Home Insurance for You

Insurance Quotes For You

Flood insurance rates?  Older home coverage? Rentals? As a service to our local real estate agents we are happy to quote your listed or contracted properties.   Just email us the address and we will return a quote to you that day.  Feel free to pick our brains for questionable properties.  We represent many A rated carriers.  Citizens is not the only option.

When buying a home, do I need a 4 Point Inspection?  Do I need a Wind Mitigation Inspection? Do I need an Elevation Certificate? My house is new (or recently built) why do I need an inspection?

These are questions we hear every day in our office.

The truth is homeowners insurance underwriting differs from company to company.   In order to find you the best rate, we need certain information:   age of roof, age of HVAC, water heater, prior claims, will the home be primary, secondary, or rental, etc.   While most questions can be answered by information from the buyer or homeowner and others can be researched on property appraiser websites, some require a qualified inspection.   Although one insurance company may not require an inspection, often we are able to place coverage, at a much lower rate, with a company that does.  This is why in addition to the pre-purchase inspection we also recommend a 4-point inspection for any home over 20 years old and a wind mitigation inspection for all homes, even new construction.  We do see clients with brand new construction, where a wind mitigation inspection saved them on insurance premiums, even though the home was built to the latest codes.

What are these inspections?

  • The 4-point inspection

    A 4-point is typically required on homes older than 20 years. The insurance company specifically wants information on 4 areas: including the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), electrical panel and wiring, water heaters including plumbing connections , and the roof.

  • A Uniform Wind Mitigation Verification Inspection (commonly referred to as a WIND MIT)

    This inspection provides significant discounts to a homeowner if the home qualifies. Discounts are given for new roofs, secondary water barriers and hurricane panels/impact glass.  The inspection also pays close attention to the roof/deck attachment, bracing, doors and windows, and other structural features. A home with superior construction will also receive discounts.

    The state has recently changed the reporting rules making it harder to qualify for such discounts.  A more detailed report is now required as proof, including photos, to qualify  for discounts  

    Any inspection prior to 2012 generally no longer qualifies.

     

  • Flood Zone determinations and elevation certificates.

    High risk flood zones can be easily determined in our office with the property address. Once we determine the home is in a high risk flood zone we then utilize a FEMA elevation certificate to rate the home for a flood insurance premium.  FEMA has recently changed the rules on primary and secondary homes for rating purposes.  As a result, secondary homes may have a higher flood premium.

  • I hope that this explanation has been useful in understanding many of the reasons behind why a certain inspection may be requested or required, even though it may appear to be an obvious answer.  As always, please feel free to contact us with any questions.  Our agents are always happy to discuss any particular circumstances with you.

  • Lehn & Vogt

    Your Home Insurance Experts

    941-698-8877

    www.lehnandvogt.com

Flood Insurance Trends

Flood insurance refunds to begin Oct. 1

WASHINGTON – July 21, 2014 – Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) says that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is continuing to implement the Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014.

As a result, insurance companies will begin to issue refunds for applicable policyholders beginning Oct. 1, 2014, and all checks should be sent before Dec. 31, 2014. The refunds will go to homeowners that paid higher flood insurance rates before Congress passed the Act and Pres. Obama signed it.

The Grimm-Cassidy Substitute Amendment to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) effectively lowers many flood insurance premium rates. It reinstates grandfathered rates, repeals the home sale/new policy rate increase trigger, provides refunds for people who bought pre-FIRM subsidized homes without being informed of rate increases and caps flood insurance rate increases, among other things.

Most flood insurance rates will still increase but at a slower rate than before.

Homebuyers already benefit from the Act. Effective May 1, people who purchased new homes after Biggert-Waters became law, or who didn’t have insurance before that date or whose insurance lapsed, were required to paid flood insurance premiums at the rate that was charged on Oct. 1, 2013.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

How will the President’s signing of the Grimm-Waters Bill affect you?

On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (Grimm-Waters) which repeals and modifies many provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BW12).

No doubt we will all start receiving inquiries as to when agents and policyholders will start seeing the Grimm-Waters changes, and many requests for premium refund checks. It is important to know, and to communicate to others, that though the bill has now been enacted, it will probably take months for the changes to be implemented. This is because FEMA needs to analyze all the changes in the bill, determine how they will implement each piece, develop any new rates, document the Program changes in the Flood Insurance Manual, Edit Specification Manual and the TRRP Manual, and then allow time for the changes to be implemented by and incorporated into the WYO and NFIP systems. Of course, any rate related changes also have to take into consideration the lead-time necessary to account for the renewal billing process.

FEMA is currently exploring options for the earliest possible implementation timelines, but has not yet provided any guidance, so it is impossible to know for sure when any of these changes will be fully implemented. That may be the best answer, for now, for any inquiries you may receive in regards to this subject.

In the coming days and weeks we will probably begin to see news articles detailing the changes that this new law will bring. Please remember that until FEMA officially publishes guidance on the Program changes, these articles are educated guesses, and should be treated as such.

As a reminder, some of the bigger changes we expect to come from the Grimm-Waters bill:

  • A return to subsidized rates for Pre-FIRM properties;
  • Premium refunds for some Pre-FIRM policyholders who experienced large premium increases due to BW12 (Note, there is already a bill in Congress to clarify that refunds would be paid only on policies for Primary Residences, not on policies for second homes or commercial businesses);
  • A new premium payment plan;
  • A new policy fee (perhaps called a Premium Surcharge) of $25 for Primary Residence policies and $250 for all other policies; and
  • Limiting future rate increases for any class of properties to a maximum of 15%, and for any individual policy to a maximum of 18%.

We will continue to keep you informed as we get more information and further details on the implementation timelines. Please do not hesitate to contact your Sales Manager if you have any questions or concerns. Thank you for your business and support!

Lehn & Vogt Insurance

2980 S McCall RD
Englewood, FL 34224

 

[Message clipped]  View entire message

Discover How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Discover How to Avoid the 6 Biggest Mistakes Home Buyers Make

Mortgage regulations have changed significantly over the last few years,
making your options wider than ever.

Subtle changes in the way you approach mortgage shopping, and even small differences in the way you
structure your mortgage, can cost or save you literally thousands of dollars and years of expense.