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Old 02-10-2017, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
4,846 posts, read 4,962,112 times
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About 5 years ago, we had huge forest fires in this area.

Quite a few long time home owners had dropped their insurance after they had paid off the mortgage. I think that as they got older and older they reached a point where they could no longer afford the premiums.

They should have sold and moved to a cheaper place. Instead, they became homeless.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:22 AM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,679 posts, read 2,228,572 times
Reputation: 5230
Homeowners insurance companies in Florida are unique beasts. The large nationwide carriers either left the state or they formed subsidiary companies to keep the risk away from the main company. When you buy State Farm insurance you are buying from State Farm Florida not the parent company. Good luck with finding those AM Best A+ rated companies in Florida. The overwhelming majority are small companies that were formed to fill the vacuum and their financial strength is not inspiring and the same goes for the large company subsidiaries.
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Old 02-10-2017, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Orlando
2,001 posts, read 2,640,314 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tmbf57 View Post
We live in S. FL and pay about $4000/year in Homeowner's Insurance but, in speaking to our accountant yesterday, I was surprised to hear her suggest we not bother renewing it because it is only necessary when you have a mortgage. She is also of the mindset that S.FL insurance companies tend to fight every claim tooth and nail and drop you when you make a claim and she does have a point there. She felt it was better to keep the money and do necessary repairs as needed.


To be honest, S FL has a huge problem with homeowners insurance where, when you put in a claim they tend to drop you and you end up having to go into the government pool.


I don't feel at all comfortable going without any homeowner's insurance, particularly liability in the event anyone has a mishap at our home. Additionally I worry about big stuff, like fire, hurricanes (although we haven't had a big one since Andrew) as well as other things that could go wrong.
Your accountant is right about one (and only the one) thing: South Fla insurance companies DO fight every claim, and they DO drop you when you make a claim.

But contrary to what the accountant says, you still need to keep your homeowner's insurance, not only to rebuild in case of a fire, or put your roof shingles back on after a big storm, but especially in South Fla, you need insurance in case of liability. An umbrella policy is relatively inexpensive, and will save your a$$ if you or your husband make a mistake that injures someone else badly enough so that your homeowner's policy isn't enough to pay for the damage. You can't lose your primary residence if you're sued, thanks to the Florida Constitution, but you can lose a lot of other assets in such a situation.

IMHO you also need flood insurance, even if you're nowhere near a flood zone. If there's a tropical storm that dumps a lot of heavy rain in a short period of time, and if water backs up as a result and comes into your house, your homeowner's insurance policy will not pay for the water intrusion damage. You have to have flood insurance for that.
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Old 02-10-2017, 09:23 AM
 
871 posts, read 1,311,175 times
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Wow and I thought I had it bad for paying $550 in homeowners in NYS this year...
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:49 PM
 
Location: Inland Northwest
51 posts, read 17,508 times
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FYI for those of you not familiar with homeowner's insurance in Florida -
We went through Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. Prior to Andrew, our insurance rates were high but not outrageous. We lost our home due to the storm and our insurance company paid to replace our home and contents, then immediately dropped us. Insurance premiums on our new home increased steadily each year. A mini-tornado during hurricane Wilma seriously damaged our roof. After a bruising battle in arbitration, we finally got a new roof. After that, premiums increased rapidly and peaked at a little over $9K. Finally after spending about $4.5 K on wind mitigation and a new electric panel, we found a company last year that charged us $4k per year. We shopped around often. Sold our house last June for approx. $300K and bought a new one for just a little less in Eastern Washington. Our annual premium on the new place - $430.
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Old 02-10-2017, 12:55 PM
 
Location: Tennessee
23,601 posts, read 17,589,896 times
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That is completely stupid advice. You may want to change deductible or swap around, but I wouldn't eliminate it completely.

I have a great aunt outside Cocoa who let her homeowners insurance lapse. A few years back, the house caught fire and was a total loss. They are of modest means, but did have a mobile home on the property to live in. They basically lost everything in the fire.
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Old 02-10-2017, 01:29 PM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,679 posts, read 2,228,572 times
Reputation: 5230
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gator Fan 79 View Post
FYI for those of you not familiar with homeowner's insurance in Florida -
We went through Hurricane Andrew in South Florida. Prior to Andrew, our insurance rates were high but not outrageous. We lost our home due to the storm and our insurance company paid to replace our home and contents, then immediately dropped us. Insurance premiums on our new home increased steadily each year. A mini-tornado during hurricane Wilma seriously damaged our roof. After a bruising battle in arbitration, we finally got a new roof. After that, premiums increased rapidly and peaked at a little over $9K. Finally after spending about $4.5 K on wind mitigation and a new electric panel, we found a company last year that charged us $4k per year. We shopped around often. Sold our house last June for approx. $300K and bought a new one for just a little less in Eastern Washington. Our annual premium on the new place - $430.
I know all about dealing with the insurance companies when you do get a hurricane and have a claim. My sister lived near the coast and had part of her roof torn off and water poured into her home during Hurricane Frances. We got a tarp up on her roof and she contacted the insurance company. Told to get a contractor to look at it and give her a quote. Good luck with that; contractors were booked up for weeks. Then three weeks later Hurricane Jeanne hit in the same exact spot and of course ripped the roof up even more and added to the inside damage. After over a year of fighting with the insurance company, she just gave up and took what they offered her and luckily sold the property to a speculator who thought that the area was going to be developed commercially. She now lives in Wisconsin and you couldn't get her back to Florida with a team of horses.
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Old 02-10-2017, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Saint John, IN
11,043 posts, read 3,997,052 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JRR View Post
I know all about dealing with the insurance companies when you do get a hurricane and have a claim. My sister lived near the coast and had part of her roof torn off and water poured into her home during Hurricane Frances. We got a tarp up on her roof and she contacted the insurance company. Told to get a contractor to look at it and give her a quote. Good luck with that; contractors were booked up for weeks. Then three weeks later Hurricane Jeanne hit in the same exact spot and of course ripped the roof up even more and added to the inside damage. After over a year of fighting with the insurance company, she just gave up and took what they offered her and luckily sold the property to a speculator who thought that the area was going to be developed commercially. She now lives in Wisconsin and you couldn't get her back to Florida with a team of horses.
Did she try getting a lawyer to fight the insurance company? Just wondering.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:15 PM
JRR
 
Location: Middle Tennessee
3,679 posts, read 2,228,572 times
Reputation: 5230
Quote:
Originally Posted by CGab View Post
Did she try getting a lawyer to fight the insurance company? Just wondering.
She talked to three but they were not interested . She did not have an expensive house or much $ and the attorneys were all busy with much more lucrative situations. With all the storms hitting the area in 2004 it was a chaotic time.
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Old 02-10-2017, 04:56 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,890 posts, read 25,335,938 times
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If my insurance ran 4K per year, I would be trying to find something cheaper. I would definitely think about raising my deductible. What's the value of your house? And if it was destroyed, what would the insurance company pay? Can you afford to replace your home if it is destroyed? Things you need to know!

A long time ago an insurance person explained how to figure out what your deductible should be. She asked me if my door was destroyed, could I afford to replace it or would I need insurance and file a claim? I replied that I would be able to afford a new door. Next she asked if my garage was destroyed, would I file a claim or just replace it myself. I told her I would need insurance for that one. She then told me my deductible should probably be from 1 to 5K because I was able to take on some of the risk myself.

A friend of mine paid for top dollar coverage on a mobile home for 15 plus years. The MH was destroyed by a tornado. Pretty much just gone. Total loss of the home and all his belongings. By the time the insurance company depreciated the home and it's contents, he ended up with a few thousand dollars. Nothing even close to what it would cost to replace what he lost. I think it's stories like these that make people think they shouldn't insure a home that's paid off.

I think you still need insurance. But you need the RIGHT insurance!
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