Cancelling Plans

Discussion in 'All About SoWal' started by DAWGFISH, Jul 8, 2005.

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  1. beachmouse

    beachmouse Beach Fanatic

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    All homeowner's/property insurance policies here have a different deductable set-up for hurricanes. Instead of, say, a $500 deductable for damage, hurricane deductables are a percentage of value. 2-3% of insured value is typical for that sort of deductable, but some policies may be 5% or 10% instead.

    Which, considering the value of a lot of beach homes/condos these days, ends up being a good chunk of change.

    There are also things you need to do for storms that aren't covered by your policy. After Ivan, we spent $2,000 on tree removal, but only about $200 of that counted toward the deductable (removing the tree that actually fell on our garage) and the rest of that was whacking some pine trees that were damaged but still standing, and really needed to be taken down for safety reasons. But preventitive measures don't count toward deductables.
     
  2. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    For wind damage, some houses simply are uninsurable, depending on age (pre-Andrew building codes) & location (gulf front, yards from gulf). Some houses are insurable, but you have to shop around. Some houses the insurance cost is so high as to make buying insurance impossible.

    There is a state program for "uninsurable" properties but I am not in the wind pool.

    In any case, there is a hurricane deductible that is quite substantial.

    Wind insurance won't cover flooding.

    Then, of course, even if you get insurance any day you can get a letter cancelling it. Just happened to my brother in Orlando.

    I have 2 modest houses in 2 hurricane states. You would not believe my insurance costs. You also wouldn't believe the annual premium rises.
     
  3. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Well, first of all my previous insurance company went bankrupt after Ivan to avoid paying claims. Thank goodness we had no damage. The coverage with the new company wasn't great, but every insurance agent we talked to said to take what we could get. Some agencies weren't even accepting new customers after Ivan. And secondly, the word from my insurance agent is that it will be next to impossible to insure a new construction south of 30-A after these storms. Thirdly, there are so many loopholes in the insurance policies that the insurance company can challenge, for example, the source of water damage, and depending on what it decides, you might not be covered. Thus, insurance coverage here is tenuous at best.
     
  4. karen

    karen Beach Comber

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    Janet.
    Would like to hear more about the shutters. Thanks!
     
  5. dusty

    dusty Beach Lover

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    Does that mean that the first 2-3 percent of any damage in a hurricane is your deductible? Or is there one threshold for the building and another one for the contents?

    If it is all in one, I can understand that looking at $8000-12,000 out of pocket for the deductible is stressful...the tree removal you could have most anywhere, like here in the midwest with heavy storms and tornados.

    I have been trying to figure out what you need if you own a property down there--because I have toying with the idea for several years of buying down there -- seems like you need:

    1) hurricane insurance
    2) deductible $$ kitty (the $8-12k)
    3) another $$ kitty for general maintenance including boarding the house and removing the boards
    4) $$ kitty for interior maintenance and furnishings if you are renting
    5) For renting: rental web site, cleaning agency, and property manangement
    6) a plan for what you are going to do in case of a hurricane--how does the home get boarded up, who puts the patio furniture away, who unboards the house, etc.

    With price escalation the last two years it seems like rents do not cover enough expenses.
     
  6. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    I just looked at my insurance policy for non-FL house, and the hurricane deductible is 2% of the coverage limit. That is the insured's part of loss, and dwelling and personal property are aggregated. So, let's say you have a 400k coverage amount (a modest amount not covering rebuilding costs for many houses), with $50k damage to roof/windows and 10k in personal dwelling loss. That's 60k in total loss. Your deductible is 8k (2% of coverage).

    2% is pretty darn good.

    Try and get that 52k out of some insurance companies. I hear people in Pensacola still haven't been paid. Lots of em.
     
  7. dusty

    dusty Beach Lover

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    That is shocking, just shocking. And you know the insurance company is making $$ with the money they collected from the people who are waiting. Grrr. Did you know that insurance companies also buy insurance on the policies they write? It is called reinsurance. Insurance. Don't know whether it is a racket or whether I should buy stock in the companies since they obviously know how to make $$!
     
  8. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Rent doesn't cover expenses. The rental season starts Memorial Day and ends in early August, thanks to schools starting in early August instead of after Labor Day like in the old days (which has really hurt the tourism industry). We get a few weeks of rentals during spring break. So basically we figure 10 weeks in the summer (minus what we use) plus a couple of weeks during spring break. We save money because we live close enough to do our own landscape maintenance, and my husband has a Ph.D. in engineering, so he is very adept at doing repair work, saving a boatload of money not being at the mercy of others.

    We own because we hope that the increase in property values will help us in the long term and, more importantly, WE LOVE THIS PLACE! We are blessed.
     
  9. dusty

    dusty Beach Lover

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    P.S. Thanks, everyone for the insurance education.
     
  10. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    Last week I read in one of the SoWal papers that Allstate declared a record year for profits last year (despite the four hurricanes in FL), had cancelled many thousands of policies in FL, and jacked up premiums 28% on many others.

    FL actually is better than other hurricane states as far as insurance regulation goes. I fear the day I get my insurance bills.
     
  11. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    As of when we built our house, the well-known companies like Allstate stopped selling insurance for homes as close to the beach as ours is. So you're forced to insure with no-name companies that you've never even heard of. It's that or nothing, and you just pray after every storm that they don't go bankrupt like ours did last November. Because then you have to scurry around to find more insurance (which takes hours to even get an insurance agent on the phone), you lose your premium payments to the bankrupt company, and you have to write a big fat check for a year's premiums to the new company before you even know if the coverage will be the same because everyone is too busy talking to frantic customers looking for insurance.
     
  12. Smiling JOe

    Smiling JOe SoWal Expert

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    FYI- Those big three insurance companies did not have the policies anyway. All of them had underwriters for the policies.
     
  13. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Really? No one ever told me that. Thanks for the info. BTW we're now insured by Fly By Night's Insurance and Lawn Maintenance Company. I think they operate out of a van down by the river (love that SNL skit). LOL.
     
  14. dusty

    dusty Beach Lover

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    Who insures the houses in Watercolor and Watersound? Does JOE bring any help on this issue? What about other developers like at Alys beach or Draper Lake? Can you use their insurer? I am surprised there is still so much building going on if it is that hard to get insurance.
     
  15. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    Draper Lake/Alys Beach aren't even open yet, but I betcha Alys will have an easier time. I've read it will be the first hurricane-fortified community in the county.

    We are in Seacrest Beach North and are "uninsurable," I guess, which means we go into the wind pool. The state's wind insurer, Citizens Property, writes our wind policy. Flood is cheap ($300/no flood zone) and hazard insurance was about $900. We recently renewed and those premiums stayed the same. Our premium for Citizens wind coverage doubled, from $2100 to $4200. Makes sense because we actually had a claim last year from Ivan. And yes, all the damages were covered ... eventually. (Other than, of course, our 2 percent hurricane deductible.)

    Is it true that just about every new home is in the wind pool now? I hear the premiums went up 80 to 100 percent across the board.
     
  16. Travel2Much

    Travel2Much Beach Lover

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    No, or at least not yet. I am about a 1/2 mile west of you in Seacrest and am not in the wind pool, on north side of 30A, new construction, which means I can get private insurance. I actually had only nominal difficulty securing insurance, but since I am used to this knew the drill from 15 years in hurricane states. The premiums were high, but not drop-dead when you hear it high. That was after Ivan. Who knows after this?

    Dusty, I don't think developers work that way, but who knows because St. Joe has cozy relationships with everyone. A Watercolorist might fill you in. One of the reasons I thumbs-downed Watercolor when shopping was that insuring a house like that to the cost of reconstruction (for the doomday scenario) given building costs there, coupled with high property taxes, coupled with their always-increasing association fees simply said "no" to me. Other reasons, but that was a big one.
     
  17. Beachlover2

    Beachlover2 Beach Fanatic

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    I have heard rumors that Citizens in in trouble and we got a non-renewable notice from them and our insurance doesn't even expire until December. We haven't even filed a claim with them. The insurance situation is only going to get worse unfortunately.
     
  18. TooFarTampa

    TooFarTampa SoWal Insider

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    Great. Makes me really want to pay the full premium in advance!!

    Isn't it illegal for Citizens to drop you? I just don't understand how they can non-renew you. It must mean you will be able to secure insurance elsewhere. Right? :shock:
     
  19. ktmeadows

    ktmeadows Beach Fanatic

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    To Phdphay
    I believe you are being overly sensitive and angry at the very folks who provide you with the rental income to allow you to have a place that many folks would give their eye teeth for. Many of us who are lucky enough to have places here in South Walton depend on the very people you disrespected in your initial message; apparently you depend on them as well, or you wouldn't be renting out your property. I believe in treating everyone with equal respect, whether they are locals or visitors to the area. How do you know that those "vacationers" who you were irritated at for sunning themselves while you were boarding up your home weren't themselves recovering from a serious illness, etc.?

    The comment that made me feel the need to reply was the thing you said about having had to go hungry so you could have the education/college degree to earn enough money to have a place near the beach. The insituation was that if our "guests" were as educated as you, they would be able to afford a place down here instead of having to rent. I thank God that I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to graduate from a wonderful university and enjoy a wonderful job. However, many of those who rent your property I'm sure are as educated, or more educated, than you or I. They just choose to visit rather than own. Education has nothing to do with having the ability to be a homeowner down here or anywhere else. And when I see vacationers enjoying themselves on the beach or by the pool, it makes me happy that I've decided to open my home to them.

    By the way, we hired a service to board up our home. You may want to have a company or two in the back of your mind in case there is a next time (hopefully there won't be!) We are all growing weary of the storms, but we're here to stay! And we're more than happy to rent our place to others when we're not down here enjoying it ourselves!

    That's all I'm going to say about this. This forum is a wonderful opportunity to meet new folks and discuss our beautiful areas, share ideas, etc. I just hate to see anyone disrespected.
     
  20. phdphay

    phdphay Beach Fanatic

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    Have a nice day. :)
     
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