Monday, July 25, 2011

I HATE these conversations!

I bet a week doesn't go by that one of our insured's calls in and says that their shower has been leaking and they have to replace the floor under it.  They said the plumber said to call and see if insurance covers it. 

I think the plumbers just want to get out deflect the heat after they have given the estimate!  Unfortunately this is not covered.  If a leak occurs over the course of "weeks, months or years" it is excluded from coverage. A leak that is "sudden and accidental" is covered.  If your water line springs a large leak goes into your floor causing your floor to bow then that is a good indicator that it is something that will be covered.  If it is something like a slow leak that seaps through the tiles of around a pipe fitting it is probably not going to be covered.

So what can you do?  Well here is a web site that gives a little advice on finding leaks before they become a problem  

I guess the moral of the story is to be proactive and look for problems before they look for you!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Good Neighbors, Good Hands, and Umbrellas?

In my newletters, blogs, and everyday conversation I am always mentioning the problems we have in Eastern NC with Homeowners Availability.  Well, it seems we are in for another round of rate increases, cancellations, and forced deductibles.

Here is where it most recenty started,  NC House Bill 1305 (  Long story short, it makes the insurance companies doing business in NC responsible for 1 B (with a B)illion of looses on the coast in the event of a large hurricane.  This is on homes they DO NOT insure, but is in addition to homes they insure.  Because of this the companies are scrambling to maintain future profitablity.  While I don't know what is going on with every company we are seeing some of the following:

  • Consent to Rate (CTR) letters. The insured has to sign in order for the policy to be renewed.  The insured is agreeing that they will pay a higher premium for the coverage than the state allows with out notice.  My understanding State Farm is doing this on all homes, other companies are doing it on a selected basis such as claims history.
  • Mass cancellations.  Allstate is cancelling all Homeowners policies if the client does not have other coverge and then placing with another carrier. The also have CTR on most policies.
  • Separate Wind and Hail Deductible.  Even in interior counties like Pitt some companies are implementing a separate deductible for Wind and Hail (that is where Hurricanes fall under but can also apply to just a random wind storm) My understanding is that Travelers is going with a 5% deductible in Pitt county.  If you have a 250,000 home and a loss you have a 5,000 deductible!
  • Rate increase!!!! We have seen up to 40% with several companies.  Don't get me wrong, all companies will be going up, but to what extent is the question.
So, what is the solution?  First you need to find out what is going on with your own policy. Look at last years policy compared to this years.  We have heard some really fuzzy math when some agents have explained the percentage of increase.  Next,  why not check with an independent agency that can offer you some options.  If you are looking for one we would love to see if we can help.  Check us out at