November 2009


With another year of no Hurricanes why is home Insurance heading upward and why are companies still failing. Two companies have failed this year already and who knows what is to come. Companies that have been around longer and are starting to expand into other states are  good things to look for. Also, if the company has an AM best rating(only 1 does in Fla.), or if they are a  company on one of the Stock markets  so the financials are public all help in the decision process. Even with this,price has to matter because Home  Insurance is so expensive in Florida compared to other states. Citizens is still a bad choice when there is a choice for many reasons including surcharges and the selling of policies to other carriers. Mitigation inspections by licensed inspectors help save a  lot of money to policyholder’s and Flood Insurance will give you peace of mind for about $400 to most.So what does this really mean to you? Choose an agency that has so many companies to choose from so you can make a choice. Most agencies only have 1,2 or maybe 5  carriers. Our agency has about 17 so choices here are real choices. Please contact us for a quote, but in the meantime, please read this article below;

http://ezinearticles.com/?New-Challenges-Selecting-the-Right-Florida-Home-Insurance-Company&id=3313005

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Citizens Insurance need’s to root out a lot of problem’s w/ Mitigation discounts. However, giving a 60 million dollar contract to a  private company that has never dealt w/ a project this size on Mitigation inspections is very questionable at best!!  Citizens plans to inspect 40% of it’s 1 million homes and no competitive bidding process has been scheduled, so this 1 company could be charging way to much or may not be able to handle the project. With this in question, how good of a job will be done to truly protect Homeowner’s and their Home Insurance policies w/ Citizens.Companies that have depopulated from Citizens have found up to 50% of the nearly 700 million in mitigation discounts were not truly valid so what will they find. Please read the full article below;

http://www.tampabay.com/opinion/editorials/a-bad-deal-from-citizens/1052429

Citizens has now finally approved rate increases for Mobile Homes, Windstorm policies, multi peril policies in the windpool and Condo associations as well. Get your flood insurance and mitigation reports in to be sure you save as much money as possible  because prices are on the rise at Citizens and other companies as well. This is the final wave for the first year of Rate increases. This is the first  year of increases since  Hurricane Wilma and it is  not likely to be the last. This increase as well as increases for Home Insurance in Florida is just begginning.This round of increases will rannge from a State wide average of 5% -11% or more.Please read the full story below and get ready;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/11/22/105495.htm

Our Insurance Commissioner has told the  Gov. and other’s that he is cautiously Optimistic that State farm will stay. The 500Billion of capitilzation is better here than not here. Gov.  Christ says that  he wants them to continue to be good neighbore, but fair neighbors as well. Please read the full article below.If we loose State Farm, can Citizens and the other companies pick up the capacity???

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/11/20/105485.htm

Rates will increase from 5.2% to as much as 12% depending on the situation your home is in. Homes on the East side of I-95 in S. Florida will  get the worst of all. Everyone should call the agent they have and ask for service. Shopping to get  the best deals from a variety of companies is the only way to save money as well as having a new, current Wind mitigation inspection!  Your agent should be able to tell you how many companies they have available to them. If this number is only 4-6 companies then shop with another agency.If you think this is bad, be glad you are not w/ State Farm and averging 27% increases. Please read the article on the average increases expected for Florida w/ Citizens;

http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/business/realestate/housekeys/blog/2009/11/citizens_insurance_policyholde.html

 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2009/11/19/105452.htm

Most people want an AM best rated company with lot’s of financial backing. In Florida this is hard to find and even the one’s that are stronger, how strong are they really? Some agents will tell you to be carefull of using the newer companies, but In Florida there is no real differance from a  2 month old company to a 2 year company to a 12 year company. Of course the finacials can be differant and that will help any scenario, but if a Hurrican Andrew, Katrina, or Wilma were to hit us in a  highly populated area at cat 5 strength, I do not think it will really matter. Florida will be in financial termoil no matter how we look at it so what should be done when you look for a company to insure your home? First, be sure your home is covered properly for replacement cost and you should have replacement cost on your contents as well. 2nd, please be sure your home has a mitigation inspection to save as much money as possible. A 4 point inspection is necessary for older homes and roof certifications as well, but they must be signed by a  properly licensed contractor or it is not valid!  Third, look for an agency that has many companies to shop with and also has a customer service department that can handle all the billing issues that arize normally between  Home Insurance policies and mortgage companies.Forth and finally, be sure to review several companies that have the best prices for your particular situation and when prices are close, then choose the company with the best financials.

As an example, we at L & S Insurance now represent over 17 carriers that do all differant types of homes and cover or won’t cover all types of scenarios. In some cases, even we have to use Citizen’s Insurance. When we have several choices, we review them with our clients and discuss all the scenarios with them. We do now have an  AM best rated carrier in ASI for the larger homes over 750K in coverage and another company(Homeowner’s choice) that is a Nasdaq company which has very strong financials with zero debt. When quoting these companies, even if pricing is higher, it becomes a better choice as long as the price is not too high in comparrison. Please shop your Home Insurance with L & S here in Florida for all the best reasons to help yourself!

Lee S. Gorodetsky,LUTCF,CLF

President

lee@yourinsurancepros.com  1-888-244-7400 x-209

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