June 2021


Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has vetoed a measure intended to replace auto insurance personal injury protection (PIP) coverage with bodily injury coverage limits and requiring insurers to offer medical payments coverage.

In a letter time-stamped at 9:12 pm last night, DeSantis wrote that he was vetoing the bill (SB54) because it may have “unintended consequences.”

The bill received widespread support from Florida lawmakers but faced scrutiny from critics including insurers arguing that the repeal would raise rates and lead to a higher number of uninsured drivers.

DeSantis seemed to have listened to the critics.

“While the PIP system has flaws and Florida law regarding bad faith is deficient, CS/CS/SB 54 does not adequately address the current issues facing Florida drivers and may have unintended consequences that would negatively impact both the market and consumers,” DeSantis wrote.

SB 54 would have repealed the state’s no-fault PIP system and instead required mandatory bodily injury coverage of at least $25,000 for all Florida drivers. The passed version of the bill also provides the option of a $5,000 medical payment coverage (MedPay) death benefit.

Bill sponsor Danny Burgess, a Republican, pointed to a 2016 Office of Insurance Regulation study that showed rates would decrease if PIP was repealed.

Opponents of the repeal said it would have the opposite effect.

Sponsored by Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (FSLSO)
Insurer trade group American Property Casualty Insurance Association argued the cost of an average auto insurance policy could increase by as much as 23%, or $344. Drivers with low coverage levels could see an increase as high as $805 annually.

“Moving forward, we hope any proposals to reform or eliminate Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system will reduce consumer costs, combat rampant lawsuit abuse by implementing meaningful bad faith reforms, and prevent or minimize fraud,” APCIA said in a statement applauding the veto.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The saying “keeping a roof over your head” is synonymous with the very concept of home. Maintaining that roof, and repairing or replacing it when it gets damaged, can easily be one of the most expensive aspects of being a homeowner.    

Snow, hail, rain, ice, and falling branches or debris can all damage your roof, and roofs aren’t cheap to fix or replace; the typical range for a roof repair project is between $5,569 and $11,413, according to 2020 data collected by home improvement site HomeAdvisor.

But here’s the good news: Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof replacement or repair if the damage is the result of an act of nature or sudden accidental event. It’s one of the main reasons people carry homeowners insurance. 

“If lightning comes out of the sky and damages the roof, that’s going to be covered because you didn’t cause that yourself,” says Stacey Giulianti, chief legal officer at Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, a homeowners insurance company based in Florida. https://www.myfinance.com/r/89a0adda-a916-481d-ab10-adcd60b8cfff?utm_campaign=e383b53a8d257a84c41f25ed02769f8f3afddd2e&utm_medium=embed&selector=%23time-in-content-widget&csid=cad7a709-95f4-41c9-9746-8e4024bb6874&caid=72ead343-ddd7-4aa4-a260-79a9f3f36cc1&ciid=35341f8d-ae68-48e8-97f3-1e4b468ea3cb&tenant=wk_1b8FUkc7ycJrtOvvFNaam9Vgdxc&srckey=src_1b8FUpnvBJZxHZBgWdwDP9BexE4&cxsid=c9672faf-85bd-48a0-b977-43a086677900&placement=b2f3719954&mf_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2Fnextadvisor%2Finsurance%2Fhome%2Froof-replacement-after-storm%2F&_mfuuid_=0d0e13b5-193e-44b7-89af-e73e055096bf&width=792

Here’s how to get homeowners insurance to pay for repairs or for a new roof if it’s damaged in a storm. 

How Homeowners Insurance Coverage Works for Your Roof

The roof is an essential part of your home’s structure, and so your homeowners insurance policy typically protects it from certain situations out of your control, such as fire, hail, falling objects and more. 

If your roof is damaged by a covered peril in your policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company for a total or partial replacement of the roof. But your insurer won’t pay to replace or repair a roof that’s gradually deteriorating due to general wear and tear or neglect.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t a maintenance policy. You’re responsible for maintaining your own roof like you’re responsible for maintaining the rest of your house,” says Giulianti. 

If you’re left wondering what most insurers cover when it comes to your roof, here are a few common instances:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Vandalism
  • Lightning strikes
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters

Insurance companies may not cover roof damage if:

  • You have an older roof (10-20 years or older)
  • The roof hasn’t been maintained, leading to the roof damage
  • There was intentional or accidental damage caused by the homeowner
  • You live in a state with windstorm or hail storm exclusions, such as Florida and Texas, where hurricanes and hail storms are common

Be Aware of Disaster Deductibles

Whenever you file an insurance claim, you have to pay a deductible. It’s the amount of money you pay on an insurance claim before your coverage kicks in and pays the rest.https://www.myfinance.com/r/89a0adda-a916-481d-ab10-adcd60b8cfff?utm_campaign=e383b53a8d257a84c41f25ed02769f8f3afddd2e&utm_medium=embed&selector=%23time-mid-in-content-widget&csid=cad7a709-95f4-41c9-9746-8e4024bb6874&caid=72ead343-ddd7-4aa4-a260-79a9f3f36cc1&ciid=35341f8d-ae68-48e8-97f3-1e4b468ea3cb&tenant=wk_1b8FUkc7ycJrtOvvFNaam9Vgdxc&srckey=src_1b8FUpnvBJZxHZBgWdwDP9BexE4&cxsid=c9672faf-85bd-48a0-b977-43a086677900&placement=d90e70f09a&mf_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2Fnextadvisor%2Finsurance%2Fhome%2Froof-replacement-after-storm%2F&_mfuuid_=0d0e13b5-193e-44b7-89af-e73e055096bf&width=792

It’s standard for wind, hail and hurricanes to be covered by homeowners insurance; flood and earthquake policies are typically purchased separately. But each of these disasters can have its own deductible rules, depending on the insurance company and where you live.  

For example, hurricane deductibles tend to be higher than other homeowners policy deductibles and usually take the form of a percentage of the policy limits, according to the Insurance Information Institute. So if you live on the coast or in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, you may end up paying a deductible that’s completely different from the one you choose. 

Being aware of these various types of disaster deductibles, from hurricanes to wind and hail, will prevent surprise costs down the road. Check your policy and talk to your insurance company to learn exactly how your deductibles work.

How to File an Insurance Claim for a Damaged Roof After a Storm

There’s a standard process you can follow to file an insurance claim for a damaged roof. In an ideal world, filing a claim would always be a smooth process, but dealing with insurance companies can sometimes be frustrating and unpleasant. In order to prepare yourself for both, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

1. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Company

If you suspect there’s any damage to your roof after a storm, it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Take detailed notes and multiple photos of all damage to the house on the ground level — both interior and exterior. This documentation will be important when you’re filing the claim. 

Try to avoid climbing on top of your roof to inspect the damage, because you can easily hurt yourself. 

2. Find a Roofing Contractor

Now it’s time to reach out to at least three roofing contractors. Each will assess the repair or roof replacement cost and offer quotes that you’ll give to your claims adjuster later on. 

“Most insurance companies prefer that a homeowner have a roofer look at it first before they file a claim,” says Ami Feller Wells, owner of Feller Roofing in New Braunfels, Texas. “They don’t want to waste the trip if there’s no damage.”

3. File an Insurance Claim

If the contractor confirms that there’s enough damage on the roof, the next step is to file a claim with your insurance company. It’s typically best to contact your insurer by phone, but depending on your insurer, it may be easier to file the claim online. 

Keep in mind that time is of the essence when submitting a claim. Typically, homeowners have a year to file a claim. Some states give you more time, from two years up to even six years to file a claim. While this can vary significantly, generally the sooner you file the claim, the better. 

Save your conversations with your insurer and important details along the way. While you’re filing the claim, submit photo documentation of the damage and any receipts for costs you’ve incurred. For example, your insurer will cover any additional living expenses if a covered incident temporarily made your home unlivable.

4. Make an Appointment with an Insurance Adjuster

Your insurance company will schedule an appointment for an adjuster to come out to your home and assess the roof damage. The adjuster will go on the roof, assess the damage, determine what is and is not covered for your roof claim and give you an estimate to provide to the roofing contractor. Ask the adjuster to share any documentation with you.

PRO TIP

Try to get at least three roofing contractor estimates before you meet with the adjuster to have a general idea of how much the project will cost.

“Roofers aren’t allowed to negotiate with insurance companies. There’s a law about that. If you really want to argue with an insurance company as a homeowner, you need to use a public adjuster,” says Feller.

But a good roofing contractor will come to your appointment with your claim adjuster to make sure you’re getting a fair assessment and estimate. “As a service to our customers, we’ll go out and represent them up on the roof if they’d like,” says Feller. “It usually goes better when you have your roofer up there looking at stuff, too.”

5. Replace or Repair Your Roof

The roofing contractor will determine whether your roof needs to be replaced or repaired, depending on the severity of the damage. 

If there are any changes in the original estimate, be sure to get documentation. It typically takes a day to replace or repair a roof, Feller says, and the project is officially done once it has passed a city inspection.

“Generally, the insurance company makes the payment to the customer. If there’s a mortgage company, they’ll also put them on the check,” Feller explains. “The homeowner needs to endorse the check, deposit, and then pay the contractor.”

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.co

The insurance claim process is inherently difficult and complex. With so many elements involved, even the most mindful and diligent policyholders can overlook important details that impact the management and overall success of their claim. Businesses face even more complications and require even greater attention to variables, not the least of which is the protection of the brand and other assets. So, it is imperative business property owners partner with an expert claims professional when filing an insurance claim. Along with that, there are a few red flags that all policyholders must be aware of in order to best navigate the process.

Red Flag 1: The insurance company doesn’t respond back to you in a timely manner. By law, you or your public adjuster should hear back from the insurance company within 15 days after the date of receipt of notice of claim.

Red Flag 2: The insurance company demands that you use their preferred vendors for reconstruction and mitigation. You are not required to use the vendors that are recommended to you by your insurance company. Make sure to research thoroughly before hiring any vendors.

Red Flag 3: The insurance company is requesting an examination under oath. In this case, the insurer may have a suspicion that there is fraudulent activity in regard to your claim.

Red Flag 4: The insurance company takes a long time to accept or deny your claim. Any inaction from the insurer on such decisions should be addressed immediately.

Red Flag 5: The insurance company says that you don’t have coverage for items in your claim. Although this is a rare occurrence, sometimes mistakes can happen.

Partnering with a public adjuster to advocate on your behalf is the best way for you and your business to navigate through these red flags.

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Strategic Claim Consultants will ensure that your claim will be properly, expertly managed so that you collect the full settlement possible to protect, restore, and rebuild your business and property. Please contact one of our licensed claim consultants with any questions you may have about your insurance claim at (844) 701-9995.

Strategic Claim Consultants is a leading insurance claim consulting and public insurance adjusting firm. With over 200-plus years of collective experience and over $1 billion in claims settled over the past 18 months, SCC delivers the claim advocacy and partnership a commercial property and business owner needs to navigate the insurance claim process.

Brandon Lewis, CEO and founder of Strategic Claim Consultants, is recognized as an expert in insurance claim consulting. His 30+ years of experience give him a comprehensive understanding of a commercial property/business owner’s needs and concerns. Lewis attended both Pace University Lubin School of Business and Hofstra University. He can be reached at brandon@strongclaims.com.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

The rising costs of construction materials is a serious threat to policyholders in 2021. This rise is well documented at this point, but it is one thing to notice the trend and another to consider its implications.

According to an Associated Builders and Contractors analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data, lumber prices have risen by 73% since April of last year. This change has led the average price of a single-family home to increase by approximately $36,000. Just as recently as May 5, 2021, reporting indicates that lumber prices hit $1,600 per thousand board feet for the first time in history.

These drastic increases are not exclusive to lumber. Iron and steel products have seen a 15% increase in just a year. Steel mill products have increased in price by nearly 7% and fabricated structural metals are sitting at 3%. The pandemic is surely a driving force behind these changes, and the supply and demand chain is being stretched thin by contractors hoarding necessary materials in order to maintain their building schedules.

For policyholders, these rising construction costs have a significant impact on claims handling. Coverage limits must rise in order to ensure full recovery on a house needing significant repairs or a full rebuild after a loss. Without adjusting their limits to meet the construction inflation, policyholders risk being severely underinsured. Tools and other equipment have also seen rises in cost, meaning policyholders should revise their personal property contents list to ensure they have accurate pricing information in the event of damage to these items.

Another consideration is the type of loss settlement provision you have in your policy: actual cash value replacement (depreciated) or replacement cost. What may have worked for homeowners in the past may need to be adjusted in order to offset the risk associated with the trends in the construction industry.

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Partnering with a public adjuster to advocate on your behalf is the best way for you and your business to navigate through the current construction market conditions and the impact on your claim.

Strategic Claim Consultants will ensure that your claim will be properly, expertly managed so that you collect the full settlement possible to protect, restore and rebuild your business and property. Please contact one of our licensed claim consultants with any questions you may have about your insurance claim at (844) 701-9995.

Strategic Claim Consultants is a leading insurance claim consulting and public insurance adjusting firm. With over 200-plus years of collective experience and over $1 billion in claims settled over the past 18 months, SCC delivers the claim advocacy and partnership a commercial property and business owner needs to navigate the insurance claim process.

Brandon Lewis, CEO and founder of Strategic Claim Consultants, is recognized as an expert in insurance claim consulting. His 30+ years of experience give him a comprehensive understanding of a commercial property/business owner’s needs and concerns. Lewis attended both Pace University Lubin School of Business and Hofstra University. He can be reached at brandon@strongclaims.com.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A Surfside, Fla. condominium tower partially collapsed early Thursday morning, killing at least one person and leaving 51 people unaccounted for.

Approximately 55 units of the 12-story, 136-unit Champlain Towers South building were affected.

Firefighters and first responders arrived at the building shortly after 1:30 a.m. and immediately began search and rescue efforts. Miami-Dade Fire Rescue said 35 occupants were rescued from the building. Ten were treated for injuries and two were transported to local area hospitals.

Officials expect the fatality count to rise.

“The building has literally pancaked,” Surfside Mayor Charles Burkett said. “That is heartbreaking because it doesn’t mean to me that we’re going to be…as successful as we would want to be to find people alive.”

The condominium tower, built in 1981, was undergoing a 40-year recertification. The building is located near 88th Street and Collins Avenue in Surfside, a town of 5,700 people located seven miles north of Miami Beach.

Former Miami-Dade Fire Chief David Downey told CNN that the tower predates the state’s most recent building codes, which were last updated in 2010.

Officials are concerned of a potential secondary collapse. Search and rescue efforts could take “at least a week,” according to Surfside Town Manager Andrew Hyatt.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.co

Gird yourselves, homeowners — it’s shaping up to be another dangerous hurricane season. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is forecasting three to five major hurricanes this year, amid a total of 13 to 20 named storms.https://products.gobankingrates.com/r/d9360ea31bf06ea8b9d0ef49288e28fb?subid=

If you live in a hurricane zone, now is the time to take action. You can’t prevent a storm from battering your home, but having the right insurance can help protect you financially against disaster. Take these four steps to make sure you have the hurricane insurance you need — and get paid if your home is hit.

1. Buy the Right Policies

No single insurance policy will cover all types of hurricane damage. For example, most homeowners insurance policies won’t pay for flood damage, so if you want coverage, you’ll need flood insurance.

Don’t wait until a storm is on the horizon: It can take up to 30 days for a new flood insurance policy to go into effect.

>> Plus, from Robert Powell’s Retirement Daily on TheStreet: Life Insurance – Tales from the Trenches

You might not think you need flood insurance if your mortgage lender doesn’t require it and your home isn’t in a “special flood hazard area,” the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s term for high-risk flood zones. But it’s still worth considering, says Camille Garcia, director of communications and public affairs at the Insurance Council of Texas. She notes that most of the homes that flooded in Texas during Hurricane Harvey were located outside of high-risk flood zones.

Another common source of hurricane damage is wind. While most standard homeowners policies cover wind damage, it may be specifically excluded in some parts of the country, says Joe Meisinger, chief underwriting officer and head of national products for personal insurance at Travelers . In these primarily coastal areas, you may need a separate windstorm policy.

Finally, don’t forget about your car. To cover flood damage, you’ll need comprehensive insurance, an optional coverage type. Check your declarations page or ask your agent whether you have it.

2. Check Your Coverage Limits

“The last year, so many of us have sheltered at home [and] done a lot of DIY projects,” Garcia says. If this is you, “make sure that your agent is aware of that.” If you’ve made significant upgrades to your home, she explains, you might need to increase your policy limits to be fully covered.

Another reason you might need more coverage: It may now be more expensive to repair or rebuild your home than when you bought the policy. “The cost of labor and the cost of lumber … have gone up considerably because we are in this housing frenzy right now,” Garcia says. And if a hurricane devastates a particular region, that can spark even higher costs locally because contractors and materials are in such demand.

To make sure your dwelling coverage will be sufficient to rebuild your home, ask your insurer about extended replacement coverage. With this optional add-on, your insurer will pay a set amount above your dwelling limit if rebuilding ends up costing more than expected.

“I think of it as a security blanket,” Meisinger says. “If something happened and you didn’t get a calculation 100% right, it gives you that extra layer of security.”

3. Evaluate Your Deductibles

For some homeowners, a hurricane claim could cost significantly more than other claims.

“If you live in a hurricane-prone area, you could very likely have a separate hurricane deductible you’d have to pay out-of-pocket,” says Jessica Hanna, senior vice president of public affairs at the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, an industry trade group.

Meisinger notes that these separate deductibles may apply to hurricanes, named storms or wind, and could be a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your dwelling coverage.

For example, say your policy has a $250,000 dwelling coverage limit and a 2% hurricane deductible. You would be responsible for the first $5,000 worth of damage before your insurance company would pay out for a hurricane-related claim.

Keep in mind that multiple deductibles may apply to damage from a single storm. “Let’s say the wind took off your roof, but you also have … flooding in your home,” Garcia says. You’d need to file two different claims — one with your homeowners or windstorm insurer, and one with your flood insurance company. That means paying both deductibles.

Raising deductibles can save you money on your premiums, but the strategy could backfire if you’d have trouble coming up with enough cash to cover the deductibles in an emergency.

4. Make a Home Inventory

Imagine coming home after a hurricane and finding a pile of rubble. When filing a claim, would you remember every kitchen gadget or pair of shoes that needs to be replaced?

Spare yourself the hassle by creating a home inventory in advance.

“Use a smartphone to take pictures and videos of your belongings, including … your furniture, appliances, clothes, jewelry and art,” Hanna says. She recommends uploading the files to a cloud storage device for easy access.

Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to prepare for a hurricane. When it comes to keeping your home, family and finances safe, Garcia says, “Preparation is key to everything.”

This article is reprinted by permission from NerdWallet.

More From NerdWallet

Sarah Schlichter writes for NerdWallet. Email: sschlichter@nerdwallet.com.This article was originally published by TheStreet.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

If your home is destroyed by fire or another disaster — natural or man-made — do you have enough insurance to rebuild it?

Maybe not, experts say. Blame the pandemic.

With soaring prices for building materials due to shortages associated with COVID-19, the cost to rebuild has drastically increased while most homeowner’s insurance policies have remained the same.

Stuck at home during the pandemic, homeowners tried to make the best of the situation. Industry experts said people spruced up their houses, remodeled or built additions for extra living space to accommodate their new life of working and learning remotely.

The projects put a strain on the availability of materials, and prices shot up.

Story continues after gallery

This is a trend seen during the last 12 to 15 months of the pandemic, said Paul Felsen of Felsen Insurance. The delay in getting supplies, combined with a shortage of labor in the construction industry, has caused home rebuilding to become much more expensive.

“We’ve seen some pricing increases anywhere from 3 to 5%, maybe even to 6% with some insurance carriers,” Felsen said.https://15b5e76f17762c8b0c415ef63d0f0056.safeframe.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-38/html/container.html

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, lumber, which is beginning to show signs of leveling off, was not the only material that drastically increased in price. It is more difficult and more expensive to buy iron, marble and granite tiles, new flooring, paint and plumbing fixtures.

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Just last week, 1,000 board feet of lumber, which traditionally cost under $400, was selling for more than $1,000, reports show. The price has dropped to about $900. 

“I’ve never seen rebuilding costs escalate this much,” Felsen said. “If it used to cost $300,000 to rebuild a house, now it might cost $350,000.”

This is the time, he said, to review the insurance policy.

Homeowners should go over their policies and discuss any changes with their insurance agent.

Raw video: Fire destroys a home on E. Clinton Ave in Bergenfield

When renewing an insurance policy, it is important to reassess each time. “Don’t just take the automatic renewal. Talk to your agent and review your policies,” Felsen said.

Eva Loayza, the public affairs manager with the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance, agrees.

“In general, the department encourages homeowners to periodically review their policy and coverage,” she said. “It is recommended that consumers shop around to determine the policy that best meets their needs.”Your stories live here.Fuel your hometown passion and plug into the stories that define it.Create Account

According to QuoteWizard, New Jersey’s average homeowner’s insurance costs about $1,161 a year, lower than the national average of $1,215 a year, not including flood insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance policies are purchased to cover destruction or damages, theft of personal items from the home and personal liability if others are harmed, industry experts said. There are three levels of coverage: the actual cash value of the home and property, the cost to replace the home and property and extended replacement cost and value. The cost is based not only on the home, but on the homeowner and history as well.

Experts recommend getting at least five quotes before buying a policy.

“Throughout the summer and fall, the housing market significantly increased in price,” said Ilene Horowitz, a real estate agent at Coldwell Banker New Jersey. She said the shortage of homes inventory has pushed prices up.

“We have a lack of supply, so there’s a shortage of homes for sale, and there’s a strong buyer demand,” Horowitz said. “So sellers are able to test the market and ask for a little bit higher than what the market might indicate.”

The higher home prices and the low inventory have contributed to homeowners’ opting to upgrade their current houses instead of moving.  

“I wouldn’t advise anybody to sit out,” said Horowitz, who specializes in Morris County real estate. “Because when you’re buying a home, you’re just not buying a product, you’re buying a lifestyle.”

Homeowner’s insurance, she said, is based on the costs of what it takes to rebuild a house: As materials increase in price, so should insurance coverage.

This can also go the other way, Horowitz said. Keep an eye on trends, and as the inventory of building materials increases, the prices should come down, and so will the cost of rebuilding. 

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com


Most now shopping around for motor and home insurance

Most people now check the insurance renewal quote they get from their insurer before they sign up for another year. Stock image

Most people now check the insurance renewal quote they get from their insurer before they sign up for another year. Stock image

Charlie Weston  

June 22 2021 11:27 AM


MOST people now check the insurance renewal quote they get from their insurer before they sign up for another year.

And the majority of people shop around for car or home insurance every year, according to a survey conducted by iReach Insights on behalf of Galway-based broker Acorn Insurance.

The fact that so many are now questioning the renewal quote they get from their insurer and are checking out the market is a blow to insurance companies that make their largest profits on those who are reluctant to shop around and move their custom for better value.

The survey found 74pc of all adults check online for an insurance quote before making a phone call to an insurer.

And 67pc of adults shop around for car or home insurance every year.

In terms of value for money, over half feel their insurer or broker gives them good value for money.–– ADVERTISEMENT ––about:blank

However, fewer people in Dublin feel they get good value for money compared with those in the rest of Leinster.

The survey was done in conjunction with the launch of Acorn Insurance’s mobile first website http://www.acorninsurance.ie.ADVERTISEMENT                           https://imasdk.googleapis.com/js/core/bridge3.468.0_en.html#goog_182418203×

Acorn Insurance chief executive Barry O’Sullivan said that over the last year, especially, more people have discovered the benefits of going online for day to day tasks that they previously would have done in person.

“Our survey shows that 74pc of adults check online for an insurance quote before making a call.

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“It’s good to see that customers are shopping around for quotes for the insurance cover that they require so that they can ensure that they are getting the best price possible for their needs.”

He said the finding that most adults shop around for their car or home insurance every year confirms that customers are constantly on the look-out for the best available offer and online is definitely making it easier for them to compare quotes and look for best value.

Publicity around the practice by insurance companies of imposing loyalty penalties on customers appears to have alerted consumers to the need to shop around.

So-called dual-pricing involves punishing those who are loyal to an insurer with higher premiums as they often do not shop around for better value.

A ban on the practice is to be introduced in Britain.

The move is likely to increase pressure for a similar ban on what is also called dual-pricing here.

Central Bank of Ireland regulators are considering whether to recommend a ban of the practice after an initial report it published last September found that that dual-pricing across motor and home insurance policies is more common than insurers have admitted.

The survey findings come days after European regulators charged Irish insurers with breaching competition rules by restricting competition in the motor insurance market here.

Alex Gailey's profile pictureAlex Gailey Alex Gailey on twitterJune 22, 2021 | 6 MIN READFacebookTwitterEmailSMS

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

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The saying “keeping a roof over your head” is synonymous with the very concept of home. Maintaining that roof, and repairing or replacing it when it gets damaged, can easily be one of the most expensive aspects of being a homeowner.    

Snow, hail, rain, ice, and falling branches or debris can all damage your roof, and roofs aren’t cheap to fix or replace; the typical range for a roof repair project is between $5,569 and $11,413, according to 2020 data collected by home improvement site HomeAdvisor.

But here’s the good news: Most homeowners insurance policies cover roof replacement or repair if the damage is the result of an act of nature or sudden accidental event. It’s one of the main reasons people carry homeowners insurance. 

“If lightning comes out of the sky and damages the roof, that’s going to be covered because you didn’t cause that yourself,” says Stacey Giulianti, chief legal officer at Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, a homeowners insurance company based in Florida. https://www.myfinance.com/r/89a0adda-a916-481d-ab10-adcd60b8cfff?utm_campaign=e383b53a8d257a84c41f25ed02769f8f3afddd2e&utm_medium=embed&selector=%23time-in-content-widget&csid=e82aca44-8ffc-448a-8248-f48a9e24cc65&caid=72ead343-ddd7-4aa4-a260-79a9f3f36cc1&ciid=d08db2e1-6e84-4b68-8253-20f46d1f38b3&tenant=wk_1b8FUkc7ycJrtOvvFNaam9Vgdxc&srckey=src_1b8FUpnvBJZxHZBgWdwDP9BexE4&placement=b2f3719954&mf_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2Fnextadvisor%2Finsurance%2Fhome%2Froof-replacement-after-storm%2F&_mfuuid_=0d0e13b5-193e-44b7-89af-e73e055096bf&width=792

Here’s how to get homeowners insurance to pay for repairs or for a new roof if it’s damaged in a storm. 

How Homeowners Insurance Coverage Works for Your Roof

The roof is an essential part of your home’s structure, and so your homeowners insurance policy typically protects it from certain situations out of your control, such as fire, hail, falling objects and more. 

If your roof is damaged by a covered peril in your policy, you can file a claim with your insurance company for a total or partial replacement of the roof. But your insurer won’t pay to replace or repair a roof that’s gradually deteriorating due to general wear and tear or neglect.

“Homeowners insurance isn’t a maintenance policy. You’re responsible for maintaining your own roof like you’re responsible for maintaining the rest of your house,” says Giulianti. 

If you’re left wondering what most insurers cover when it comes to your roof, here are a few common instances:

  • Fire
  • Hail
  • Wind
  • Vandalism
  • Lightning strikes
  • Falling objects
  • Natural disasters

Insurance companies may not cover roof damage if:

  • You have an older roof (10-20 years or older)
  • The roof hasn’t been maintained, leading to the roof damage
  • There was intentional or accidental damage caused by the homeowner
  • You live in a state with windstorm or hail storm exclusions, such as Florida and Texas, where hurricanes and hail storms are common

Be Aware of Disaster Deductibles

Whenever you file an insurance claim, you have to pay a deductible. It’s the amount of money you pay on an insurance claim before your coverage kicks in and pays the rest.https://www.myfinance.com/r/89a0adda-a916-481d-ab10-adcd60b8cfff?utm_campaign=e383b53a8d257a84c41f25ed02769f8f3afddd2e&utm_medium=embed&selector=%23time-mid-in-content-widget&csid=e82aca44-8ffc-448a-8248-f48a9e24cc65&caid=72ead343-ddd7-4aa4-a260-79a9f3f36cc1&ciid=d08db2e1-6e84-4b68-8253-20f46d1f38b3&tenant=wk_1b8FUkc7ycJrtOvvFNaam9Vgdxc&srckey=src_1b8FUpnvBJZxHZBgWdwDP9BexE4&placement=d90e70f09a&mf_referrer=https%3A%2F%2Ftime.com%2Fnextadvisor%2Finsurance%2Fhome%2Froof-replacement-after-storm%2F&_mfuuid_=0d0e13b5-193e-44b7-89af-e73e055096bf&width=792

It’s standard for wind, hail and hurricanes to be covered by homeowners insurance; flood and earthquake policies are typically purchased separately. But each of these disasters can have its own deductible rules, depending on the insurance company and where you live.  

For example, hurricane deductibles tend to be higher than other homeowners policy deductibles and usually take the form of a percentage of the policy limits, according to the Insurance Information Institute. So if you live on the coast or in an area that’s prone to hurricanes, you may end up paying a deductible that’s completely different from the one you choose. 

Being aware of these various types of disaster deductibles, from hurricanes to wind and hail, will prevent surprise costs down the road. Check your policy and talk to your insurance company to learn exactly how your deductibles work.

How to File an Insurance Claim for a Damaged Roof After a Storm

There’s a standard process you can follow to file an insurance claim for a damaged roof. In an ideal world, filing a claim would always be a smooth process, but dealing with insurance companies can sometimes be frustrating and unpleasant. In order to prepare yourself for both, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

1. Contact Your Homeowners Insurance Company

If you suspect there’s any damage to your roof after a storm, it’s important to contact your insurance company as soon as possible. 

Take detailed notes and multiple photos of all damage to the house on the ground level — both interior and exterior. This documentation will be important when you’re filing the claim. 

Try to avoid climbing on top of your roof to inspect the damage, because you can easily hurt yourself. 

2. Find a Roofing Contractor

Now it’s time to reach out to at least three roofing contractors. Each will assess the repair or roof replacement cost and offer quotes that you’ll give to your claims adjuster later on. 

“Most insurance companies prefer that a homeowner have a roofer look at it first before they file a claim,” says Ami Feller Wells, owner of Feller Roofing in New Braunfels, Texas. “They don’t want to waste the trip if there’s no damage.”

3. File an Insurance Claim

If the contractor confirms that there’s enough damage on the roof, the next step is to file a claim with your insurance company. It’s typically best to contact your insurer by phone, but depending on your insurer, it may be easier to file the claim online. 

Keep in mind that time is of the essence when submitting a claim. Typically, homeowners have a year to file a claim. Some states give you more time, from two years up to even six years to file a claim. While this can vary significantly, generally the sooner you file the claim, the better. 

Save your conversations with your insurer and important details along the way. While you’re filing the claim, submit photo documentation of the damage and any receipts for costs you’ve incurred. For example, your insurer will cover any additional living expenses if a covered incident temporarily made your home unlivable.

4. Make an Appointment with an Insurance Adjuster

Your insurance company will schedule an appointment for an adjuster to come out to your home and assess the roof damage. The adjuster will go on the roof, assess the damage, determine what is and is not covered for your roof claim and give you an estimate to provide to the roofing contractor. Ask the adjuster to share any documentation with you.

PRO TIP

Try to get at least three roofing contractor estimates before you meet with the adjuster to have a general idea of how much the project will cost.

“Roofers aren’t allowed to negotiate with insurance companies. There’s a law about that. If you really want to argue with an insurance company as a homeowner, you need to use a public adjuster,” says Feller.

But a good roofing contractor will come to your appointment with your claim adjuster to make sure you’re getting a fair assessment and estimate. “As a service to our customers, we’ll go out and represent them up on the roof if they’d like,” says Feller. “It usually goes better when you have your roofer up there looking at stuff, too.”

5. Replace or Repair Your Roof

The roofing contractor will determine whether your roof needs to be replaced or repaired, depending on the severity of the damage. 

If there are any changes in the original estimate, be sure to get documentation. It typically takes a day to replace or repair a roof, Feller says, and the project is officially done once it has passed a city inspection.

“Generally, the insurance company makes the payment to the customer. If there’s a mortgage company, they’ll also put them on the check,” Feller explains. “The homeowner needs to endorse the check, deposit, and then pay the contractor.”

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill last week that purports to partly fix the disaster that is Florida’s home insurance market.

Experts say the bill probably will help stabilize a market in which some property owners last year saw premium increases of 25-45%. But, oh, the size of the mess, and the amount that still needs done. This bill is no panacea, and this story has no heroes.ADVERTISING

Years of Republican legislatures unwilling to buckle down to the complex task of regulating a complicated yet sensitive home insurance market here in the land of hurricanes have led Florida to the point where premiums are skyrocketing even as insurers suffered an operating loss of $1.6 billion in 2020. That’s the fifth straight year of losses since 2015. State legislators predicted during this year’s session that losses for 2021 would top $2 billion.

Among the casualties are 53,000 homeowners whose insurance companies got the state’s blessing to drop their policies, leading to a desperate scramble to find coverage just as the hurricane season was getting underway.

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Florida’s 6.5 million homeowners can’t be expected to feel sorry for an industry that wields enormous political power and is charging $700 a year more than the national average, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Still, the question must be asked: If homeowners are seeing staggering premium increases, and insurers are losing their virtual shirts, where is the money going?ADVERTISING

Insurers and lawmakers predictably say the answer is lawyers — accompanied by a circus of adjusters and roofing contractors — who used the system to their advantage. It happened because Florida’s system was broken in a number of ways that led to a downward spiral, and legislators let it go on for years.

The troubles started in the early 2000s when several hurricanes caused huge insurance losses. Then came Irma in 2017 and Michael in 2018, prompting major insurers to flee Florida. A Supreme Court ruling in 2016 decreed that if a quarter of a roof is damaged by something the homeowner’s policy covers, then the entire roof must be replaced and the insurer must pay for it.

Let the party begin! That ruling prompted roofing companies to knock on doors to show homeowners damage and offer what’s called “assignment of benefit” contracts. In other words, the roofing companies and their lawyers would fight with insurance companies for payment on behalf of the homeowner. It was quite the deal for homeowners. Sometimes, according to the Insurance Information Institute, roofers would even offer the customer a $500 gift card to sign on. Now there’s an incentive that should scream something is wrong.

Another state law allowed roofing contractors to file a lawsuit on the homeowner’s behalf and if the roofer got any more money than the insurer’s first offer, then the insurance company was liable for legal fees of the homeowner.

During the session, Rep. Bob Rommel, R-Naples, cited a case in which a homeowner was awarded $35,000 for a new roof, while the attorneys cashed in for a cool $756,000 in fees. All this, over one roof.

“The money is not going to clients,” Rommel told Florida Politics. “It’s going to attorneys.”

Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation compiled data showing that the state accounted for about 8% of homeowner insurance claims nationally but more than 76% of lawsuits filed by homeowners across the U.S., although that number’s accuracy has been challenged by a consumer group.

Metro Orlando homeowners among 53,000 to be dropped by property insurance carriers

Metro Orlando homeowners among 53,000 to be dropped by property insurance carriersMAY 26, 2021 AT 9:33 AM

Senate Bill 76, which DeSantis recently signed, seeks to stop some of the practices that encouraged this continual round of lawsuits.

It cuts back on the ability of roofers to solicit homeowners door-to-door and is expected to curb lawsuits that result from contractors collaborating with lawyers. Neither contractors nor public adjusters are allowed to offer incentives to homeowners any longer. The bill also introduces a formula that seeks to limit attorney fees and reduces the time from three to two years to file claims.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that even though DeSantis touted his commitment to “reduce the burden” of homeowner insurance, experts say that current premiums won’t drop. So much for consumers getting much of anything out of this.

And, customers of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the so-called last-resort for some homeowners to get insurance, will actually see higher rates. Insurers will be allowed to pay only the depreciated rather than full value of roofs more than 10 years old. That’s hardly a win for consumers with water dripping onto their kitchen table.

A news release from the governor’s office touts the bill as a “thoughtful and bold reform package.” Let’s not go too far. This bill doesn’t work any immediate wonders, but if Florida consumers are very lucky — and no hurricanes emerge this summer to wipe out gains — the swirling market could begin to stabilize.

The Legislature and DeSantis should keep at it. The state’s homeowners insurance market remains an expensive and complicated mess for Floridians.

Editorials are the opinion of the Orlando Sentinel Editorial Board and are written by one of its members or a designee. The editorial board consists of Opinion Editor Mike Lafferty, Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio, Jay Reddick and Editor-in-Chief Julie Anderson. Send emails to insight@orlandosentinel.com.

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