Have you ever heard of People's Trust Insurance Company? - It's based in Boca Raton - I get mail from them to call for a quote.
Don't know if this is the same person or not, but more than a decade ago, when I first got into investing, there was a Michael Gold who worked with the "Stock Dr" on a radio show in the Orlando area. The next I knew, he had moved down south and I was getting e-mails about fixed investment options (supposedly similar to a CD) because I had signed up with the "Stock Dr." Either way, the comments here
I called PTIC earlier in the week; was put immediately on hold, they didn't respond so I hung up after 1+ minutes on hold. Thanks for the link; I checked out the comments - very ugly in particular the ones demanding replacement of A/C units - why that is even related to homeowners is beyond me. I'm not going to pursue getting a quote.
We dropped homeowners insurance on our Cape Coral canal home in 2010. Lack of liability coverage is my greatest concern and does cause some consternation. With lanai damage exclusions and a 10% deductible for named storm damage, several years of accrued premiums invested should cover a significant portion of repairs and we would be paying for them anyway given the deductible. If the house is completely destroyed, we would build a new one with current amenities. Our lot is worth as much as the existing structure. At current rates, Florida homeowners coverage doesn't seem to be a good value.
You can definitely get Liability Only coverage - I looked into in last year when I was going to drop HO insurance. Should run $600-$700 since it covers $300K and then Umbrella would kick in. You can't get Umbrella without it. Your home, Retirement (IRAs, 401K, etc), and annuities are protected from creditors (lawsuits) so maybe you don't need it.
I can't say I feel your pain because I am not in your position (yet - hello Sandy). Florida home owners are caught in a trap with home insurance and the recent decline in housing values. All I know is I worked for a major company that had a small Property and Casualty company as a part of the much bigger firm. One Fla hurricane wiped out the profit for the whole company for the year. They got out of the P & C business -- too risky and you need approval to raise rates.
I can't imagine what these companies are paying for the Hurricane Sandy damages - but parts of NJ, NY look like war zones. We are well inland and tens of thousands of trees went down and thousands of telephone poles too lots of damaged houses, cars and business. And Sandy hit much more than NY and NJ. I really don't know how P & C companies can stay in business. I know I wouldn't want to insure any property subject to hurricanes.
So maybe the ins company doesn't make profit in a hurricane year; what about all the $ they made in all the other years? All those premiums paid for years without any claims. If I just walked away from when Allstate dropped me, I would have saved over $50K in premiums (so far) plus they aren't going to pay until I paid the first $60K....so that's $110K of damage before they would cough up a dime.
A lot of the damage in NY/NJ was flood related which the insurance companies are not responsible for.
Dr. Gaius Baltar wrote:
Is it possible to get home insurance at a reasonable price in Florida? I'd like to move there in several years because home prices are very low, you can get a very nice single family home for $150,000. If you're looking at a home that's about 50 feet above sea level and constructed after 2004, surely you can get a good rate?
I'm accustomed to paying $800/year on home insurance. If moving to Florida meant paying $9,000/year more for home insurance, then obviously this wouldn't be as good a deal as I thought, as I'd be paying more on home insurance than on mortgage payments!
Have your really found such a house? Is it in the area where you want to live? Home prices are so depressed that a house that costs $150K now probably had close to a $300K price tag when it was built in 2004 (the peak was 2004/2005). From my experience, the insurance companies will base the rate on something much higher than $150K - I would guess $220K. My In Laws bought their house in 2003 (new), about $175K, not on the intercoastal, but not in the middle of the state like Ocala,Orlando, Lakeland, county taxed assessed for $130K now, last time I knew, they paid approximately $1600 for insurance with State Farm. Also had damage from 2004 hurricanes needing new floors (20K) , whereas my house on a barrier island .5 miles wide had no damage (other than fences (not covered) and lamps/lights outside - not even close to making the deductible - no claim).
I don't think your insurance rate would be anywhere near $9K but I'd count on more than $800. Just to throw it in, their property taxes are over $2K. Floridians get a $25K/50K exemptions on taxes, so that tax rate is based on $80K or $105K value.
This week I worked with USAA to substantially reduce my FL homeowners. I saved thousands raising the hurricane deductible and rejecting building ordiance. My rate is around $5k with 7-digit home insured value.
TELL ME MORE - what is the rejecting the building ordiance? I've already raised my Hurricane Deductable to 10%, and last year did everything else to lower the premium. From everything I've heard, USAA is an excellent company, and not the cheapest so $5K for $1M sounds great.