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Old 10-19-2007, 01:48 PM
 
Location: Gainesville FL
2 posts, read 40,231 times
Reputation: 12

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I am about to purchase a second home in Florida and need home-owner's insurance. I am trying to figure out what to look for in an insurance company and where to find a good one. Can someone tell me about a good experience they have had?
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Old 10-19-2007, 02:24 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,692 times
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Default Dig in

Homeowners coverage, as most are aware, has become increasingly hard to acquire, let alone afford in recent years. There won't be too many cheerful stories, particularly among working people. However, if one is willing to do the legwork, old - fashioned comparison shopping is alive and well. Web resources are powerful help here. Try floridahomeinsurers.com to solicit quotes, or fmap.org as more of a last resort. Choose new homesites carefully, location will cause large premium differences. Take hurricane - resistance measures beforehand, and you can maybe keep a step ahead of both 'threats' - the storm & the insurance beast! Finally, be prepared, persistent and above all, polite. Most agents are on a hair trigger these days, practicing high courtesies can result in valuable collateral insights. Good luck.
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Old 10-21-2007, 10:21 PM
 
18 posts, read 56,034 times
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My rate tripled from 2006 to 2007, with no claims since I moved here in 2004. I have a new roof and shutters for all my windows. By increasing my deductible for non-windstorm related losses, I was able to lower it somewhat, but that will just be for this year. I had my wind mitigation inspection and just sent the paperwork to my insurance company so I am waiting to see what, if anything, that does. In any case, it will only effect the rate for 1 year. And it will still be significantly higher than last year. Then next year, when they want to increase it again, I won't be able to do anything further to bring the rate down. Hopefully, I won't be living here next year. I really would rather move than pay an additional $200 or $300 each month to cover the increased insurance.



Quote:
Originally Posted by llolson View Post
Insurance rates will decrease when people update their houses to meet new codes. The state is helping people with matching grants to do this. If you get their free wind inspection, and it passes or you do what needs to be done , you are qualified for better insurance rates. See my post under hurricanes.
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Old 10-26-2007, 04:30 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,692 times
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Leaving Florida solely because of this insurance crunch will be an option of sad last resort. Has anyone actually received grant funds yet from MySafeFloridaHome in central FL ? The application process seems sluggish. We are reluctant to contract further expensive mitigation upgrades without state approval, confirmation, and the same commitment they ask of us. The insurers are insisting on layers of inspections to satisfy their obligation to provide required discounts. Will these inspection costs and discounts simply wash each other out ? The hard incentive numbers aren't simple to figure. Feeling very caught in the middle. How do others fare ?
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Old 10-26-2007, 05:25 PM
 
Location: Sarasota, Florida
151 posts, read 562,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Idmason60 View Post
I would drop my hurricane coverage and only keep fire and liability coverage if I could. The last time I checked I couldnt do that even without a mortgage.
This sounds totally false to me , who told you this? Are you bound by a homeowners association law or something that's the only reason I could see why you would HAVE TO buy insurance. (So your home doesn't get destroyed by a hurricane and you abandon the property leaving your neighbors to look at the mess)
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Old 10-29-2007, 12:03 PM
 
57,275 posts, read 45,352,912 times
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Originally Posted by John Compass View Post
I agree homeowners should be more proactive to harden their own homes against storm threats. Very little of this is happening. Surprisingly few people seem aware of the state sponsored "My Safe Florida Home" inspection and grant program. Participation in this FREE program is supposed to mandate private insurers to provide wind mitigation discounts. Insurance industry doesn't seem too happy with that. During my renewal process, I am met with reluctance and outright hostility from respected insurance agencies, by only trying to help manage risk for all concerned. Sure, corporate profit reigns supreme, no question - I just want my measly state required discount. How do others fare?
Just a guess but based upons the state's track-record, the state's estimated savings for making these improvements are probably:

1) Costly and difficult to verify....so the insurers have to hire staff to verify this in some way. (which can be tough...notice how auto insurers don't check odometers even though that is a decent idea of exposure?).

2) The savings is likely badly overstated and\or the additional costs of compliance not allowed to be passed along to anyone.

Basically, the state is interested in re-election and the insurance companies don't vote. ;-)
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Old 10-29-2007, 02:19 PM
 
57,275 posts, read 45,352,912 times
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Originally Posted by SRQ_Sioux View Post
This sounds totally false to me , who told you this? Are you bound by a homeowners association law or something that's the only reason I could see why you would HAVE TO buy insurance. (So your home doesn't get destroyed by a hurricane and you abandon the property leaving your neighbors to look at the mess)
It is possible that the state requires insurers to sell all of those coverages bundled together to "protect" the consumer from not having wind coverage when they thought they did.

It may just be that he cannot find a carrier that can sell just those coverages and he doesn't want to go completely bare.

Also, insurers even if allowed by law would be very smart not to sell policies like that. The moment a hurricane hits there would be a class action lawsuit from homeowners that didn't *know* that wind damage wasn't covered.

(Note sometimes this is the agents fault, the persons fault and sometimes the insurance companies fault....it's just that an insurer would be insane to open themselves up to the barrage of criticism and negative publicity showing the crying person saying how their insurer won't pay their claim on TV.)
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:25 AM
 
12,869 posts, read 13,612,527 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Compass View Post
Leaving Florida solely because of this insurance crunch will be an option of sad last resort. Has anyone actually received grant funds yet from MySafeFloridaHome in central FL ? The application process seems sluggish. We are reluctant to contract further expensive mitigation upgrades without state approval, confirmation, and the same commitment they ask of us. The insurers are insisting on layers of inspections to satisfy their obligation to provide required discounts. Will these inspection costs and discounts simply wash each other out ? The hard incentive numbers aren't simple to figure. Feeling very caught in the middle. How do others fare ?
my mom applied early in the process and has just been approved for funding. have you received the free inspection yet? you have to pick from a list of contractors, but there is a fairly substantial discount on the insurance rates.
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Old 10-31-2007, 04:48 PM
 
4 posts, read 8,659 times
Reputation: 10
Default say what?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Idmason60 View Post
I would drop my hurricane coverage and only keep fire and liability coverage if I could. The last time I checked I couldnt do that even without a mortgage.
I can't understand this either, why can't you drop insurance if you don't have a mortgage?
Whenever I possibly can, I do without insurance of any kind, hey these guys are in it to make money you know (I knew alot of people who worked in insurance). When you think about the money you Florida people are spending on insurance, wouldn't you be better to put it into your own account for future needs? Does anyone build with concrete down there or brick? Does that work for wind problems?
I am thinking of buying a cheap lot or super cheap cottage to spend winters in - I sure won't be getting insurance.
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Old 10-31-2007, 05:16 PM
 
57,275 posts, read 45,352,912 times
Reputation: 35634
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarlingM View Post
I can't understand this either, why can't you drop insurance if you don't have a mortgage?
Whenever I possibly can, I do without insurance of any kind, hey these guys are in it to make money you know (I knew alot of people who worked in insurance). When you think about the money you Florida people are spending on insurance, wouldn't you be better to put it into your own account for future needs? Does anyone build with concrete down there or brick? Does that work for wind problems?
I am thinking of buying a cheap lot or super cheap cottage to spend winters in - I sure won't be getting insurance.
I think my post may have answered the question.
You do not have to buy homeowners insurance if you have no mortgage....but the guy wasn't doing that....he was trying to buy coverage without the WIND part....which is another animal completely.

I agree....companies are certainly in it to make a profit and you also have the state's taxes, commissions etc. to pay. In general, don't buy insurance if you can reasonably sustain the loss. The entire purpose of insurance is to spread risk that would be financially catastrophic.

Good post!
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