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PRS Realtor Insight Post Hurricane Ian FAQs TipsWhy are insurance carriers continuing to remain under a moratorium for placing new policies?

  • While most insurance carriers remain under a moratorium and are not willing to place new insurance policies in Collier and Lee Counties, a few have reopened. Most carriers continue to uncover the extent of hurricane damage which occurred in our area and are not expected to reopen in the immediate future. The driving force for remaining closed in the immediate future hinges on the carrier’s ability to secure and maintain reinsurance for their long-term financial strength.


When is the moratorium expected to end?

  • Insurance carriers are waiting until 01/01/23 to negotiate their re-insurance contracts to determine the cost and availability of Property insurance. We are expecting to see the market establish more concise guidelines and adequate rate filings at that time.


Are rates expected to increase due to Hurricane Ian?

  • While we have been in a “Hard Market” for several years, analysts are predicting this hard market will continue for some time with higher rates and fewer options due to Re-Insurance costs and limited capacity.


How can buyers who are under contract secure proper insurance at this time?

  • Buyers should confirm if the property has been affected by Hurricane Ian. Homes which sustained water damage require the necessary water mitigation steps have been taken and documentation of the condition of the property via inspection.
  • While NFIP Flood markets are open, Homeowners and Condo markets continue to be very limited. The few Home and Condo markets which are open may have less desirable terms and conditions with water and mold exclusions. Be sure that that your buyers have reviewed the terms carefully and are aware of any policy limitations.


What if the property sustained damage which the buyer intends to address after closing?

  • Homes which experienced damage will need to be insured under a Builder’s Risk policy until the necessary repairs have been completed. Once the work has been completed, the policy can be rewritten to a Homeowners Form including contents.
  • Ideally, if the seller addresses the necessary repairs prior to closing, buyers will have a better chance of securing proper Home and Condo coverage.


If the seller files a claim, can the new buyer secure insurance?

  • Homes with open claims will not be eligible for a new policy until the claims are closed. Claims must be closed for new home buyers to secure proper coverage.


Is it true that if a homeowner files a Flood Claim, the Flood Insurance on that property goes up?

  • The NFIP will not surcharge for one flood loss; however, after a second flood claim of $1,000 or more in a 10-year period, the property is considered a Repetitive Loss Property and will surcharge.


What is the difference between Flood and Wind claims?

  • Flood claims are as a result of rising waters and storm surge. Flood adjusters will look at the water mark on the interior and exterior of the home to determine the extent of flooding.
  • Wind claims are as a result of hurricane force winds which can cause wind driven rain, damage to the roof and structure where rainwater enters the home.
  • Some homeowners have experienced a combination of the two, with homeowners and flood carriers paying their proportionate amount of the claim.


Tips

  • While your buyers may be tempted to pay cash and close on a new property without insurance, please keep in mind they may have unrealistic expectations of insurance costs once the market re-opens. Additionally, we are still in hurricane season and will be self-insuring in the event of another storm.
  • Obtaining Wind coverage on high valued properties is very limited. Homes which are mitigated with high impact windows or shutters, and properties which are maintained exceptionally well, will have the best results when shopping the market.
  • Citizens is open and operating business as usual and will write homes and condos with a replacement value up to $700k.
  • Time will tell how Hurricane Ian claims will impact the insurance market long-term. Stay tuned!


Andrea Pelletier, CPRIA, CPIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Andrea works with successful individuals and their families on creating and customizing package insurance solutions in the areas of luxury homes, car collections, jewelry, fine arts, watercraft, and personal excess liability. Comments and questions are welcome at apelletier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

PRS Preferred Insurance Markets for High Value Homes What Does it Take to Qualify

While most insurance companies cater to the broader needs of the general market of consumers, for homeowners who maintain luxury homes, there are preferred insurance markets that offer policies with higher property coverage limits and better overall protection of assets. These preferred markets generally carry a financial stability rating of “A” or higher, meaning they perform at the top of the industry in terms of creditworthiness. While the Florida homeowners’ insurance market is financially stressed, we are seeing less volatility with these preferred markets.

Gulfshore Insurance represents these top-rated and most preferred insurance companies that specialize in insurance protection for high value homes including AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault. Our preference is to place our clients’ personal risk management programs with these Admitted Carriers that have received superior financial ratings from the national rating agencies. We value their financial stability, breadth of coverage, loss prevention services, and their track record of settling claims promptly and fairly.

To qualify for one of these preferred markets, there are usually several factors that need to be considered, including:

  • Home replacement value of $2 million or more
  • Full opening protection on all windows and doors
  • Roof newer than 2002 and Florida Building Code compliant
  • Minimal claims history
  • Package program with all insurance policies bundled into a “packaged” policy structure with one carrier; this helps create a more meaningful relationship with that insurance company and typically leads to preferred status. The package policy approach also ensures protection by consistent policy language and more robust coverage at time of loss.


In situations where preferred specialty markets are not the right fit for our clients, our agency represents up to 20 other companies, allowing us to find appropriate solutions to fit our clients’ needs.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Florida Governor Signs Property Insurance Reform Bill

On May 26, 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bipartisan property insurance bill to provide some relief to consumers facing rising insurance costs within the state. This bill, known as Senate Bill 2B, is one of the most significant forms of legislation passed in an effort to alleviate ongoing challenges across Florida’s property insurance market. Specifically, the bill was implemented to help reduce rising insurance costs, increase claim transparency and limit the number of frivolous lawsuits that have contributed to elevated expenses. Keep reading to learn more about the bill.

Pro-consumer Measures
The legislation within Senate Bill 2B provides $2 billion in reinsurance relief through the Reinsurance to Assist Policy program to benefit policyholders over the next two years. The bill requires insurance companies to file a supplemental rate filing once enrolled in the program to provide relief to policyholders.

Through this bill, Florida homeowners can receive grant funding to help make their homes more durable against storms, thus minimizing potential property claims stemming from storm damage. This initiative is being accomplished through the $150 million dedicated to the My Safe Florida Home Program. This program gives consumers the option to retrofit their homes for hurricanes and receive subsequent premium discounts.

Also, under the bill, insurance companies are no longer allowed to deny coverage based solely on the age of a policyholder’s roof if it is less than 15 years old or determined to have only five years of life left. Furthermore, the bill requires annual reporting of the average premium discounts for participating Floridians by the Department of Financial Services.

Claims Transparency Changes
Senate Bill 2B also restricts insurance companies from denying claims without communicating sufficient reasoning to policyholders. In other words, insurance companies will have to provide ample reasoning whenever they deny or partially deny a
claim going forward. This change will help consumers have better access to valuable information throughout claims process. In addition, the bill requires insurance companies to provide policyholders with adjuster reports in a timely manner.

Anti-fraud and Legal Reforms
Senate Bill 2B also is intended to disincentivize frivolous lawsuits. In particular, the bill limits attorney fees for property insurance claims and insurancerelated cases; such fees are one reason insurance companies have had to increase their rates. Litigation costs have increased and, therefore, insurance companies’ expenses for claims involving lawsuits have risen. By limiting attorney fees, the bill seeks to minimize overall litigation costs for insurance companies and, in turn, help lower rates for policyholders.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Rising Prices The Potential Impact on Loss of Use Coverage 2

Loss of use coverage helps provide the peace of mind and financial assistance you need in the event you are suddenly displaced from your home. It’s sometimes referred to as Coverage D within your homeowners insurance policy that reimburses you for basic living expenses if a covered peril — such as burst water pipes, hurricane damage, or a house fire — damages or destroys your home, causing it to become uninhabitable.

Loss of use coverage reimbursement is unique to every person, family, and their situation. How much additional living expenses coverage you have is often based on limits in other parts of your policy. The loss of use coverage amount on a homeowner’s policy usually defaults to a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit, such as 20%. However, if additional expenses exceed that number, you become responsible for paying any amount that goes over the maximum.

Recently, rising costs have impacted Americans in a number of ways as inflation surges at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years. Prices are up in Florida for just about everything: housing, gas, groceries, and home repairs. Across the country, there has been a continued shortage in building materials from appliances to shingles, which has led to more expensive repairs and longer delivery times. The shortages in not only materials, but also labor have increased prices and caused lengthy project delays, so be prepared for it to take longer to get a job done. This trend is expected to continue into 2022.

With these high demands, supply shortages, and delays making home repairs more complicated and pricier, the best thing you can do is plan appropriately for the rising costs and potential delays you may experience. It is important to talk with your insurance advisor to ensure you are adequately covered, particularly considering the uncertainty around future costs for loss-of-use expenses. It is possible to increase this limit of coverage. Simply ask your trusted insurance advisor agent to provide a quote for additional coverage. The team at Gulfshore Insurance is here to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Insuring Waterfront PropertyWhen your buyers are considering the purchase of coastal property in Southwest Florida, there are several insurance factors they need to understand. For example, if they are securing a mortgage, they will need wind and flood coverage for the closing, in addition to the standard home policy. And even without a mortgage, these coverages are highly recommended for properties that have direct ocean access.

Here are a few items to discuss with your buyers if they have insurance-related questions or concerns.

Wind Coverage
In many cases, wind coverage can be included on the home insurance policy. However, for a home with direct ocean access most insurance companies will require that every exterior opening (i.e., windows, entry doors, garage doors, and skylights) have Miami-Dade Code hurricane protection. This can be verified by purchasing a Wind Mitigation Inspection. For buyers interested in coverage from the top-rated High Net Worth companies (i.e., AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault), newer Florida Building Code compliant roofs will also be required. An offer from these companies is often contingent upon writing a package account for each client (i.e., out-of-state residences, automobiles, jewelry, and personal umbrella).

Flood Coverage
Properties with direct ocean access are located in VE or AE flood zones. In these high-risk zones, an Elevation Certificate is recommended for quoting and issuing a flood policy. The certificate provides the base flood elevation as determined by FEMA in addition to the elevations of the garage, machinery, and first-floor living level. Some homes in these areas have elevated living levels which adds to the complexity of the underwriting process. For all areas below the base flood elevation, it’s necessary to confirm whether or not the enclosure is properly vented (in AE zones) or has breakaway walls (in VE zones). For a new home purchase, it is beneficial to obtain a copy of the sellers flood policy along with various other Risk Rating 2.0 rating factors which affect pricing (i.e., distance to the Gulf, bays, rivers, etc.).

When your buyers have questions about insuring their coastal property, turn to Gulfshore Insurance for answers. We’ve been managing business and personal risk since 1970, and we want to be the 1st choice when you—or your buyers—need insurance advice.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.