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Old 04-11-2010, 08:41 PM
 
Location: Sarasota
463 posts, read 1,030,898 times
Reputation: 136
Default Homeowners insurance on a 40+ yo home

What insurance companies will insure houses that were built in 1969 or older? I am running into difficulties because so many companies have changed their policies on insuring homes that are older than 1998 or even 2002. Are you kidding me? Do they think all houses were built in the last 10 years or less and screw all the rest? A 40 year old house is not an old house in my book, but I guess insurance companies seem to think they are. Heck much of old Sarasota has houses built pre 1969, so who is insuring them or are they all grandfathered in?

Does anyone know of an insurance company besides Citizens who will insure a 40 year old house today? Please help....
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Upstate SC!
2,371 posts, read 2,163,786 times
Reputation: 1454
Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyflyfsh View Post
What insurance companies will insure houses that were built in 1969 or older? I am running into difficulties because so many companies have changed their policies on insuring homes that are older than 1998 or even 2002. Are you kidding me? Do they think all houses were built in the last 10 years or less and screw all the rest? A 40 year old house is not an old house in my book, but I guess insurance companies seem to think they are. Heck much of old Sarasota has houses built pre 1969, so who is insuring them or are they all grandfathered in?

Does anyone know of an insurance company besides Citizens who will insure a 40 year old house today? Please help....
The only real advice anyone can probably give you is to just continue calling every one you can.

Unfortunately it's not just the age of the house it's building codes that were in place at the time that the house was built. Unfortunately 40 is ancient by the FL building codes due to the large number of substantial changes since the early 90's. Replacement value is also an issue, since any damage that does more than 50% damage (or any remodel that changes more than 50% of certain systems like windows) requires that the house be brought to current building code, which can cost far more than the house is actually worth.

It's going to be tough, and even if you do find someone to insure it, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to insure you in the future. Unfortunately citizens will be in your future if you purchase a house that old. After 6 years of dealing with owning an old home in FL, it's just not worth in my opinion.

Our home is 86 now. it was 79 when we purchased it. The only company that would insure it at the time was State Farm, and they dumped us about 2 years ago (after increasing our rates from 1k a year to 4k a year over 4 years). Citizens was the only choice that we had left, and they required that the house be completely rewired before they would insure it, of course we had no choice. They also require replacement value coverage, which is about twice what the house is worth.

Once we were on Citizens for a year, we were picked up out of the pool by someone else and actually got a bit of a break (we're down to about 3k now), but my understanding from others on Citizens is that it's a continual loop into, and out of the pool.
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Old 04-12-2010, 08:32 AM
 
10,033 posts, read 16,024,162 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Skunk Workz View Post
The only real advice anyone can probably give you is to just continue calling every one you can.

Unfortunately it's not just the age of the house it's building codes that were in place at the time that the house was built. Unfortunately 40 is ancient by the FL building codes due to the large number of substantial changes since the early 90's. Replacement value is also an issue, since any damage that does more than 50% damage (or any remodel that changes more than 50% of certain systems like windows) requires that the house be brought to current building code, which can cost far more than the house is actually worth.

It's going to be tough, and even if you do find someone to insure it, there's no guarantee that they'll continue to insure you in the future. Unfortunately citizens will be in your future if you purchase a house that old. After 6 years of dealing with owning an old home in FL, it's just not worth in my opinion.

Our home is 86 now. it was 79 when we purchased it. The only company that would insure it at the time was State Farm, and they dumped us about 2 years ago (after increasing our rates from 1k a year to 4k a year over 4 years). Citizens was the only choice that we had left, and they required that the house be completely rewired before they would insure it, of course we had no choice. They also require replacement value coverage, which is about twice what the house is worth.

Once we were on Citizens for a year, we were picked up out of the pool by someone else and actually got a bit of a break (we're down to about 3k now), but my understanding from others on Citizens is that it's a continual loop into, and out of the pool.
Our experience is the same ^^^. We live in a 1950's old house, and even to get Citizen's (our only choice) we had to put on a new roof, upgrade wiring and a few other things! We too have been picked up by another co.

In Florida, insurance is expensive and tough to get, that is just the way it is. You need to talk to an agent about any house you are thinking about purchasing. And if in a flood zone, mandatory separate flood insurance will be required.
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Old 04-12-2010, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Sarasota
463 posts, read 1,030,898 times
Reputation: 136
Thanks for the info. At least the house is not in a flood zone.
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Old 04-12-2010, 11:50 AM
 
Location: St Augustine
907 posts, read 1,291,307 times
Reputation: 328
get a wind mitigation report from a licensed inspector and save fortunes They are about $100
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Old 04-12-2010, 12:21 PM
 
Location: Upstate SC!
2,371 posts, read 2,163,786 times
Reputation: 1454
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter the Brit View Post
get a wind mitigation report from a licensed inspector and save fortunes They are about $100
Good point; It could be that prior owners made changes over the years that involved bringing some things up to newer codes.

Our numbers are after getting the report (I can't remember if we had to get it when we went to Citizens, or if my insurance agent recommended it at the time). Unfortunately for us the age and construction of our house meant that it didn't do much for us. It does help to document any newer systems that have been added though.

It's worth pointing out that you can have some of the money saving features added retroactively, but you have to look at the cost vs savings.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:08 PM
 
Location: Palm Island and North Port
6,716 posts, read 12,221,770 times
Reputation: 2008
Everyone has been right on with their posts. Here are some things that insurance agents take into consideration-the age of the home, style of roof(hip roof is best), how close the home is to a natural body of water or fire hydrant, how the roof is tied on, if the home has hurricane shutters or impact resistant glass, if the home has a Miami-Dade rated garage door, if the home is frame or block. These are just a few of the criteria they use to give an insurance quote. There are more but these are some of the biggies.

Another thing that's important to look at when talking insurance is the www.MySafeFLoridaHome.com program. It's important to have a wind mitigation report done on the home. This usually costs around $150 and some home inspectors include it in the home inspection for free. I'll give you an example of how this can effect your insurance. I live in North Port (southern Sarasota county). My home was built in 2003, has hurricane shutters, 2127 under air, hip roof, concrete block, close to a fire hydrant, no pool. Before the inspection my insurance was $1987 per year and after the inspection it was $727. Big difference.

Here's website that talks about insurance that may be of help: Compare Homeowner's Insurance Rates

Then you have flood insurance. 95% of North Port is not in a flood zone. There is a very specific area that is. The other areas of Sarasota and Charlotte county would be hit or miss. Generally west of US 41 and on the islands would be more likely to require flood insurance. The only way to determine the amount of the insurance is to have an elevation certificate. This would show the elevation of the home and what flood zone the home is in (if any). If the previous owner had home owners insurance and had a mortgage they probably have an elevation certificate. I always recommend getting flood insurance even if your home is not in a flood zone. If it's not, the price would be much cheaper for the insurance.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Venice
48 posts, read 66,407 times
Reputation: 22
Default Hi there, I am an insurance agent local in Venice - you do have options

Quote:
Originally Posted by ladyflyfsh View Post
What insurance companies will insure houses that were built in 1969 or older? I am running into difficulties because so many companies have changed their policies on insuring homes that are older than 1998 or even 2002. Are you kidding me? Do they think all houses were built in the last 10 years or less and screw all the rest? A 40 year old house is not an old house in my book, but I guess insurance companies seem to think they are. Heck much of old Sarasota has houses built pre 1969, so who is insuring them or are they all grandfathered in?

Does anyone know of an insurance company besides Citizens who will insure a 40 year old house today? Please help....
The question is has the home had updates, specifically newer roof - depending on the roof covering material... that is. Also some carriers will require updates to electrical and plumbing too. That being said, some of the rates may be higher then that of Citizens but may provide more and or better coverages..... hope this helps you.
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:38 PM
 
735 posts, read 917,952 times
Reputation: 657
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoFLGal View Post
95% of North Port is not in a flood zone. There is a very specific area that is.
SoFLGal. . .Can you specifically map the area/s that is prone to flooding in North Port. Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2010, 03:41 PM
 
Location: Venice
48 posts, read 66,407 times
Reputation: 22
just wanted to add on about the wind mitigation inspection that was mentioned by several others. These mitigation inspections can save you lots of money if you have certain mitigating features built in to your home or retrofitted afterwards (new roof, windows or shutters). Homes built 2002 and after usually receive the majority of mitigation type discounts automatically. Opening protections (shutters) is one that is not automatic. However with that being said depending on your insurance carrier, sometimes you can actually "max out" on discounts.... so your best bet is the get a highly qualified insruance agent who can advise you.
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