Recently we have received quite a few calls from homeowners asking for a comparative home owner’s insurance quote. The client will give us their address, information about the home and an updates or upgrades (heating, plumbing, HVAC and roof) and let us know a “little” about their existing policy coverage.
At Birchell Insurance Agency we take this information and the first step for us is to go to the County Property Appraisers Website. Here we will get the actual square footage of your home, square footage “under air” and what your home is constructed of (masonry or frame construction), if you have a pool and or a pool screen, the year built and other specific information.
From here we take the info and calculate which of the companies that we represent will offer the “best value” for our client. Please understand here that I mentioned “best value” not “best price”. All of the companies that we represent are “A- Rated” carriers but because they are different some might not cover clients in specific counties or like most they are dropping “sink hole coverage” (don’t worry though you are still covered under Catastrophic Ground Collapse Coverage). Being an independent insurance agency we represent many different insurance companies which actually give us a competitive edge over the “captive agents” who don’t have that option.
We call our prospective clients with the quote and a couple of questions almost always come up.
“The current value of my home is $200,000 why are you insuring me for $250,000?”
When looking at the amount of coverage for your home, you are looking at “replacement cost” should something happen to it. Building costs here in Florida as a rule of thumb are generally about $100 a square foot. If you have a home with 2500 square feet, it would cost about $ 250,000 to replace it. Replacement cost is NOT “market value”; it does not adjust to the economy.
“I have more (or less) personal property coverage on my existing policy.”
Personal Property Value (just like “other structures” coverage) on a policy is simply a percentage of the total value of your home owner’s insurance coverage. Companies use anywhere between 40- 75% for Personal Property Coverage and anywhere from 2-10% for “other structures”. If the amount that you receive isn’t high enough you can always ask to have it raised.
“Why do I need $300, 000 in liability coverage?”
Not everyone does but for our home owners we strongly recommend that you have at least that in liability especially here in Florida where we have unfortunately become such a “sue-happy” state.
These are all definitely great questions to ask about your home owners insurance coverage. When you are speaking to your insurance agent, never be afraid to ask the “how’s and why’s; it is your property. If you get a “just because” type of answer give us a call at 800-978-8813; we would be happy to help you. At Birchell Insurance Agency we really are here for you.