You just received your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy renewal. If you’re like most Florida homeowners, you put off opening it for a day or two, because you know your rates have probably gone up.
Why is that? You’ve never filed a claim for as long as you’ve owned your home, or if you did, it was years ago. But, every year you get a little (most likely) a BIG bump – anywhere from a 5 to 12 percent increase in your premium.
Well, here’s a brief rundown of factors that can affect your insurance premiums. Followed by solutions you can use to reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance.
Factors That Affect Your Homeowner’s Insurance Premium
- Just like your car or favorite phone, older homes suffer wear and tear, too. If your home’s build date was before 2001, it may not be up to the latest building codes. The older the house, the higher the premium.
- Homes made of brick, stone and concrete are less vulnerable to termites and fire, which makes a wooden-frame house more expensive to insure.
- Insurers take a look-back at your claims history and that of previous owners. Too many claims could indicate recurring problems with the structure.
- Is your home on the coast or farther inland? Is it in a flood zone? Location affects premiums as well.
- Many homeowners think their Florida home insurance is based on their
home’s market value – what a buyer is willing to pay – when, in fact, it’s based on what it costs to rebuild. Everything from inflation to increased labor and material costs factor into the equation.
- Because Florida is a coastal state, hurricanes and sinkholes are just a part of life. However, the number and severity of Atlantic hurricanes have been increasing since the late ‘80s. This translates into more damage claims from hale, wind and water – and a rise in rates.
- Because Florida homeowners have three years to file hurricane claims, insurance companies have to deal with what they call “loss creep.” That’s where they’re still receiving claims long after the storm is history, making it difficult to predict what total claims will be for any given year.
- Insurance companies buy insurance, too, and when claims go up so does their cost of reinsurance. Rising rates of insurance fraud also contribute to property insurance in Florida increasing.
Solutions to Reduce the Cost of Your Homeowner’s Insurance
- Before your policy is up for renewal – and before hurricane season begins – shop for quotes from several insurers.
- Raise your deductible, but not so much that it prohibits you from filing a claim
- Save your insurance for catastrophic events.
- Consider replacing your roof if it’s more than 20 years old.
- Get a wind mitigation inspection to see how you can make your home more wind resistant.
- Never sign an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) form proffered by a contractor without speaking with your agent.
- Talk with a general contractor about what it would cost to rebuild your home. Knowing this will help you select the correct amount of coverage.
- To ensure your estimate for reconstruction is correct, work with an insurance advisor to make sure you cover all your bases: year built, square footage, flooring, roofing, number of bathrooms, etc.
- Make sure you inform your agent about home improvement projects and upgrades whenever you make them.
- Choose your insurance advisor wisely. Does he or she:
- Ask detailed questions about your home, such as how old is your roof; what brand is your circuit breaker; did you make any upgrades in the past year?
- Shop the market for competing quotes from several carriers every year?
- Provide tailor-made coverage that meets your specific needs?
- Understand your risks?
- Search for money-saving discounts?
- Negotiate on your behalf to secure the best terms?
If your insurance agent isn’t doing all of the above for you, maybe it’s time you switch. Florida home insurance is expensive enough. Don’t pay a cent more than you have to! Contact us today and request our customized homeowner’s insurance application. Tel: 888-509-0062 Email: Sales@jaisin.com