Rabu, 28 Desember 2011

OUTLAWED: Six Home Insurance Deal Killers Florida Homeowners Should Be Aware Of

As affordable Home Insurance in Florida gets more difficult to attain, it is extremely important for home owners and future home owners to be fully informed before purchasing a new home or shopping for new home owners insurance.

If one of these SIX conditions exist in the home, "BUYER BEWARE" as insurance may be difficult and potentially impossible to bind.

1) Fuse Panel

A properly installed FUSE PANEL by itself is typically not a safety issue, however most insurance companies have banned this type of electrical service for all new policies written. There are a number of reasons, some of these are noted below.

The main safety issues from fuses come into play when a homeowner replaces a blown fuse with too large of a fuse (i.e. a blown 15 amp fuse replaced with a 30 amp fuse which is readily available on the utility room shelf). The circuit is designed to "blow" if a load greater than 15 amps passes through. Now the "trigger" is set at 30 amps. An extra 15 amps just might be enough for the wiring or other components to heat up enough to cause a fire or other serious injury or damage.

A typical fuse panel can be replaced with a circuit breaker panel for $750 to $2,000 depending on any other upgrades that may have to be made in the replacement. Always get a minimum of THREE QUOTES from reputable Contractors before authorizing any work done.

2) Knob and Tube Wiring

Knob and Tube Wiring (K & T) was used from the 1880's into the 1930's. This early method of electrical wiring did a great job for many years and is still used today in some select governmental and industrial applications. However this old rubber or cloth coated wiring that strings along on porcelain knobs has outlived its useful life and is no longer insurable or even legal in residential applications per the National Electrical Code.

An average size home re-wire can run from $8,000 to $20,000 depending on the unique layout and access to electrical components. Always get a minimum of THREE QUOTES from reputable Contractors before authorizing any work done.

3) Aluminum Branch Wiring

In Florida, Aluminum Wiring has been in the spot light since 2010 when tens of thousands of Florida home owners learned they could not get insurance if they have this common wiring that was used frequently between 1965 and 1973.

Aluminum wiring is known to "cold creep". The wiring expands as it heats up and contracts as it cools down, this can cause the wire to come loose at the connection and this can cause an arc which can heat up fixtures and start fires. Aluminum also oxidizes over time which can contribute to this fire safety issue.

There are two options to get insurance if you have aluminum branch wiring. First, and most costly (but the one we highly recommend) is to completely rewire your branch wiring to copper. This can cost on average, $8,000 to $20,000 depending on how easily or difficult your electrical components are to access.

The second option is to use AlumiConn or CopAlum crimps that in essence crimp a copper "pig tail" to your aluminum wire so that the copper wiring is what is making the connection to your electrical fixture. This option, on average, costs between $1,500 and $3,000 depending on how many electrical fixtures there are in the home. We recommend staying away from this when possible as we fear that the ever changing insurance industry may eventually OUTLAW the crimp method as well. We also do not like the idea of going from the average fixture having 3 connections to having 6 connections. The more connections the more chance of failure.

4) Less Than a 100 Amp Electrical Service

A more recent industry change in our "power consumption hungry world" is requiring homes to have 100 amps or more of service feeding the home. With the heavy consumption of electrical power the average homeowner uses, insurance companies appear to be fearful that smaller services can overheat when using typical high consumption appliances.

The cost to upgrade an electrical service can range depending on if the size of the electrical wiring can handle the increased electrical load. If it cannot, the feeder line will also have to be replaced. As always, get at least 3 quotes from reputable electrical contractors.

5) Polybutylene Plumbing

This popular plumbing pipe was used heavily through the 1980's and into the early 1990's. It is usually "blue or gray colored", is flexible, and has caused flood damage in thousands of homes across the country. Up until recently a few insurance companies did not ask about the type of plumbing pipe so agents would place homeowners with those companies, however starting September 1, 2012 Citizens Insurance Company specifically outlawed Polybutylene Plumbing.

A typical re-plumbing cost can run from $4,000 to $10,000 depending on the ease of running the new pipe (in attics or under homes). We recommend using copper or CPVC piping as some insurance companies are also taking issue with PEX piping that has become very popular over the past decade. We'll cover more on PEX in a later article.

6) Roof with less than 3 Years of life

The final INSURANCE DEAL KILLER in today's article addresses your first line of defense in a wind or rain event, THE ROOF! If your roof has less than three years of useful life left on it you will likely be denied insurance coverage. In our hot Florida sunshine, an average three tab shingle roof will last between 10 and 15 years. An average dimensional shingle roof will last between 15 and 25 years. Other popular roofing options include tile and metal roofing. These options have significantly longer life expectancy of upwards of 50 years if installed and maintained properly.

A re-roof is normally calculated on a per square basis. A square is equal to 100 sq ft of shingles. In the Pensacola area that per square cost can run anywhere from $225 to $300 per square making the average 30 square roof cost between $6,750 and $9,000 depending on the quality of products used.

Sabtu, 10 Desember 2011

How To Get The Cheapest Condo Insurance Policy Rate

When you're searching for condominium insurance, you clearly want to get the cheapest policy with a top-rated company. Here is how you can do exactly that:

The Reasons You Need Condominium Insurance

Condominium insurance is different from standard home insurance because your association insures your building with a master policy. This policy typically covers the wall structure, the roof structure, and also the floors of your building.

Because the association insurance policy only insures the roof, walls, and floors, you must insure your own personal property, home appliances, plus your inside walls. Before buying an insurance policy you need to check with your condominium association to see what's insured, and what is not.

Condo Insurance

- Personal property coverage - It pays to replace your personal possessions - furniture, clothes, consumer electronics, tools, sports gear, etc. - when destroyed by fire, smoke, plumbing related water leaks, or even acts of nature.

- Condo liability insurance covers you in the event that a person were to hurt himself inside your condo and sue you in court. Liability coverage pays for court-awarded damages, as well as your court expenses and attorney's fees if you are sued.

Standard policies include $100,000 to $300,000 worth of coverage, however you can buy more coverage if you have numerous assets you need to protect.

Where To Get Affordable Condo Insurance Coverage

Condo insurance can vary by hundreds of dollars from one insurance provider to the next. The best way to receive low priced price quotes is to pay a visit to an insurance comparison site where you are able to obtain quotes from various insurers and compare them.

Once you've found a low cost price, it is possible to lessen your rate even more by:

Raising the deductible. This can help you save hundreds of dollars a year on your premium. This is one of the biggest money savers.

- Get every single one of the discounts that you are qualified for, such as discounts for using burglar alarm systems plus smoke detectors installed within your condominium, discounts for having dead bolt locks plus window locks, discounts for being a non smoker, plus discounts for being a senior 55 years or older. Don't presume your insurance provider will offer all of them to you. Ask for every single one of the discounts you are eligible for and include them in your insurance policy.

Bottom Line

It's so simple and easy to evaluate price quotes on the internet so that you can make sure you receive the very best rate possible. All you do is spend a few moments filling out an easy online questionnaire with specifics about your condo to get your price quotes.

I recently did an online comparison for my own home insurance plan and I was amazed at just how much I saved. The insurance premium for my policy was $895 annually. It took less than 3 minutes to complete the information then send in the form, and less than 5 minutes after I submitted it I received a telephone call from two neighborhood insurance agents, and also 4 email quotes.

After comparing the email price quotes and getting insurance quotes from the 2 insurance agents, I ended up choosing a policy for under $300 - saving $604 for spending less than half an hour of my time!

Whenever you're shopping for condominium insurance I think you'll find it worth your while to go to an insurance comparison site to get price quotes. It's fast, it's convenient, and it's free.