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Tonya

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Homeowners Insurance ?
« on: August 08, 2007, 02:38:15 PM »

Can a insurance company lower the dwelling coverage if the homeowner asks them too?

I have been told, sorry, don't know what to tell you. Our coverage amount is MORE than what we need.

They raise it every year.
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lawgirlMI

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2007, 02:47:22 PM »

Can a insurance company lower the dwelling coverage if the homeowner asks them too?

I have been told, sorry, don't know what to tell you. Our coverage amount is MORE than what we need.

They raise it every year.

I would try switching companies.  I have changed my dwelling coverage, both up and down, on my home.  Last time I switched companies, my new agent told me I had too much coverage with the old company and lowered it slightly.  So, I know it can be done.  But, perhaps your company now has rules that they don't allow the numbers to go down.  I don't know. 
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utility slug

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2007, 02:57:05 PM »

Call a different company or two and see what they have to say.   
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Massagetherapyworks

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2007, 02:57:57 PM »

I'm no specialist, but national ins. co.'s rate you compared to national pricing. Switch to a Michigan ins co. and, if there's another flood in New Orleans, you won't be paying higher rates to help the national ins co. pay for it. Pioneer State Mutual is Mich based and has an excellent service record and decent pricing for home and auto.
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BigRedDog

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2007, 03:17:32 PM »

You "must" keep it insured for at least he amount of your mortgage (which means you are sometimes over insuring because if the home completely burned down you would still have the lot/land left...   and in some cases that is of more value than the home).

Other than that, I am sure they are willing to take your money for any amount you want to donate to them....   until you have a "total loss" they they will put you through the mill trying to collect.   There are real some "horror" stories coming out of FL and LA involving the hurricanes.  I have lost a lot of respect for the entire insurance industry.  You have to rely on the agent to explain it when you're buying and then the company sends a whole team to shake you down and beat you up when you file a claim....

Try filing a claim for almost any kind of water damage if you don't have "flood insurance"....   
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Tonya

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2007, 03:33:31 PM »

Quote
I have lost a lot of respect for the entire insurance industry.  You have to rely on the agent to explain it when you're buying and then the company sends a whole team to shake you down and beat you up when you file a claim....


Oh, tell me about it! In 2005, we had power surges on our block. All 13 houses lost everything plugged into an outlet. To replace what we lost, we were looking at about $15,000.00. Give or take a thousand. Our current insurance company told us that they would not help us because it was electric companies fault. We settled with the electric company for 1/3 of the original claim.

We had to replace what was mandatory, fridge, washer, dryer, repair the furnace, replace lights.

I think Ins. companies are just milking us for what they can get. More than half didn't even want to pay claims for Katrina.

Amazing!
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beachbunny

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2007, 03:35:34 PM »

I am an Insurance Agent and depending on the type of policy written you can decrease dwelling coverage. However, most mortgage companies have a stipulation that requires replacement cost. I have had instances where the replacement comes in less than the loan and closing can't happen unless I up the dwelling amount. Now, I know that this is over insuring the dwelling and it is against the law for a mortgage company to tell an insurance agent that the home has to be insured for the loan value when the replacement is less. It gives you as the homeowner a false sense that you're going to get the entire mortgage paid off in the event of a complete loss . That is false. We are  insuring the property for liability. The property if you decided not to re-build still has to be paid for, by you. If you were to take less than replacement with me you would be required to sign a waiver that you understand the home will be covered for the adjusted dwelling amount. But, you may be subjecting yourself to less coverage regarding the type of perils covered.
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beachbunny

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2007, 03:40:51 PM »

You "must" keep it insured for at least he amount of your mortgage (which means you are sometimes over insuring because if the home completely burned down you would still have the lot/land left...   and in some cases that is of more value than the home).

Other than that, I am sure they are willing to take your money for any amount you want to donate to them....   until you have a "total loss" they they will put you through the mill trying to collect.   There are real some "horror" stories coming out of FL and LA involving the hurricanes.  I have lost a lot of respect for the entire insurance industry.  You have to rely on the agent to explain it when you're buying and then the company sends a whole team to shake you down and beat you up when you file a claim....

Try filing a claim for almost any kind of water damage if you don't have "flood insurance"....   



Is everyone around you also flooding? Or is it a water back up into your basement? In order to have a flood claim your neighbors have to be flooded as well. Water back-up comes through sewers or drains or your sump pump stops. Usually that is an endorsement to your policy and not all companies offer it. When they do offer it sometimes its only for structural damage. Others can limit it to specified items while others give more options ie: you pick the limits it covers up to.
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Tonya

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2007, 04:11:56 PM »

I am an Insurance Agent and depending on the type of policy written you can decrease dwelling coverage. However, most mortgage companies have a stipulation that requires replacement cost. I have had instances where the replacement comes in less than the loan and closing can't happen unless I up the dwelling amount. Now, I know that this is over insuring the dwelling and it is against the law for a mortgage company to tell an insurance agent that the home has to be insured for the loan value when the replacement is less. It gives you as the homeowner a false sense that you're going to get the entire mortgage paid off in the event of a complete loss . That is false. We are  insuring the property for liability. The property if you decided not to re-build still has to be paid for, by you. If you were to take less than replacement with me you would be required to sign a waiver that you understand the home will be covered for the adjusted dwelling amount. But, you may be subjecting yourself to less coverage regarding the type of perils covered.

I have made a few calls and are waiting for quotes. I know the dwelling coverage is more than $100,000.00 over our mortgage payoff. This seems excessive to me. They say it's to cover inflation.

I had even told them about the Monroe Ord. that says if we lose our home to fire, we could not rebuild because of the lot size. Ins co. have been known to lessen payout amounts because you cannot rebuild on that lot. The assured me I would get $300,000.00+


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beachbunny

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2007, 04:30:07 PM »

Do you know the square footage of your home? Is it newer or older? The newer homes price wise are going to be inline for the most part....subtracting land cost. The older homes can sometimes be really expensive because of the types of materials used as far as plaster walls in an old home compared to drywall in a new one. Tongue and groove solid hardwoods over plywood. The insurance carriers responsibility is to indemnify you (put you back where you started). And if the home is unable to be built in the same location that is taken into consideration when you are being paid in a loss.
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sullivan

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2007, 07:07:55 PM »

 I have read the initial post and all of the replys regarding what we in the insurance industry call hazard or property and casualty insurance and after almost 40 years of being an insurance agent I see that the opinion of insurance companies, agents and various policies are no more understood and for the most part misinterpreted or miscommunicated ( many times by agent error )  by even many of my peers.

We have many good insurance representatives representing many companies that are nationally , but also regionally knowledgable to provide the public with insurance products for various circumstance.

Obviously I feel my clients are better served doing business with me because on top of my expertise, experience  and concern for them individually to insure themself properly---they are geting ME for their agent ( which has served me well over the years in obtaining and keeping clients.)

All  sales pitch aside, I will give some general tips & information  that everyone can utilize to their benefit : 
   ( 1 ) One size does not fit all!!! The purchase of your individual insurance regardless of home-            auto-life - health -business -flood or otherwise should be carefully analyzed and  explained by your insurance agent based on your current need and ability to adequately cover the concerns you have regarding what we call a named peril or covered loss.
    ( 2 ) Most companies have the proper portfolio of products and policy riders to properly insure people ,but where I see communication falling through the cracks and creating the misconceptions and confusion on this topic and this forum (which is typical ) is a failure on the agent or the insured 's part to discuss what is covered and what is not.Purchase of insurance is not something a person looks forward to and is done out of necessity more times then because they want to spend their hard earned dollars on a piece of paper they can't enjoy.Many times the insurance transaction is administered by unlicensed agents under the authority of a company or an agency who's sole purpose is to make a sale and not be concerned about properly insuring but be price motivated & directed only.
     ( 3 ) Do not purchase insurance based on price alone , as this may create a loss of benefits from one policy to the next just to save money on one end to lose money when a loss occurs.Most companies if they are to survive have to be cost conscious to what their competition charges , so with all things being equal the difference between one company and the next is your ability to choose an agent with competitive companies and a genuine concern for you as a individual ( choosing and staying with an insurance agent is no different then the relationship and trust you would have in your doctor ,dentist ,mechanic,etc.
      ( 4 ) One of the major reasons I became a independent agent representing various companies as opposed to a captive agent representing  just one was the ability to (shop ) my clients insurance for them as opposed to trying to fit their need and ability to pay into one mold available to me. I encourage people to shop their  insurance but to at least give me as their current agent the consideration of making sure that all things have been determined equally or what I call"apples to apples" regarding coverage etc. before they leave ( this very seldom happens and the rare times it does , many clients return in short order because if for no other reason they recognize my service to them is superior.)
       ( 5 ) One of the major misconceptions some people have in light of catastrophes like Katrina and 9/11 is that ALL Insurance companies and their rate structuring are not affected--which is false. Insurance companies do what we call  re-insurance which prevents any one company or companies to go under financially or even be unable to pay valid claims ---so ALL insurance companies are affected in a proportionate degree by these major claim occurences.

I could go on and on and bore you like the typical insurance agent but I will close by telling you that the more you understand your insurance and how you are covered or NOT covered ( exclusions and policy limits are standard in every policy )  the better off you are in establishing and keeping yourself insured properly.I tell my clients that I like to pay claims ( and I do ) for how else will you know how good or bad that piece of paper you begrudgingly pay is any good or not???

I know these words will fall on many deaf ears but do not purchase or shop your insurance on the Internet but stay local with your insurance needs. Most minimum wage personel which is who you will normally talk to  are not educated or commited enough to you or the profession to really do you a service.

Thanks for listening and hopefully there were some points of knowledge you can use.

P. S.  As a licensed Realtor also , I can assure you that there is a major difference in the way the two professions and professionals look at valuations and market value and replacement value are as different as night is from day.

The question you have to ask yourself is IF you experiece a total loss , do you just want to satisfy your mortgage or do you want to have your property restored / replaced to as close to as what you lost without depreciation or diminished value based upon not keeping yourself properly insured based
on current mateirial  and wage cost???? The cost to insure yourself properly is minimal in comparison to the sinking feeling you will get when I or another agent tells you--I'm sorry that is not covered. If I tell someone that I try to make it come to light BEFORE  the problem occurs.Insurance policies are not maintenance policies and it is impossible to cover yourself for everything that can create a problem or loss.

 J. Pat Mc Elligott
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beachbunny

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2007, 08:27:32 PM »

Very well put. I agree with what you've stated. The unfortunate fact is , most people are not aware that less than replacement does eliminate some coverages provided by the company. However, we all know that in an economy like we have there are people who are just barely making it, for whatever reason. While I agree with the above statements and will discourage anyone from decreasing coverages, sometimes it is necessary. I see too many wanting to cancel coverage completely (this happens more often in Detroit) I'd rather see a decrease on the policy than no coverage at all.
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sullivan

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2007, 09:20:48 PM »

Very well put. I agree with what you've stated. The unfortunate fact is , most people are not aware that less than replacement does eliminate some coverages provided by the company. However, we all know that in an economy like we have there are people who are just barely making it, for whatever reason. While I agree with the above statements and will discourage anyone from decreasing coverages, sometimes it is necessary. I see too many wanting to cancel coverage completely (this happens more often in Detroit) I'd rather see a decrease on the policy than no coverage at all.

As I believe you will agree as a peer agent : If a client or prospective client is looking at bottom line premium only  and affordability then a better alternative to diminished coverage is for them to go with a higher deductible.

 Better to have a loss and pay the smaller end of a claim then the larger end  , and as you also know IF you turn in 3 claims within a  three year period because of the Essential Insurance laws stating a company must cancel the insured 's policy ---this prevents turning in smaller claims that may come back to haunt them.

The bottom line is communication : If an insured after being explained to what they  should have in coverage elects to go with a inferior program that may create a claim problem in the future, they are the client,  and should be able to make the decisions that will affect them ( but I always have them to sign off on what I suggested to them to jog the memory at a later date.)

Hope your year is going well as it is a great business to be in to be able to assist clients and be a problem solver.

J. Pat Mc Elligott
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Tonya

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2007, 11:23:23 PM »

I did call Pioneer and they are calling me back in the morning.

I also recieved a quote fro the same insurance agancy with the same limits, but with a lower premium.

That is my personal concern. I understand the reason for raising the limit amounts to cover a loss, but with the premium going up as much as it has, I have to look at what we financially can afford. If I were to raise our deductible to 1500.00. We couldn't afford to pay that out immediately. It literally would take 6 months for us to come up with that amount. Our current insurance company requires us to pay the deductible amount first before any claim would be paid out.

If what their saying is true and they can raise our dwelling amount every year, by the time we are here 6 years, our premium will have gone up over $1000.00.

We could not afford a house payment $100.00 more a month. We are not making that kind of money. I am a stay at home mom and my husband isn't getting a raise anytime soon. Besides, with the appointments for our son, any extra money helps cover travel costs for him.

Right now, it makes more economic sense for us to decrease coverage. Hopefully, it wouldn't be for too long.

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beachbunny

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Re: Homeowners Insurance ?
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2007, 09:17:28 AM »

I did call Pioneer and they are calling me back in the morning.

I also recieved a quote fro the same insurance agancy with the same limits, but with a lower premium.

That is my personal concern. I understand the reason for raising the limit amounts to cover a loss, but with the premium going up as much as it has, I have to look at what we financially can afford. If I were to raise our deductible to 1500.00. We couldn't afford to pay that out immediately. It literally would take 6 months for us to come up with that amount. Our current insurance company requires us to pay the deductible amount first before any claim would be paid out.

If what their saying is true and they can raise our dwelling amount every year, by the time we are here 6 years, our premium will have gone up over $1000.00.

We could not afford a house payment $100.00 more a month. We are not making that kind of money. I am a stay at home mom and my husband isn't getting a raise anytime soon. Besides, with the appointments for our son, any extra money helps cover travel costs for him.

Right now, it makes more economic sense for us to decrease coverage. Hopefully, it wouldn't be for too long.




While I understand your immediate concerns I would suggest to you that you investigate the company you are thinking of going with especially in the claims area. You can have the best premium and find out in a claim they are not as great as they claim to be. If you can find people who are insured with them or even ask on here. That way you can get a good idea of what type of carrier you are dealing with. The problem that happens alot of the time is you find out after a loss. Good Luck with your search!
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