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Old 11-12-2013, 11:38 AM
 
10 posts, read 15,059 times
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Just some quick questions regarding Citizens vs. any other homeowners insurance company. I've heard it stated that if a home in Broward County is over 30 years old the ONLY choice for insurance is Citizens. Is this true?

Does this also mean that if you buy a house built in say, 1985 you have the possibility of choosing another insurer, but once it exceeds the magical 30 years the policy will be dropped and your only choice at that point is Citizens?

Can anyone briefly tell me what's so terrible about Citizens?
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Old 11-12-2013, 07:05 PM
 
14,611 posts, read 17,713,463 times
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Originally Posted by PinkerTish View Post
Can anyone briefly tell me what's so terrible about Citizens?

Price will be high for crappy coverage.......
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Old 11-13-2013, 07:12 AM
 
50 posts, read 78,426 times
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Citizens has been fine for me thus far, but I have not had to file any claims yet.

Citizens is a government intervention into marketplace. As such, one does need to keep regular tabs on the actions of the legislature.
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Old 11-13-2013, 09:02 AM
 
Location: Pompano Beach, FL
389 posts, read 602,810 times
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As far as I know, Citizens is not the only choice for homes age 30 and older in areas west of I-95. It's probably best to check with an insurance agent to confirm this. It could also depend on certain factors like the age of the roof; a new roof would be built to post-Hurricane Andrew code and could better withstand a hurricane.

However ... Citizens is likely to be the only choice for those who live in eastern Broward County. After Hurricane Andrew, most insurers pulled out of areas east of I-95 -- which created the need for the Florida government to create Citizens as the insurer of last resort.

And Citizens' rates do go up once a home turns 50 years old. It was one of the reasons we "downsized" last year because our home was built in 1965 and we would've been subject to much higher rates in a few years. I always thought the higher rates for older homes were misguided because most of the homes constructed in east Broward before 1975 or so were built like tanks and could better withstand storms than anything built in the 15 years or so before Hurricane Andrew (which led to stricter building codes).

It would take all day to list the reasons why Citizens is regarded so negatively, but here are the key factors: The rates are high, and so are the deductibles. The company generally raises rates around 10 percent every year, despite the fact that Florida hasn't been hit by a hurricane since 2005. Although the state Legislature limits the amount by which Citizens can raise its rates, the company has shown creative ways of bending the rules (for example, requiring reinspections that can eliminate previously earned discounts for those who have taken steps to storm-proof their homes, causing premiums to go up much higher than 10 percent).

In addition, Citizens' customer service in the wake of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes was subpar. Many homeowners who had claims for storm damage waited years to receive checks.

Having said all this, the current state of the homeowners/windstorm insurance market in Florida is such that I'm not sure other insurers are much better than Citizens anymore.
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:03 PM
 
14,611 posts, read 17,713,463 times
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Originally Posted by Papillons2 View Post
I always thought the higher rates for older homes were misguided because most of the homes constructed in east Broward before 1975 or so were built like tanks and could better withstand storms than anything built in the 15 years or so before Hurricane Andrew (which led to stricter building codes).
Jalousie windows, poor roof attachment. subpar garage doors would be three major issues of older homes. I would agree the CBS block is fine but everything else is trouble!

A lot of the stuff that Andrew destroyed was wood frame, that stuff was turned into splinters!
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Old 11-15-2013, 03:23 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
2,975 posts, read 4,632,974 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by City Guy997S View Post
Jalousie windows, poor roof attachment. subpar garage doors would be three major issues of older homes. I would agree the CBS block is fine but everything else is trouble!

A lot of the stuff that Andrew destroyed was wood frame, that stuff was turned into splinters!
Quite a few CBS homes in the Homestead area were gutted with nothing but the shell remaining, and there were even some partial collapses of the outer CBS walls. Concrete walls start to fail when the neighbours' roofs smash into them!

I was recently quoted over $3500 for a 900 square ft. home built in the 1950's, in North Miami Beach, outside of the flood zone...the home itself was only worth around $130k. Escrow adds 10-20% on top of that to allow room for future increases. Sorry, but I've got better things to do with $300/month than put it in to Citizens'; I'll continue renting in a more convenient and safer area instead. I'd rather pay my landlord than the scam of Citizens'.
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