homeowners insurance

Tips for Buying a Home in a Down Market

Monday, October 21, 2013

Buying a home in a down market could be one of the best decisions you ever make as a homebuyer. The real estate market fluctuates a lot these days which is why buying a home on the cheap could benefit you later on. Most people are reluctant to buy homes in a down market as they are afraid that prices may fall even further. But if you are willing to take the risk then you could buy a home under its original value and save a lot of money. Here are a few tips to help you buy a home in a down market.   

Research Thoroughly

In order to buy a home successfully in a down market you will first need to research thoroughly. Start by deciding a location where you want to buy a home. You should consult your family members as well when making this decision. Go and have a look at the neighborhood and find out as much as you can about the area. You should also take advice from your realtor about property prices in the area and then proceed accordingly.

Motivated Sellers

Every home buyer should be aware of the seller’s motivation. Some people are in a hurry to sell their homes and these are the sort of people that you have to look for. If a seller is in a hurry to sell the property you will have bargaining power on your side. You can negotiate a better price in such circumstances.

Be Patient

It is often said that patience is a virtue and when it comes to buying property in a down market this statement is certainly true. As a home buyer in a down market you should take your time because it is likely that a lot of people will be selling. You will have the upper hand so analyze all the available options before making a decision.       

 

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Hurricane Sandy Premiums

Saturday, November 17, 2012

One of the largest storms ever to hit the United States started as Tropical Storm Sandy, but ended up turning into a devastating Hurricane that wreaked havoc on many homeowners located in Maryland, New Jersey and New York.  Many of the homeowner’s insurance companies doing business in these areas will be out serious claims dollars in the months ahead.   Do you think some of these carriers will go out of business?  What are the odds policyholders in these states will see dramatic premium increases?

Most insurance carriers do not just raise home insurance premiums due to one large catastrophe, but since this was such a large storm, with damages in the $20 billion range, you can be sure these carriers will have to increase premiums to stay in business.  Everyone across America feels compassion for the homeowners in these areas.   We at www.PremierHomeownersInsurance.com pray for the devastated areas to have a speedy recovery!  Let us know your thoughts in how everyone can help the victims of Hurricane Sandy today!

Read More Here:  http://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=164872

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Premier Launches New Portal

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida -- Did you see the latest release of www.PremierHomeownersInsurance.com?  Our leading Florida online insurance agency launched our new portal with a committment to our Internet customers.  Check out our new site today!

The upgrade is a response to requests by Premier customers for a more interactive experience in their evaluation of home insurance needs and purchase of insurance products. The end result is a site that goes beyond the fundamental online-quote function and gives homeowner insurance some practical context.

For example, besides offering Florida homeowners the latest insurance industry news across the state, it gives site visitors a state-by-state look at insurance issues. This can be important information for Floridians who are planning a move from The Sunshine State—or recently have moved to Florida and still have property elsewhere.

Read More at Yahoo News Today:  http://news.yahoo.com/premier-homeowners-insurance-extends-commitment-online-customers-070337307.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CRyPXRQvV8AJE7QtDMD

 

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Citizens to Private Insurance

Monday, October 8, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida -- Like lots and lots of other South Florida policy holders covered by state-run Citizens Property, I got a letter a while back because of a private insurance carrier informing me make use of them be taking over my policy in 30 days - unless I opt out.  Have other Florida homeowners had this same issue?

Sounds great, I thought, when I received the letter from Tampa-based Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty. Especially after hearing that Citizens ended up being approved for rate hikes averaging above 10 percent next year.

Florida Consumers can't make a confident decision, because these carriers won't answer the actual largest question - about all of the cost of contracts every time they renew next year.

When I called Homeowners Choice, a customer service representative explained my current Citizens policy would remain in force until it lapses next July. She said the business enterprise would mail me a renewal offer in May, but that she couldn't say exactly what the premium might possibly be. Nor could she necessary under some company's current rates to find a policy comparable to my Citizens coverage. And he or she didn't know but if your company has put setting yourself up for a rate increase for next year.

What type system is that? Do you really want to try and find a car or a home with no knowledge of the actual going rate?

My answer: Thanks, but I’ll have to pass on this option.

On Saturday I spoke to company CEO Paresh Patel, asking how consumers should decide with such limited information. He said he understood the concerns, but there is much uncertainty for next year and the carriers aren’t going to try and mislead consumers. The way in which, he was quoted saying, "Our rates are on the same as Citizens." He was quoted saying the company has asked to have an average 6 percent rate increase, but state regulators could require more.

Are you frustrated with the way Citizens conducts business in Florida?  Remember, they are the carrier that is a last resort, and they seem to do the best they can under the circumstances.  If you received this infamous letter from Citizens, comment on our Blog today and let us know how you really feel about this situation.

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Force-Placed Insurance

Friday, October 5, 2012

MIAMI, FLORIDA - Lenders who allow their home insurance to lapse will often get stuck with a bill for much more expensive coverage, courtesy of their mortgage holders.

Called force-placed or lender-placed insurance, these policies protect banks’ interests when borrowers fail to follow through on the standard loan requirement that they maintain continuous coverage on their home.

The use of these policies soared during the recession, as homeowners who fell behind on their mortgages effectively stopped paying their insurance as well, since premiums are typically included in the monthly payment. From 2006 to 2011, direct earned premiums for lender-placed insurance more than tripled, to $3.1 billion from $954 million, according to the Insurance Information Institute. “It’s a privately run, high-risk market of last resort,” said Robert P. Hartwig, the institute’s president.

But state and federal regulators have begun to question whether mortgage servicers have been too quick to slap these high-priced policies into place, possibly because of financial incentives. At hearings held this spring by the New York State Department of Financial Services, a representative for American Home Mortgage Servicing acknowledged that a company affiliate receives 15 percent commissions from QBE First, a major provider of lender-placed insurance, for policies placed on its loans.

Because the premiums for lender-placed policies are 2 to 10 times as expensive as standard homeowner policies, these policies impose a considerable burden on already distressed homeowners, said Alexis, a research and policy analyst for New York’s Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project. In some cases, the cost more or less ensures foreclosure for a household on the brink; it can also hurt a borrower’s chances for a loan modification.

Fannie Mae has adopted new mortgage servicer guidelines aimed at reducing the likelihood that borrowers will get stuck with a high-priced policy unnecessarily. The guidelines require the servicer to keep the borrower’s own homeowner policy in force if at all possible, even if that means advancing money to cover the past-due premium.

The servicer is required to contact the borrower by letter at least twice before putting a lender policy in place. Such disclosures must explain that lender-placed insurance costs more, and that it covers only the structure of a house, not its contents.

Once a lender policy is in place, homeowners can still buy their own insurance and ask to have the lender policy canceled. Fannie Mae wants servicers to refund the premiums on canceled policies within 15 days of receiving evidence of other coverage.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau proposed similar guidelines, as part of the mortgage servicer rules it is writing to implement the Dodd-Frank Act.

“The new rules would require the servicer to continue advancing the money to keep the homeowner’s policy in effect rather than letting it lapse, so the forced-place insurance would never even come up,” said Andrew Pizor, a staff attorney at the National Consumer Law Center.

Consumer advocates like Mr. Pizor are concerned that, under the bureau’s proposal, the requirement does not apply if a borrower doesn’t have an escrow account. The bureau is accepting public comment on the rules through Oct. 9; comments may be registered on its Web site.

Mr. Hartwig of the insurance institute defends the rates as a reflection of the risk of insuring the homes on a lender’s books in bulk, “sight unseen, irrespective of their condition.”

But Birny Birnbaum, a former insurance regulator and the executive director of the Center for Economic Justice in Texas, says losses on lender-placed policies amount to less than on standard policies. “The responsibility comes down to regulators to do their job and say rates need to be reasonable and not excessive,” he said.

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Rates Might Go Up In NC

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

RALEIGH, NC – It looks like the North Carolina Rate Bureau released a new proposal today that would issue increases for home insurance policyholders statewide.

According to this information, the proposed increase in home insurance premiums would increase on average close to 18%.  This number was averaged for the majority of the intra-coastal areas in NC.  If you live in a housing community near the ocean, your increase will be much higher. 

If you live in a county like Pender or Brunswick, get ready for the sticker shock of your premium increase.  The majority of homeowners in these counties will get over a 30 percent increase in rates . 

Mr. Tyler Newman is with the Business Alliance for a Sound Economy.   “The perception is that we have more hurricanes than the interior part of the state but that’s not true,” said Newman.  “The hurricanes, the storms that we have, don’t stop at I-95, they move all the way through the state.”

The Department of Insurance in NC will announce a final determination of this rate increase within the next couple of weeks.  Many individuals have been putting up a fight against the premium increases and the public will have the opportunity to comment on this issue to the state DOI.

Skyrocketing increases of home insurance premiums all across the United States has many families uneasy as to what the future might hold.  From North Carolina, to Florida and back to California, rates keep going up.  What can we do to slow this down in America?

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Property Insurance Rates Leveling Out in 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Property insurance rates in the United States are leveling out in 2012, according to a recent study completed by Marsh. (A large property insurance broker)

Even though we didn't see any large natural catastrophes during the start of the year, rates are still slightly increasing due to many factors in a variety of geographic areas.  Rates are seen to be leveling out in 2012 because the increases have been minimal this year.

It looks like one of the reasons why the property insurance rates are still going up in small increments was due to the insured losses that were offered in 2011.  This was according to Marsh's "Global Insurance Market Quarterly Briefing:  First Quarter 2012."

Many of these losses are showing up in risk areas like business interruption, where insurance companies are being very cautious in how they underwrite each individual property case, thus taking on less risk. 

Additionally, many changes offered in 2011 risk models used by insurance companies will probably slow down premium increases in the upcoming months. 

Premiums in the United States for catastrophic-exposed risks increased between 5 and 25 percent, while most of the property insured in non-catastrophic areas only went up 5 to 10 percent. 

“The global commercial property insurance market is continuing to show signs of upwards rate trends, especially for catastrophe-exposed risks,” said Dean Klisura, U.S. Risk Practices Leader, Marsh.

Marsh deals with a variety of insured properties throughout the United States.  Do you fill this report is accurate for your situation.  How much were your home insurance premiums increased this year at time of renewal?  We would like consumers to give us an idea in how they feel about increases of insurance premiums.  Let us know how feel today, comment below. 

 

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Find a Better Deal on Insurance

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Occasionally our agency receives emails with the frustration of increasing homeowners insurance rates. 

For example;

Dear PremierHomeownersInsurance.com,

My home insurance policy is up for renewal in a month and my current agent doesn’t represent my current insurer anymore.   We are in the process of shopping around for a cheaper rate that will offer similar coverage to what we have in place.  Will I be-able to find a better rate for my house?  What can your firm do for me?  Many of the other local agents I have called said they can’t help me because many of the zip codes are closed in Florida due to Hurricane season.  Is this true?

Sincerely,

Cindy

Dear Cindy,

It is a fact that many of the Florida homeowners insurance carriers close certain zip codes during the Hurricane season because they do not want to take the chance of serious losses from a large storm.   We know many insurance companies are being highly selective in the amount of risk they are willing to take in certain areas of Florida.  With the carriers slowing down in the process of writing new business, claims on the rise, rates on homeowners insurance tend to increase every year. 

I’d suggest you let one of our experienced consultants at PremierHomeownersInsurance.com help you minimize your future out-of-pocket costs at claim by shopping all of the top rated carriers in the state.  We will not just find you a better rate, but also offer expertise in a variety of coverage’s.  Having a quality agent with experience can truly help you through this process of getting the coverage you need. 

We will be-able to find you a better rate with more coverage, comparison shop all of the carriers in Florida and even get multiple options for you during Hurricane season.  It doesn’t cost you any money to work with an experienced agent like us.  Give us a call today at 1-800-554-9142 to and get started in our easy process to getting quality coverage today!

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Home Insurance Premiums On The Rise

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Jacksonville, Florida - Increasing home insurance claims are on the rise due to the simple fact that more people are making claims.  Home insurance claim frequency is through the roof over the past 24 months. 

A new study was conducted by the IRC (Insurance Research Council).  They found that the average claim payment per person in the United States rose above 170% from 1997 to 2011.  The actual costs per insured house increased to nearly 30% in that same time period respectively.

The study concluded that during this period of time the annulated rate of increase was over 7%.

From the study, “Trends in Homeowners Insurance Claims,” the Insurance Research Council reviewed and separated regular claims from catastrophic claims.  These average paid claims for both types had many similarities.  They showed around $8,000 for non-catastrophic claims and $7,500 for catastrophic claims.

Homeowners insurance premiums are on the rise every year.  This is due to many factors that surround certain geographic areas.  We would like to ask you, have your home insurance premiums increased significantly over this same period of time?  What do you think we can do to slow down the rise in house insurance premiums in America?

Read More Here: 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2012/09/26/264398.htm

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Home Insurance Reviews Valuable to Consumers Wanting Help

A home insurance review is a helpful tool for homeowners. It can be likened to a saw that cuts through price confusion, or a hammer that knocks down artifice and nails down the true value of an insurance product.

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