View Full Version : need advice shopping for home owner insurance
01-12-2013, 05:18 PM
I've had state farm for 20 years, looking for some options. No idea what I need to know to shop around. No claim problems, no mortgage, I just think the price is too high.
01-12-2013, 05:19 PM
Where do you live?
01-12-2013, 05:24 PM
Use Tower Hill. They are out of Gainesville. Good luck!!
01-12-2013, 05:28 PM
The best rates I've ever seen are with USAA if you have a family member or dad/mom that was in the service. We switched to Allstate from State Farm years ago and have been pleased but have not had any claims either.
01-12-2013, 06:23 PM
You may find that State Farm rates are in line with the others that are writing new business in Florida. Many will not write your home if the roof is older than 15 years for a shingle roof. Sink hole coverage is not available in many areas of Florida. The policy will cover catastrophic ground collapse. The companies that are writing in Florida are Florida companies. The days of getting State Farm, Allstate , Nationwide or USAA are long over for home coverage. Most of the independent agents have pretty much the same companies. American Integrity writes a good policy and is competitive in the Gainesville area. AAA insurance can be good,but they only write a combo auto home policy. Keep what you have until you know for sure the new company is not going to turn you down as I don't think State Farm will rewrite your policy once you cancel it. I would not change the policy unless the saving are large as State Farm is hard to beat when you have a claim and I would guess the policy is better than any of the new ones you will find. Call a independent agency and get a quote and also talk to your Sate Farm agent and make sure your home is insured for the correct amount and check on savings with a larger deductible.
01-12-2013, 06:42 PM
01-12-2013, 07:00 PM
How old is the home?
How old is the roof?
Do you have a windstorm mitigation inspection?
No trampolines, no pool diving boards or slides, no bad dog breeds.
Try an independent agent to get quotes from other companies. You may find that State Farm is in line with today's pricing. Be careful of companies that didn't go through the '04 & '05 storm seasons. The ones who did are the survivors.
Do you realize companies underwrite homeowners after coverage is bound? They have 90 days to do their own inspection, confirm data on the app, etc. They can cancel during this period if you don't meet their guidelines and they can amend the premium if features on your home turn out to be different than what was quoted.
You know, you just gave me an idea for a side business. For people that want to be sure their application is correct, that the home is acceptable, and they have the time (as in I'm not at the real estate closing and need the policy right now), I could pre-underwrite for them. Interesting idea.
01-12-2013, 07:04 PM
I had S.F. from 1977 until Aug 2012. Moved to Farm Bureau. Same coverage & prem went from $2400. to less than $1000. Plus! S.F. writes all wind storm through Citizens anyway!
Farm Bureau is head & shoulders above everything else I know about. Make the call!
01-12-2013, 07:10 PM
I'm in Volusia county. I put on a new shingle roof about 10 years ago. Policy coverage seems good, all the standard bells and whistles. I have them for my car too, its only $590 a year. House is about 1200sq ft, block, and insurance is $1300 and goes up like crazy every year.
Thanks for the suggestions so far. I'll check with those companies Monday. I only have a week or two to decide. If I change, what kind of inspection does a new writer do? I have a couple of minor cracks inside.
01-12-2013, 07:13 PM
No dog, no pool, nothing but 3 pine trees on one end that are too tall, about 60ft each. House is 31 yrs old.
01-12-2013, 07:35 PM
Did you ever get a wind mitigation inspection? Might be missing some credits there. In 2002 a new FL bldg code went into effect so if your roof was done after that, there's a good chance for some credits. If nothing else the inspection will tell you what features you have so you know what can be upgraded. Cost is typically $125-150.
Some companies require you to provide a 4-point inspection on older homes. The definition of older varies from 30-40 years so you might be asked for this. An inspection company or contractor will report on your electrical, plumbing, roof, and AC/heating systems. Inside photos are usually required. Cost about $100.
The company will do its own outside inspection to check the measurements, look for repairs needed, and hazards. As long as the trees aren't hanging over the house, they won't be a problem. Items like damaged soffit, facia, cracks on the outside, roof shingles missing or lifting up will count against you. Walk around the outside and take a good look. Debris, junk cars, no handrails for steps, etc. are hazards.
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