Having Insurance to cover losses or damages is an integral part of our business. Over the life of a piece property you pay insurance premium religiously. Make a claim, then the true color of the indurance company comes out. This blog captures the reality of what goes on in the insurance industry. Personally, I pay an attorney to read through all contracts that I have to sign. Probably the most important part of the contract is in its fine print.
This seems to be a record breaking year for natural disasters, with floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, and Hurricane Season has just begun. In my area of Florida, Sinkholes are a common fear (refer to my Sinkhole Blog Post if this is unfamiliar to you.) When disaster strikes, we assume that we will call our Insurance company, place a claim, and be restored. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Last month, I had a tenant move out of a rental house I manage. Within a couple weeks we had a qualified, interested party, and showed the home. We were distressed to find that the air conditioner was stolen. The owners were even more distressed to discover that the insurance policy would not cover the theft since the home was unoccupied at the time. Their reaction was "Then what am I paying insurance for anyway?" Good question.
In Florida, Homeowners insurance does not cover wind damage, floods, sinkholes, and limits mold to $10,000, which is nowhere near enough to treat a damaged home. Each of these risk factors require a separate and costly add on to the policy, which makes full coverage so expensive that the owners are forced to under insure their homes. Lenders have requirements that must be considered also, which makes some homes unaffordable to many people, especially in coastal areas.
Many people bought homes during the real estate boom when replacement costs were very high. As replacement costs have gone down, has your insurance policy decreased to reflect this? In Florida, Citizens Insurance will allow the homeowner to order a cost replacement Appraisal and when submitted, the insurance replacement cost is adjusted, offering relief for expensive premiums.
How about your contents? Do you know the limit for your personal contents insured? Do you really need that much? Do you have a personal contents inventory? Is it in a safe place? Are all of your important documents in a safe place?
The Insurance Information Institute has a great website called "Know Your Stuff-Home Inventory", where you can create a profile, enter information regarding yourself, your location and your insurance company. It is stored remotely so that in the event of a disaster, emergency or a burglary, all your information is stored in a safe, remote location. You can then create a room by room inventory of your belongings, also stored safely in a remote location.
No one wants to think that a disaster can happen to them. Being prepared can make all the difference in recovering in the event that it does. This is a great resource for homeowners so that in the event that they are affected, they are not doubly traumatized by having to put together the pieces of there lives that they lost.Jeanne M. Gavish, SRES, CIPS, SFR, GRI
Keller Williams Realty Elite Partners
* 352-650-1029 *
Serving Florida’s Nature Coast * Hernando, Pasco & Citrus Counties