Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Post Reply
Topic Author
lairdb
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:16 am

Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by lairdb » Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm

Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?

HomeStretch
Posts: 1425
Joined: Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:06 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by HomeStretch » Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:12 pm

I used selectquote.com to shop for auto/home/umbrella two years ago. Broker had good advice, completed the forms and came back with multiple quotes from solid insurers. Saved money and ended up with better coverage. You have to go to some insurance companies (CHUBB, Amica, etc.) directly for quotes.

Be prepared for a possible home inspection by new insurer (in case you have any safety or roof issues you want to address while quoting insurance). My new insurer informed me they required a home inspection/valuation by their appraiser/adjustor to determine policy replacement value after I bound coverage with them (and had cancelled old insurance). It might just be their requirement for high value properties (> $1 million). He spent 2 hours on premises doing appraisal but he was definitely checking premised condition (he got up on the roof). We were fine as house had been completely renovated in last 8 years. But we had friends who were told after a similar inspection they needed to repair or replace their roof within xx days as a condition of continuing coverage.

IMO
Posts: 530
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by IMO » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:18 pm

lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?
I don't have an answer about where to start looking for your insurance. Please post what happens in this situation when your shopping for other homeowner's insurance. I know once we were looking at a property in a higher risk area and USAA would not insure the property that we had interest.

If this were to occur to us, I'm curious as to how the process would pan out, changes in premium, etc. I could see worse case scenario is one self insures, but that would presume one doesn't have a mortgage.

When one thinks about most of San Diego, one would think it's pretty low risk. Not any forested areas, some brush covered hills here/there and you'd think brush fires were something that are relatively quicker to extinguish. Then again there was the Scripp's fire and there are the Santa Ana winds (so perhaps all of SoCal should be deemed high risk?).

finsterfolly
Posts: 15
Joined: Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:15 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by finsterfolly » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:25 pm

I went with for Amica 12 years ago. I think they were referred by Clark Howard. I had one water damage claim with them, and it was quickly resolved to my liking. I think they are still high on the Consumer Reports list as well. As HomeStretch mentioned, you have to go to them directly.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm

+1,000 for AMICA. Been with them for 39 years, picked them because my grandfather had them for 50 years and they are top rated. Used to be by invite only. We're doing a water leak claim right now, already passed $30k, and they've been great.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

bloom2708
Posts: 6673
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm

Use the Find an Agency lookup on this page:

https://www.cinfin.com/

Find an Independent Agent in your area that is long established and can shop multiple carriers for your area.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:51 pm

bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
Use the Find an Agency lookup on this page:

https://www.cinfin.com/

Find an Independent Agent in your area that is long established and can shop multiple carriers for your area.
USAA and AMICA do not use independent agents. They have no agents, you deal direct.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

bloom2708
Posts: 6673
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2014 2:08 pm
Location: Fargo, ND

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by bloom2708 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:56 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:51 pm
bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
Use the Find an Agency lookup on this page:

https://www.cinfin.com/

Find an Independent Agent in your area that is long established and can shop multiple carriers for your area.
USAA and AMICA do not use independent agents. They have no agents, you deal direct.
Right. The OP didn't list USAA or AMICA as their choices. I suggested another way to "shop". If you go to AMICA you will get an AMICA quote. That may be what they want. Or it may not be. An independent agent could look at the requirements and shop their options. It might be worth trying it multiple ways. I see several agents in the SD, CA area. Just one option.
"We are not here to agree with you; we are here to provoke thoughtfulness." Unknown Boglehead

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9889
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:23 pm

I use an independent agent, but I'm not in your area. Why I do? Say I'm unhappy with my company and I'm direct with them. What are they going to say? Go with a better company? Not likely. My independent agent has actually seen companies change for the worse and contacted me to let me know what's likely coming at renewal time and made suggestion on how to improve my coverage and costs.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

DrakeSRT
Posts: 105
Joined: Thu Dec 11, 2014 6:43 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by DrakeSRT » Fri Sep 06, 2019 5:26 pm

I live in San Diego and have American National. Their office is in Rancho Santa Fe.

Chances are you won't like AAA rates on your car insurance once you can no longer bundle home insurance with it.

User avatar
MP123
Posts: 1033
Joined: Thu Feb 16, 2017 3:32 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by MP123 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 7:14 pm

In a worst case you can likely insure the house with Lloyd's of London but the premiums are very high. When I shopped them in a similar situation they wanted $3500/yr. Fortunately I found a mainline carrier that would do it for much less, but it wasn't easy. Many companies don't want to deal with wildfire risk.

Start with calling captive agents at the major insurers, then try a few independent agents that work with other companies.

Most of them seem to use a common system that already knows all about you, your cars, and property so the process of getting a quote is pretty fast and easy.

OnTrack2020
Posts: 418
Joined: Mon Mar 20, 2017 10:24 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by OnTrack2020 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:31 pm

I would shop locally. You may have a several local brokers who do business in your area. Ask around for recommendations.
HomeStretch wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 8:12 pm

Be prepared for a possible home inspection by new insurer (in case you have any safety or roof issues you want to address while quoting insurance). My new insurer informed me they required a home inspection/valuation by their appraiser/adjustor to determine policy replacement value after I bound coverage with them (and had cancelled old insurance). It might just be their requirement for high value properties (> $1 million). He spent 2 hours on premises doing appraisal but he was definitely checking premised condition (he got up on the roof). We were fine as house had been completely renovated in last 8 years. But we had friends who were told after a similar inspection they needed to repair or replace their roof within xx days as a condition of continuing coverage.
+1 to this. This is not necessarily for high value properties either.

SR II
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed Mar 19, 2014 7:37 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by SR II » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:51 pm

lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?
We had the same thing happen years ago with a non-renewal. We just went with the lender suggested insurance company when we bought a house in Burbank, CA, a few months after the Northridge earthquake. When it came time to renew, our house was suddenly in a fire zone (although a hydrant was directly across the street and a fire station was about 1/2 mile away), rendering it non-renewable. At that time, due to the earthquake the year before, it was nearly impossible to fine ANY insurance company to write a homeowners policy in our area. I talked to folks at work and one co-worker recommended Civil Service Employees Insurance. Neither my spouse or I worked civil service, but they wrote our homeowners policy anyway.

My suggestion to you is to compare prices with a local insurance agent, AMICA and USAA for all of your insurance needs.

One other thing is; keep all your policies at the same company if the price is comparable, because otherwise you will have to pay through the nosey for your umbrella insurance...if you can even find a company in your area to write one.
Last edited by SR II on Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ARoseByAnyOtherName
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 26, 2017 12:03 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by ARoseByAnyOtherName » Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:53 pm

lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
If it were me I would ditch AAA completely out of annoyance and spite. There are plenty of other auto insurance carriers out there.

supalong52
Posts: 166
Joined: Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:51 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by supalong52 » Fri Sep 06, 2019 10:47 pm

Amica and at least one other insurer (Nationwide?) declined to cover us in North county San Diego. We're not even in a high fire risk zone as we're by the ocean. Every insurer is tightening up their risk tolerance.

DVMResident
Posts: 1360
Joined: Mon Aug 01, 2011 8:15 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by DVMResident » Sat Sep 07, 2019 5:27 am

Tangential comment: while you’re shopping for new home owners insurance, might as well play quotes for other insurance products (e.g. auto) as well. It’s good to shop around and bundling discounts can be substantial.

fru-gal
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by fru-gal » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:32 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
+1,000 for AMICA. Been with them for 39 years, picked them because my grandfather had them for 50 years and they are top rated. Used to be by invite only. We're doing a water leak claim right now, already passed $30k, and they've been great.
I got homeowners insurance through an independent agent years ago because not many companies were writing it for coastal houses.

Then Amica, where I have the rest of my insurance, started writing homeowners in my area again and I went to them and saved $600 on the annual premium. Criminey.

If you do get a quote from Amica, be sure you take into account that if you become a member the initial premium is higher than for non-members, but members get a substantial dividend and so far at least wind up paying a lot less.

Amica did come out and inspect the house. Their appraisal for my house itself was somewhere in the $300,000, so a middle value house I would guess.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:36 am

fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:32 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
+1,000 for AMICA. Been with them for 39 years, picked them because my grandfather had them for 50 years and they are top rated. Used to be by invite only. We're doing a water leak claim right now, already passed $30k, and they've been great.
I got homeowners insurance from Mapfre through an independent agent years ago because not many companies were writing it for coastal houses. I think originally it was not Mapfre, but over the years companies combined, got taken over, etc. and Mapfre was the result.

Then Amica, where I have the rest of my insurance, started writing homeowners in my area again and I went to them and saved $600 on the annual premium. Criminey.

If you do get a quote from Amica, be sure you take into account that if you become a member the initial premium is higher than for non-members, but members get a substantial dividend and so far at least wind up paying a lot less.

Amica did come out and inspect the house.
Two points.

AMICA dividend policies may not be available in all states or for all types of policies, and the rate of dividend varies (20% for homeowner's). Also, they do offer non-dividend policies, but the net cost is higher. https://www.amica.com/en/products/dividend.html

To my knowledge, all people with AMICA policies are treated the same, no "membership".
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

fru-gal
Posts: 866
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by fru-gal » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:30 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:36 am
fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:32 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
+1,000 for AMICA. Been with them for 39 years, picked them because my grandfather had them for 50 years and they are top rated. Used to be by invite only. We're doing a water leak claim right now, already passed $30k, and they've been great.
I got homeowners insurance from Mapfre through an independent agent years ago because not many companies were writing it for coastal houses. I think originally it was not Mapfre, but over the years companies combined, got taken over, etc. and Mapfre was the result.

Then Amica, where I have the rest of my insurance, started writing homeowners in my area again and I went to them and saved $600 on the annual premium. Criminey.

If you do get a quote from Amica, be sure you take into account that if you become a member the initial premium is higher than for non-members, but members get a substantial dividend and so far at least wind up paying a lot less.

Amica did come out and inspect the house.
Two points.

AMICA dividend policies may not be available in all states or for all types of policies, and the rate of dividend varies (20% for homeowner's). Also, they do offer non-dividend policies, but the net cost is higher. https://www.amica.com/en/products/dividend.html

To my knowledge, all people with AMICA policies are treated the same, no "membership".
Amica was founded as a mutual society and originally had only members, who owned the company, that's why they get dividends. Then it expanded to offering policies to non-members. As far as I know, the only current difference is the premiums and dividends handling.

User avatar
RickBoglehead
Posts: 3579
Joined: Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:10 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by RickBoglehead » Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:42 pm

fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 1:30 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:36 am
fru-gal wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 6:32 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:28 pm
+1,000 for AMICA. Been with them for 39 years, picked them because my grandfather had them for 50 years and they are top rated. Used to be by invite only. We're doing a water leak claim right now, already passed $30k, and they've been great.
I got homeowners insurance from Mapfre through an independent agent years ago because not many companies were writing it for coastal houses. I think originally it was not Mapfre, but over the years companies combined, got taken over, etc. and Mapfre was the result.

Then Amica, where I have the rest of my insurance, started writing homeowners in my area again and I went to them and saved $600 on the annual premium. Criminey.

If you do get a quote from Amica, be sure you take into account that if you become a member the initial premium is higher than for non-members, but members get a substantial dividend and so far at least wind up paying a lot less.

Amica did come out and inspect the house.
Two points.

AMICA dividend policies may not be available in all states or for all types of policies, and the rate of dividend varies (20% for homeowner's). Also, they do offer non-dividend policies, but the net cost is higher. https://www.amica.com/en/products/dividend.html

To my knowledge, all people with AMICA policies are treated the same, no "membership".
Amica was founded as a mutual society and originally had only members, who owned the company, that's why they get dividends. Then it expanded to offering policies to non-members. As far as I know, the only current difference is the premiums and dividends handling.
I believe every policy holder is now a member, and has the choice of dividend or non-dividend polices. I know I have that choice. Both of my kids selected AMICA for their insurance when they moved out also. It used to be that you had to be referred by another member to get AMICA, now it's not the case.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

pdanet
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by pdanet » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:05 pm

lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.
Curious..22 years you have paid for home insurance. How much did that cost?

Ever think of dropping home insurance? do you still think you need it?

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3042
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:12 pm

My homeowner's insurance was non-renewed this year. No claims, just a company most likely reducing their number of policies in Florida.

But, my independent insurance agency found me a policy with same coverage for $138/year less.

Try an independent insurance agency, you might get lucky.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3042
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:14 pm

pdanet wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:05 pm
lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.
Curious..22 years you have paid for home insurance. How much did that cost?

Ever think of dropping home insurance? do you still think you need it?
Not a good idea, one word: liabilty. I could stomach rebuilding a destroyed home, but not an unknown possibility of a liability claim. Nope.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

rich126
Posts: 636
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2018 4:56 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by rich126 » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:10 pm

Maybe it will work out to your benefit. I was dropped once over a minor issue. I looked around and easily found a very well rated company and I saved $400+ moving my policies over to them. I think insurance companies count on people being lazy and not willing to price compare yearly so they slowly raise the premiums on you.

RetiredAL
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue Jun 06, 2017 12:09 am
Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by RetiredAL » Sat Sep 07, 2019 3:37 pm

A data point for the OP.

My Dad has a mountain home east of Stockton Ca near Arnold, at 5000ft elevation, in a pine forest. It's a regular sub-division with County water, fire hydrants, stored water, and backup pumps, all fed from a distribution source 5 miles away. The home is within a paid full-time manned regional fire district.

To date, there has been no issues with our USAA insurance. Last year USAA did walk-thru of the house and the property. It seemed to me that the inspector was most interested in the home's condition/build, not that is sits in a forest. USAA has in the past, but not this year, advertised fire safety consulting service at no extra charge.

My Dad is a retired military officer who has insured both his prime home and the mountain home with USAA for 40+ years. Being quite elderly, I manage his affairs, and I don't want to rock this cart at all. My home is insured by CS-AAA and I believe that CS-AAA has totally stopped insuring in the area.

This week I received a Real Estate Broker's flyer that discussed insurance issues and had a list of 10+ agents in the area that insurance could be bought through. A local BBS seems in indicate that those who had been dropped have been able to insure via an independent agent. Of note, one agent listed is a Farmer's Agent, so Farmers may still be doing new policies.

pdanet
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by pdanet » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:09 am

Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:14 pm
pdanet wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:05 pm
lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.
Curious..22 years you have paid for home insurance. How much did that cost?

Ever think of dropping home insurance? do you still think you need it?
Not a good idea, one word: liabilty. I could stomach rebuilding a destroyed home, but not an unknown possibility of a liability claim. Nope.

Broken Man 1999
The Q was directed to OP.

Your opinion might change if you look at statistics rather than painting it with the unknown brush.

shell921
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by shell921 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:50 am

IMO wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:18 pm
lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?
I don't have an answer about where to start looking for your insurance. Please post what happens in this situation when your shopping for other homeowner's insurance. I know once we were looking at a property in a higher risk area and USAA would not insure the property that we had interest.

If this were to occur to us, I'm curious as to how the process would pan out, changes in premium, etc. I could see worse case scenario is one self insures, but that would presume one doesn't have a mortgage.

When one thinks about most of San Diego, one would think it's pretty low risk. Not any forested areas, some brush covered hills here/there and you'd think brush fires were something that are relatively quicker to extinguish. Then again there was the Scripp's fire and there are the Santa Ana winds (so perhaps all of SoCal should be deemed high risk?).
IMO

Look at this fire zone map of San Diego area.
:

https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/ ... grid43.pdf


I am in zone 45 and in 2007 my home burned to the ground and 365 others in the area did too.
Mine and 14 others on my street totally gone. It looked like a war zone! It was a Federally declared National Disaster. Yes the 2003 Scripps fire was bad but the 2007 Witch Creek fire was worse. There were those Santa Ana winds both times and both fires where in October. I had AAA insurance and they were more than fair but they recently dropped me for homeowners and my auto insurance with them went from $800 a year to $1200! I called around to various places and got turned down. Finally I went through an agent and got home insurance with Pacific Specialty. I have read some negative reviews about PS so I am concerned.
Last edited by shell921 on Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
lairdb
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:16 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by lairdb » Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:36 pm

Wow -- thanks to all for some good discussion.



bloom2708 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:56 pm
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:51 pm

USAA and AMICA do not use independent agents. They have no agents, you deal direct.
Right. The OP didn't list USAA or AMICA as their choices. I suggested another way to "shop". If you go to AMICA you will get an AMICA quote. That may be what they want. Or it may not be. An independent agent could look at the requirements and shop their options. It might be worth trying it multiple ways. I see several agents in the SD, CA area. Just one option.
Not eligible for USAA (I wish), but this community seems to think well of Amica -- I'll give them a call Monday.

In re. independent agents:
OnTrack2020 wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:31 pm
I would shop locally. You may have a several local brokers who do business in your area. Ask around for recommendations.
I'm sure there are; the link provided by bloom2708 listed a dozen or more, but that's back to the dartboard. (You should assume you all are my only friends. Heh.) At least the dartboard will give me something to compare against.



SR II wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 9:51 pm
[...]
One other thing is; keep all your policies at the same company if the price is comparable, because otherwise you will have to pay through the nosey for your umbrella insurance...if you can even find a company in your area to write one.

That's what I figured, but thanks for the confirmation.


Broken Man 1999 wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:14 pm
pdanet wrote:
Sat Sep 07, 2019 2:05 pm
Curious..22 years you have paid for home insurance. How much did that cost?

Ever think of dropping home insurance? do you still think you need it?
Not a good idea, one word: liabilty. I could stomach rebuilding a destroyed home, but not an unknown possibility of a liability claim. Nope.
I would consider self-insuring on the house -- but the liability does concern me. Statistics are one thing, but I don't want to be the black swan. Tail risk is real -- at least in my head.



So far, the plan for Monday is to contact Amica and go through the SelectQuote process, and possibly dartboard a local independent agent.

Broken Man 1999
Posts: 3042
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2015 11:31 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Sun Sep 08, 2019 5:15 pm

OP wrote: "...I would consider self-insuring on the house -- but the liability does concern me. Statistics are one thing, but I don't want to be the black swan. Tail risk is real -- at least in my head."

You mentioned a $1mil umbrella policy in your first post, so obviously you are wanting to protect yourself. When I checked on an umbrella policy a few years ago, I would have had to go to $500,000 liability on auto and homeowners. I did up my limits to $500,000, but didn't purchase an umbrella policy, as our home and personal belongings within, I-bonds, and a 2008 vehicle are the only assets we have outside our tax-deferred retirement portfolio. Florida offers some protection of our IRAs.

So, getting an umbrella policy didn't seem all that important, since in Florida one's homestead is somewhat protected.

If you have a mortgage on your home, you might not be able to drop other overages and only have liability.

Is your homeowners that expensive? I don't think I would risk my home under any circumstance. We pay about $2,000/year for our homeowners policy, on a home value of $300,000 to maybe $315,000. Seems a small price to pay for protection. The premium is less than 1% of the protected asset's value. I have gladly paid such a small amount to protect my home, we have paid 30 years of premium on the home thus far. Seems worth it to me.

Good luck. I suppose with the fires California has endured, your insurance environment is kinda like what a Florida homeowner faces with our brisk winds aka hurricanes. :(

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

pdanet
Posts: 49
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:29 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by pdanet » Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:16 pm

lairdb wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:36 pm
I would consider self-insuring on the house -- but the liability does concern me. Statistics are one thing, but I don't want to be the black swan. Tail risk is real -- at least in my head.
so you are making a decision emotionally and not thinking thro' it. What if the insurance company you choose goes bankruptcy and at the same time, you have a urgent claim?

Again, you are closer to your geographical area and based on risks, can make an informed decision.

IMO
Posts: 530
Joined: Fri May 05, 2017 6:01 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by IMO » Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:10 pm

shell921 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:50 am
IMO wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:18 pm
lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?
I don't have an answer about where to start looking for your insurance. Please post what happens in this situation when your shopping for other homeowner's insurance. I know once we were looking at a property in a higher risk area and USAA would not insure the property that we had interest.

If this were to occur to us, I'm curious as to how the process would pan out, changes in premium, etc. I could see worse case scenario is one self insures, but that would presume one doesn't have a mortgage.

When one thinks about most of San Diego, one would think it's pretty low risk. Not any forested areas, some brush covered hills here/there and you'd think brush fires were something that are relatively quicker to extinguish. Then again there was the Scripp's fire and there are the Santa Ana winds (so perhaps all of SoCal should be deemed high risk?).
IMO

Look at this fire zone map of San Diego area. I am in zone 45 and in 2007 my home burned to the ground and 365 others in the area did too.
Mine and 14 others on my street totally gone. It looked like a war zone! It was a Federally declared National Disaster. Yes the 2003 Scripps fire was bad but the 2007 Witch Creek fire was worse. There were those Santa Ana winds both times and both fires where in October. I had AAA insurance and they were more than fair but they recently dropped me for homeowners and my auto insurance with them went from $800 a year to $1200! I called around to various places and got turned down. Finally I went through an agent and got home insurance with Pacific Specialty. I have read some negative reviews about PS so I am concerned.
You didn't post the link the the fire zone map but I looked "Official Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map" up out of curiosity. Checked a number of the zones as I'm familiar with San Diego. It looks like a bloody murder scene with all the high risk areas that seem to include almost everywhere even where one wouldn't think and is quite shocking. I think also confused the Witch with the Scripps fire. https://www.sandiego.gov/fire/services/ ... erityzones

So when you switched to Pacific Specialty, how much did your homeowner's change? If (or should I say when) another major fire occurs, I wonder are companies like Pacific Specialty able to financially cover losses if they are taking on all the high risk areas?

Maybe in the future, in places like California, fire coverage will not be included in a homeowner's policy and it will become more like buying earthquake coverage. Really unfortunate thing is every Santa Ana wind season all the fires are basically man-made and could thus essentially be avoided in theory.

shell921
Posts: 317
Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 5:13 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by shell921 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 8:33 am

IMO wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 11:10 pm
shell921 wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:50 am
IMO wrote:
Fri Sep 06, 2019 12:18 pm
lairdb wrote:
Thu Sep 05, 2019 7:59 pm
Twenty-two years ago (and single, and not paying as much attention as I do now, and etc.) I went with AAA for homeowners, because that's where my auto was. So far so good: no home claims; a few minor auto claims.

They've dropped me due to their own reduced appetite for wildfires. (I'm not adjacent to brush, but their new guidelines are to be at least two houses away, and if you squint hard, I'm theoretically one house away. (And a road, and etc., but they've made their decision.))

In case it matters,
- $1M in liability on the base policy, and an umbrella for another $1M,
- no other interesting riders, amendments, etc.,
- no earthquake cover,
- San Diego, CA,
- cars are with AAA as well, but open to moving them along with the homeowners if it's worth it,
- no whole or term life, and not really interested,
- also carry DAN insurance for scuba and medevac.

There's assorted online tools; there's using the dartboard to pick a local agent; AIG occasionally sends me 'private client' pitchbooks (which tend to set off my 'high fee' alarms) -- is there any place actually sensible to start or any standard BH guidance, or is the dartboard as good as any?
I don't have an answer about where to start looking for your insurance. Please post what happens in this situation when your shopping for other homeowner's insurance. I know once we were looking at a property in a higher risk area and USAA would not insure the property that we had interest.

If this were to occur to us, I'm curious as to how the process would pan out, changes in premium, etc. I could see worse case scenario is one self insures, but that would presume one doesn't have a mortgage.

When one thinks about most of San Diego, one would think it's pretty low risk. Not any forested areas, some brush covered hills here/there and you'd think brush fires were something that are relatively quicker to extinguish. Then again there was the Scripp's fire and there are the Santa Ana winds (so perhaps all of SoCal should be deemed high risk?).
IMO

Look at this fire zone map of San Diego area. I am in zone 45 and in 2007 my home burned to the ground and 365 others in the area did too.
Mine and 14 others on my street totally gone. It looked like a war zone! It was a Federally declared National Disaster. Yes the 2003 Scripps fire was bad but the 2007 Witch Creek fire was worse. There were those Santa Ana winds both times and both fires where in October. I had AAA insurance and they were more than fair but they recently dropped me for homeowners and my auto insurance with them went from $800 a year to $1200! I called around to various places and got turned down. Finally I went through an agent and got home insurance with Pacific Specialty. I have read some negative reviews about PS so I am concerned.
You didn't post the link the the fire zone map but I looked "Official Very High Fire Hazard Severity Zone Map" up out of curiosity. Checked a number of the zones as I'm familiar with San Diego. It looks like a bloody murder scene with all the high risk areas that seem to include almost everywhere even where one wouldn't think and is quite shocking. I think also confused the Witch with the Scripps fire. https://www.sandiego.gov/fire/services/ ... erityzones

So when you switched to Pacific Specialty, how much did your homeowner's change? If (or should I say when) another major fire occurs, I wonder are companies like Pacific Specialty able to financially cover losses if they are taking on all the high risk areas?

Maybe in the future, in places like California, fire coverage will not be included in a homeowner's policy and it will become more like buying earthquake coverage. Really unfortunate thing is every Santa Ana wind season all the fires are basically man-made and could thus essentially be avoided in theory.
Thanks for pointing out I forgot the link. I edited my post but here it is:
https://www.sandiego.gov/sites/default/ ... grid43.pdf

With AAA I was paying $2200 a year for homeowners. They DID re-insure me even after the fire of 2007-and they only increased premium $400.
Before the fire it was $1800/year
But in 2015 AAA dropped me. Pacific Specialty charges me $2000/year [ earthquake is $354] but the policy limit is $1 million. I can not rebuild this house for that amount. The AAA homeowner's policy had the 3 magic words: guaranteed replacement value.

User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
Posts: 56330
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia
Contact:

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by LadyGeek » Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:26 am

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (insurance).
Wiki To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.

User avatar
dm200
Posts: 21485
Joined: Mon Feb 26, 2007 2:21 pm
Location: Washington DC area

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by dm200 » Mon Sep 09, 2019 10:02 am

From our long time experience with State Farm, we seem to get a large reduction in auto and homeowners insurance by having both with the same company.

If possible and practical - I would keep this in mind when selecting Homeowners insurance.

Good Luck!

walleyf
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2017 9:51 pm

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by walleyf » Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:39 am

I and my parents before me have been with AMICA (Automobile Mutual Insurance Company of America) since at least the 1950s. They are not always the lowest priced but they have always provided excellent customer service for claims and everything else. I have use their dividend policies for their lower net cost but they are not available in Florida where we have a second house. I believe that they are the best value for the money. I have had house and auto insurance with them for decades.

UALflyer
Posts: 450
Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2013 10:42 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by UALflyer » Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 am

walleyf wrote:
Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:39 am
I and my parents before me have been with AMICA (Automobile Mutual Insurance Company of America) since at least the 1950s. They are not always the lowest priced but they have always provided excellent customer service for claims and everything else. I have use their dividend policies for their lower net cost but they are not available in Florida where we have a second house. I believe that they are the best value for the money. I have had house and auto insurance with them for decades.
There is no such thing as one insurance company or one insurance policy that represents "the best value for the money" for every person out there. Likewise, there is no such thing as an "expensive" or a "cheap" insurance company. They all have their own specific target risks, so a company that is outrageously expensive for you may be the cheapest one for your neighbor, and vice versa. It all just depends on your individual variables.

Amica is one of the better standard insurance companies out there, but there are many other companies that offer far better policy features and claims handling. Likewise, even when it comes to standard insurance companies, depending on your variables there are other standard insurance companies that offer similar claims handling, similar or better contractual features, and, depending on the situation, a much better price.

Topic Author
lairdb
Posts: 39
Joined: Mon Nov 04, 2013 11:16 am

Re: Homeowner's: notice of non-renewal. Where/how to shop?

Post by lairdb » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:22 pm

pdanet wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 7:16 pm
lairdb wrote:
Sun Sep 08, 2019 4:36 pm
I would consider self-insuring on the house -- but the liability does concern me. Statistics are one thing, but I don't want to be the black swan. Tail risk is real -- at least in my head.
so you are making a decision emotionally and not thinking thro' it. What if the insurance company you choose goes bankruptcy and at the same time, you have a urgent claim?

Again, you are closer to your geographical area and based on risks, can make an informed decision.
Acknowledged -- in part. The likelihood of me having a catastrophic event is low; the likelihood of my insurer having a catastrophic event is also low. The odds of both coinciding is negligible.


Insurance is a hedge against unlikely events, but if I am the one it happens to, then the likelihood is 100% for me. As sometimes comes up about paying off the mortgage: sometimes it's about what lets you sleep at night.

(Same principle as off-site backups. Could my data vaulting company fail? Sure. Could my home computers have a catastrophic event? Sure. Could they both happen simultaneously? Negligible chance.)

(On a similar theme, could my ATM card or primary day-to-day bank account be compromised, causing that account to be locked? Sure -- that's why I have a working ATM card for an alternate account.)

Post Reply