Author Topic: Insurance - Home Owners - Higher Rates - And, Un-insurable!  (Read 3093 times)

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Offline bayview

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Insurance - Home Owners - Higher Rates - And, Un-insurable!
« on: October 23, 2012, 07:12:19 AM »
   Our Home Owners insurance went up over 20% in one year at our home in MN.   

   Our home is a split level and built in 1982.

   I personally talked to our agent . . .    She said there were more claims last year and that was driving up the prices.   (I guess I should have received a rebate on the years they made money.)

   So, I met with an agent from Farmers Insurance.   The price would be back to about what I was previously paying.   

   Everything looked good until he came out for the house inspection.   I have masonite siding on the home.   There is some damage on some of the boards closest to the ground. . .    Probably from the rain. . .    The rain splashes on the ground and soaked the boards over time.   Causing about 1/4" - 1/2" of rot on the bottom of the boards.   About 3/4 of the way around the house.   Also, There was 2 spots where the paint was peeling.

   He said that my home was "Un-insurable"!   That the bottom layer would have to be removed.   An inspection would need to be done to see if the walls were compromised.   (Quote)  "What if the entire structure was rotted!   The house would receive a lot of damage in a storm."   "The insurance companies have gotten very particular."   "That other insurance companies would send inspectors and they also would not insure our home."

    I asked him about the foreclosures in town that are selling but need work.   He said that they can get insurance.   But, the cost is about double a normal policy.   When the work gets done.   The insurance company would again send out an inspector.   

   The agent said that I could get insurance if I was willing to pay the extra fees because of the "major" damage my home has.   

   "Thanks anyway" I said.   "I'll just pay the renewal with my current insurance company till I have time to repair the "major" damage."   He said:  "Don't wait to long on doing the repairs".   "Your current insurer is doing inspections on homes in the area.   If you don't pass the inspection - You'll have to pay the higher rates."

   I guess I have been pretty lucky that my home didn't blow off its foundation during the spring-summer storms.

   Well, I don't have time right now to repair the masonite and paint the home.   We are in late fall and there just isn't enough time for me to get it done.   I had it on my list to do the outside repairs on the house next spring.   I already have repaired and painted the detached garage.   And installed new staircase on the outside of the home.

   So, I guess I'll have to take a "chance" and hope that my home makes it through the winter with the "major" damage.   I hope my current insurer isn't reading this.   She may drop my policy!


    . . . said the focus was safety, not filling town coffers with permit money . . .

Offline Ndrmyr

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Re: Insurance - Home Owners - Higher Rates - And, Un-insurable!
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2012, 08:16:18 AM »
Homeowners insurance has become a far more serious business than it was 20 or 30 years ago.  Insuring a decent home and property is no longer a minor expense.  While the chances of your homeowner's insurance company pulling a spot inspection is still a bit of a crapshoot, it is happening.  And if they do, you will get a list of remedial actions that need to be taken, and, a time limit.  An endless list of major natural catastrophes have strained insurors to the limit.  In addition, with many homeowners underwater financially in their homes, they no longer are fit a normal profile of insured's, that is, one who wants to avoid a loss.
In some cases, a homeowner might be better off if his home burned to the ground, and he/she could get their mortgage paid off by an insurance company.  This is the sort of thing that keeps actuaries awake at night.
Now, that being said, if your home suffered a loss, you would expect brand new siding, not weathered masonite. I do recommend quoting out your property and casualty insurance every 3 to 5 years. But, keep in mind, that what you are insuring may need to be in decent clean condition to pass muster and get a lower rate.  Frankly, I don't see how this can improve in this current economy and housing market. Do bundle Auto and Home, and getting a 10% discount for safe driver courses, burglar alarms, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors could produce big savings over the long run.  And by all means, RAISE DEDUCTIBLES!  It will keep you from being tempted to make small claims and help avoid rate increases.  Plus, it will save you hundreds of dollars over the years to come.  Keep in mind that 2 or 3 small claims might get you cancelled.  And, I can not stress this enough.....don't assume that you are insured for something, when in fact you may not.  Generally, people know what is specifically insured since they are paying for that gun collection, or that expensive jewelry.  All policies have limits of coverage, and big items may not be covered for their value unless you are paying to insure tha specific item.  Ask your agent pointed specific questions and review your declarations.  I know, I know, who wants to read that crap.  But, if you are spending $2000/Year for your Auto/Home and you DON't know what it covers, well..... 'Nuff said.
"A society that rewards based on need creates needy citizens. A society that rewards based on ability creates able one."

Offline Windpower

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Re: Insurance - Home Owners - Higher Rates - And, Un-insurable!
« Reply #2 on: October 23, 2012, 11:38:52 AM »

Farmer's insurance SUCKS !

Try Allstate -- they insured our farmhouse and the masonite siding is probably worse than you describe

You can see pics here

Farmers cancelled my coverage because of the 'flat roof section' after 15 years of coverage (a crappy way to not insure mobile homes too I think)

Oh, and guess what, they cashed the check and kept the money and "forgot" to inform me that I was without insurance for a year and a half -- I guess I lucked out there 

Allstate has been very good the last few years
Often, our ignorance is not as great as our reluctance to act on what we know.


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