When Should I Put in An Insurance Claim Part 2
After auto the most common claims are made under Homeowners Policies. Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 the whole underwriting and claims coverages have changed dramatically.(BTW that was my first year being an agent..what a welcome to the business)So a little background first.
Before Andrew every major Insurance company was falling over each other writing package policies with low deductibles for dirt cheap. They had become a victim of their own apathy and when ANdrew hit State Farm lost all its profits that it had made in Florida for over 20 years.
This caused a chain reaction of Insurance companies either dropping,restricting or pulling out of Florida all together.Since it was hard to even get a policy for a while ,the state set up Citizens as a last resort company for people looking for coverage. This last resort quickly became the only resort and soon we were introduced to Hurricane Deductibles and restrictive coverages.
The state then started selling off these policies to brand new entities that sprang up out of nowhere to cash in on the states generosity. Most of them soon went of business and thus the policies were forced to go back into Citizens.
In the interim we have good and years with Hurricane Claims and more companies have come back into the markety offering Homeowners Coverage.So why is all this important? Basically the way insurance policies are written and serviced has beome more complicated and time consuming for both agents and customers. The birth of Mitigation Inspections,restrictions on screen enclosures and water damage and raising of minimal deductibles has made putting in a claim more difficult to decide.
Unless you are lucky to have an old school policy your hurricen deductble will be a percentage of your property value. SInce I am not good at math lets take a $400,000 home if you have a standard %2 wind/hail deductible. Even my bad math can figure out that is $8000. That means the first $8000 of any hurrican damage is on you. The other perils deductible pertains to theft, fire and water(not incuding flood)damage. Usual these start at $1000 but can go up. Suffice it say,the days of putting in small claims are pretty much over.
My next post will deal with one of the newer entities in hime insurance claims..public adjusters