loss assessment coverage - what your company will pay to reimburse you for condo assessments. The maximum - at least in terms of my insurance company - is $50,000. You'll have to ask yourself whether that is adequate protection in light of the overall condo insurance situation.

Another important aspect is temporary relocation expenses - which many companies don't offer today.

Note that the only homeowners' claims we've ever made were for loss assessments and relocation expenses and interior repairs after Hurricane Andrew. About $20-30,000 IIRC.

Overall - I think condo insurance is a huge can of worms. And am not unhappy that we don't live in a high rise condo anymore. Robyn
Thank you very much for the helpful information.
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