Just Ask Tim - Blog
The homeowner’s insurance market conditions in Florida are becoming exceedingly difficult for consumers, especially in zip codes more prone to hurricane damage or if you live in an older home or have an older roof. Most homeowners where shocked by last years premium increases or in some cases receiving a non-renewal notice. This year is going to be more of the same with another round of significant premium increases and more non-renewal notices. On top of that, depending on where you live, you may have very few choices as many of the insurance companies have stopped writing new business in those areas or will only write homes with newer roofs. In some cases, homeowners may have to accept less coverage to either afford the premium or possibly even get coverage.
For those homeowners with older roofs, the only option may be Citizens. However, depending on the age of the roof, Citizens will require a licensed roofer certify the number of years of life left on the roof. Citizens requires at least 3 years of life to issue the policy or renew a policy. So, if a homeowner has a roof certified this year as having 3 years of life left, then at renewal the roof will have to be replaced for Citizens to renew the policy since the roof would now be a year older and have less than 3 years of life left.
It is becoming more common for homeowners to ask us if they can lower their coverages to save money. In response, we first work to identify opportunities for discounts, only after exhausting that do, we move to presenting options for lowing coverages. The coverages we look to most often are: Increasing deductibles, Coverage C (personal contents), Coverage D (loss of use), Coverage E (personal liability), Coverage F (medical payments to others), removing mold and/or sewer back up coverage, and removing coverage for screen enclosures. In extreme cases we may present the option for changing the roof coverage from replacement cost to actual cash value and/or changing coverage forms all together.
We do not recommend homeowners increase their financial exposure by lowering coverage. That said, we believe we are obligated to present the options, explain the financial exposure they are taking, and then let the homeowner make the final decision. We understand the current homeowner’s insurance market conditions are forcing some homeowners to choose between taking on more risk to afford the premium or not being able to have insurance at all.
These are trying times that are frustrating homeowners that have paid their premiums for years and never turned in a claim. Hopefully, the Florida legislature will pass legislation this year that will ease some of these issues. We will keep you updated.
Text or call us at (954) 678-2658 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help you walk through the options you have so you can make an informed decision.
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