Tag Archives: homeowners insurance

Polybutylene Pipes Insurance – Homeowners Insurance

Polybutylene Pipes Insurance

By Raymond Sanchez

When buying a home, many homeowners today run into polybutylene pipes that are in the home that they are purchasing.  These pipes have been around from the late 70’s to as far as the mid 90’s.  It has been estimated that these pipes have been installed in as many 6,000,000 homes during that time.  So what is the big issue with polybutylene pipes?  Polybutylene pipes have a high failure rate due to chlorine additives that break down the pipes over time. pipes could be grey (mostly Interior), black, or blue (mostly exterior).  Pipe connectors can be copper, brass, or plastic and are barbed with a crimp ring or compression with a plastic or metal ferrule. Some people will tell you that only the pipes with the plastic fittings cause problems. WRONG!  Most problems are caused by bad installation. WRONG!  You can make a claim for the class action lawsuitfor the replacement? WRONG!  The time period to file a claim has now passed.

Polybutylene Pipes Insurance

Different Types of Polybutylene Pipes Insurance

Polybutylene Pipes Insurance

Polybutylene Pipes Insurance

The pipes should be disclosed from the sellers and their agent when asked. This is very important to know. A homeowners Insurance  is very difficult and can possibly be very costly. Most of the time buyers will get an estimate on the cost of replacing the pipes and then will negotiate with the seller on a lower price. The cost of replacing them should not be too expensive. Make sure that you get a few quotes from a few reputable plumbing companies before committing. I always tell everyone that it is not a matter of if the pipes will fail, but a matter of when. This still leaves the buyer in a predicament to see if they could get Polybutylene Pipes Insurance and also if they could have coverage should a pipe fail before the pipes get replaced. Insurers must read their HO3 Homeowners Insurance Policy. You must disclose the polybutylene pipes to your agent first before quoting. If you read a HO3 policy,  it does not contain an exclusion for pipes. The application is where the insurance company asks you if the house has polybutylene pipes in the house. The insurance company usually denies the claim for misrepresentation on the application. This is very important for people to know. People feel that if they didn’t know then the insurance company would be responsible. ALSO WRONG! Citizens Property Insurance does not cover claims that pertain to these pipes. Make sure you call Florida Statewide Insurance today so you can get all of the Polybutylene Pipes Insurance coverage options available.  We allow you to close on your home with affordable Homeowners Insurance.  Call today at 954-734-7429 or 1-888-8-Insurance.

 

Is Cloth Wiring insurable for Homeowners Insurance?

by Raymond J. Sanchez

Cloth Wiring Insurance

Insuring a home today in Florida is becoming an increasing hard objective especially when it comes to older homes.  Broward and Dade county adopted (FBC) Florida Building Code standards in 1994 while the rest of the counties followed suit in 2002.  Most older homes built in Florida were built by (SBC) Standard building code  and do not meet the standards of most insurance companies.   A 4 point inspection qualifies older homes for homeowners insurance.  Today we are going to discuss “Cloth Wiring” and how most inspectors misclassify this common problem especially in South Florida.  So the question is Cloth Wiring insurable for Homeowners Insurance?

Cloth Wiring is considered a fire hazard for most insurance companies due to the  the wiring overheating the cloth and starting a fire. The cloth wiring that most electricians consider dangerous is where the cloth is the only outside barrier to the metal conductor. Cloth wiring considered extremely dangerous and replaced immediately. Most cloth wiring found in houses may not be dangerous. They usually have Romex wrapped around the wire and it would be covered by cloth sheathing.  Below is an example of what is found in most 4 point inspections.

 

Cloth wiring insurance

Cloth wiring Insurance

Cloth wiring insurance

Cloth wiring Insurance

If you have a 4 point inspection and it comes back with cloth wiring. You will need an electrician to inspect the wiring and determine if it is necessary to replace. Most electricians will not see the need to replace the wiring as long as the wiring is covered in romex.

So to answer the question about is cloth wiring insurance for home-owners, the answer is yes by most accounts.  Most insurance companies still will not accept a letter from the electrician deeming the wiring safe,  their is still a limited market that would be able to write the insurance with great coverage.  Always make sure that you call your agent to discuss the requirements and price quotes before proceeding.  If you have any further questions about Cloth wiring insurance please call Florida Statewide Insurance, Inc. at 954-734-7429 for cloth wiring questions or any other insurance you may be interested in.

Parents, this is the easiest way to double your car insurance rates

by Catey Hill

Car Insurance Rates Florida

Adding your 16-year-old to the family car insurance will likely add hundreds, possibly even $1,000 or more, to your auto insurance bill — even if they have a perfect driving record.

A survey out Monday from InsuranceQuotes.com finds that adding a 16-year-old driver to the average married couple’s car insurance nearly doubles (96% increase) the cost. Even as your teen ages, the rate hikes remain high: the average impact of having a 19-year-old on your plan is a rate increase of 60%.

The reason for these extreme rate hikes? Risk. “Teen drivers are some of the most risky drivers on the road,” explains Laura Adams, senior analyst, InsuranceQuotes.com. That’s particularly true of boys: Adding a teen male to your plan increases rates by 92% (compared to an 80% increase on average for 16 – 19 year olds) vs. just 67% for girls, though six states (Hawaii, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, North Carolina and Pennsylvania) prohibit insurers from using gender in insurance rate calculations.

Best and worst states for parents with teen drivers

In some states, these rate hikes are even more extreme. In New Hampshire, you’ll see your rates jump 115% when you add a teen — and they’ll more than double in four other states: Wyoming (104%), Illinois (104%), Maine (103%) and Rhode Island (102%). Meanwhile, rate hikes are far less extreme in Hawaii (17%), New York (53%) and Michigan (57%).
So what does this all mean in terms of dollars? If you live in Rhode Island, this could add an average of $1000+ to the average plan. And residents of Connecticut, Louisiana and Washington D.C. don’t fare much better at $900+ extra per year.

No matter where you live, adding a teen to your plan is likely to add hundreds of dollars to your annual expenses. So we asked experts the best ways for parents to save on car insurance.

Have your teen take a defensive driving course

Adams says these courses can sometimes shave 10-15% off the cost of your insurance — and they can cost as little as $25 and can sometimes be taken online. She cautions that you should first call your insurance company to see which of these courses are approved by them.

Purchase policies that include accident and ticket forgiveness

“A new driver with a speeding ticket or an at-fault accident can double your rates,” explains Joshua Lavine, president of Capitol Benefits, LLC in Gaithersburg, Maryland. “For an extra $100 to $200 per year you can save yourself thousands of dollars by preventing huge rate increases after an incident.”

Prove your teen gets good grades

Adams says the many insurers offer a discount — sometimes up to 25% off — for teens who get good grades (usually a B and up) in school; call your insurer to ask how you prove the good grades.

Participate in a program that monitors driving habits

If your teen is a good driver, this can help lower rates. You will get a small device that plugs into your car that monitors how you are driving. “This is also a great way to reinforce safe driving habits with newer drivers,” says Lavine.

Up the deductible

“Look at increasing the deductibles on collision coverage up to $1,000 on the cars that are driven by the new driver,” says Lavine. “This is where most of the premium associated with young drivers is and you can often come out ahead with the higher deductibles and lower premiums if you are accident free for a year or more.”

The Balance is a MarketWatch column on the art of juggling family, work and life.

House agrees to roll back flood insurance rate increases

By Lisa Mascaro

8:22 p.m. EST, March 4, 2014

Flood Insurance Florida Rates

WASHINGTON – In a rare moment of bipartisanship, the House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to roll back flood insurance Florida rate increases that have devastated many homeowners in coastal communities and dogged lawmakers on the campaign trail.

 

The deal, brokered by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles) with a bipartisan coalition of coastal state lawmakers, sailed through the House, 306 to 91, despite protests from conservative Republicans that the changes would add to the national debt.

“It is said by the media and others that we cannot work together,” Waters said before the vote. “This is a time when we really can demonstrate that we really do care about the citizens of this country.”

The unusual moment of comity in the deeply partisan House left lawmakers almost gushing over the new relationships they had formed working with one another across the aisle.

 

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-Fla.), who told horror stories of his constituents facing massive insurance rate increases on their homes, said, “It is nice, once in a while, where we can work together and get something done.”

The legislation faces an uncertain future in the Senate, which passed a bipartisan bill this year that was essentially dead on arrival in the House. That measure added $2.1 billion to the deficit over the decade and was rejected by GOP leaders.

 

Waters pushed the Senate version forward in the House over the objections of House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) and other leaders, and forced procedural votes on the bill last month.

 

Even though she failed, the exercise increased pressure for a compromise by putting Republican lawmakers in the uncomfortable position of having to oppose legislation many of their constituents wanted.

 

Flood insurance rates started skyrocketing last year after new provisions went into effect as part of an earlier overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program that was signed into law in 2012.

 

That earlier effort sought to push up flood insurance rates to more accurately reflect risk and cover a deficit in the flood insurance program.

 

But homeowners, including those in the gulf states and in the path of Hurricane Sandy in the Northeast, saw enormous rate increases as their properties were suddenly included in federal flood insurance maps. Others complained they could not sell their homes because buyers could not afford the higher rates.

 

The Senate bill simply delayed the increases for four years while the Federal Emergency Management Agency studied the issue.

The House compromise would roll back some rates and allow more modest rate increases of 5% a year on others, with a cap of 18% a year on primary residences.

 

To avoid raising the deficit, the House bill would impose a $25 fee on each household, $250 on businesses and second homes.

Outside conservative groups, including Heritage Action and the Club for Growth, pushed for a “no” vote.

 

The issue has been particularly important in Louisiana, where Democratic Sen. Mary L. Landrieu, who had been a chief supporter of the Senate bill, faces a difficult reelection fight. She worked with Waters on the compromise. Among her opponents is Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.), who also supported the bill in the House.

lisa.mascaro@latimes.com

Twitter: @lisamascaroinDC

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times

 

 

Florida grapples with own flood-insurance fix

This file photo shows heavy street flooding in Sun Valley East in western Boynton Beach, due to Tropical Storm Isaac in 2005. (Jon Way / Sun Sentinel / August 27, 2012
By Tonya Alanez, Sun SentinelMarch 16, 2014
TALLAHASSEE —

South Florida homeowners, facing steadily rising flood-insurance costs, may be in line for a break, courtesy of the state.

 

The state legislation is designed to create a competitive, private-insurance market in Florida. Homeowners also could save by choosing to cover as little as the remaining balance of their mortgages.

 

“This is really an original idea on how free-market insurance should be bought and sold in Florida,” said Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg. “The two hallmarks of our bill that drive down rates are flexibility in coverage and competition in the marketplace.”

 

Costs will fall, Brandes said, because homeowners will be able to buy the amount of insurance they can afford, insurers will be taking on less risk and they’ll be competing to write flood policies.

 

Despite Congress‘ vote Thursday to limit premium increases to 18 percent a year, Brandes says his measure is necessary to bust the federal monopoly on flood insurance and to ensure long-term affordability of policies.

 

Right now, property owners can buy flood insurance only from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Its National Flood Insurance Program, facing soaring debt, underwent a major reform in 2012 that was expected to lead to skyrocketing rate increases of as much as 900 percent for some homeowners.
More than 2 million homes in Florida are insured through the federal program. Of those, more than 372,000 are in Broward County, more than 162,000 in Palm Beach and more than 368,000 in Miami-Dade.

 

Skeptics are doubtful that new insurers would flock to the Florida market and doubt Brandes’ proposal would drive down rates.

 

Chris Heidrick, who owns Heidrick & Co. Insurance agency in Sanibel and sells policies in South Florida, wonders if it’s just “a feel-good bill.”

 

“What happens at the state level, it certainly can’t hurt,” Heidrick said. “But the changes in federal law … are really what’s going to make the difference.”

 

Brandes’ bill (SB 542), poised for a final vote on the Senate floor, would allow homeowners to limit coverage to the remainder of their mortgages.

 

That’s a sticking point for Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater, who is sponsoring a bill (HB 879) similar to Brandes’ that calls for more coverage. Hooper said he worries about homeowners unable to afford to rebuild if they suffered a total loss because of flood damage.

“You now have a damaged house sitting on a good street in a nice community with no repair, no chance of being repaired and unable to sell,” Hooper said. “I don’t want to start a process where that could start a decline in a street, or a community, or a beach. Nobody likes an eyesore in their community.”

 

Brandes counters that “very, very, very few homes see catastrophic floods.” And he notes that homes without mortgages aren’t required to carry flood insurance.

 

Brandes’ bill requires coverage to meet federal lending and regulatory standards and that should appease lender concerns, said Anthony DiMarco, the Florida Bankers Association’s executive vice president of governmental affairs.

 

“We’re supportive of the concept; we’re supportive of the bill,” DiMarco said. “Hopefully this will help the real estate market, and this will help people stay in their homes.”

 

Even so, insurance companies are not lining up to offer private flood insurance in Florida, said Jeff Grady, president and CEO of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents.

 

Agents would prefer to “stick with the federal program and continue to make that work,” he said, adding they are supportive of the reforms being made by Congress.

“It is a guaranteed claims payment from the federal government if things go bad,” Grady said. “The private market is very undeveloped, it’s not stable, and some of the carriers’ financial strength is questionable as compared to the federal government.”

 

Thursday’s vote in Congress would make the pending rate surge more gradual and manageable, capping annual premium increases at 18 percent for primary residences.

 

Brandes said, “18 percent is better than 900 percent. But for the long term for Florida, we have to control our own destiny regarding flood insurance.” Over time, even an 18 percent increase would take rates too high, he said.

 

Despite the differences between the Florida House and Senate bills, Hooper said he’s confident the two chambers will find common ground.

“We’ll figure out how to come to some sort of an agreement,” Hooper said. “I don’t think we’ll leave Tallahassee without some flood insurance legislation sent to the governor’s desk. It’s too important.”