Home Insurance recommendations?

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geo123 said:   evmocas said:   SADSADLife said:   After weighing all the factors, we decided that Chubb was worth the 20% premium over State Farm or Allstate. Their CS is the best in the biz.

Chubb was not only first, but only in class, for high relativity homes. Ace has really come on strong in the high value markets and is really giving Chubb a run for their money. My adjusters love handling claims for either of those companies as they do really take care of their clients.

I would venture that your premium for coverage is no where close to 20% higher than State Farm or Allstate, as those carriers simply don't/can't offer high net worth clients the services or coverages that Ace and Chubb provide. Note, that depending upon market, the minimum dwelling coverage for Chubb was traditionally over $1 million. Ace starts at $500,000 in most markets. This has caused Chubb to lower their required minimum coverage A. It is debated if this broadening of the market will impact their "white glove" service.
When it comes to high value homes, the rules for insurance shopping are a little bit different. For starters, many traditional companies do not offer high value homes insurance products. In our market, for instance, Ameriprise can't offer homeowners' insurance on houses with dwelling coverage over $750K. Safeco, a Liberty Mutual owned carrier, cannot issue policies on houses over, I believe, 5,000 sq. ft. (without the basement) that are over, I believe, $1MM in dwelling coverage. In other words, with high value homes your choice of insurers is more limited.

On the other hand, with high value homes it's easier to obtain more comprehensive coverage. Travelers' high value home coverage, for instance, automatically includes sewer and water backup coverage with no sublimit (with regular policies, you typically have to obtain a separate endorsement and your coverage, depending on the market, the endorsement and the carrier, will be limited to $10,000-$35,000), so you'll get full water and sewer backup coverage up to the full dwelling coverage of your home. Further, just like Chubb, Travelers' high value coverage includes a complete in-home appraisal at no additional cost -- this protects both the carrier as well as the insured, as this way all the unique features are noted and contents are detailed, which minimizes the likelihood of disputes down the road. Metlife's high value home coverage (Metlife is very selective: they don't write policies in every state and typically require all the policies to be with them; in states where it is permitted, they also require very high credit scores) also automatically includes unlimited guaranteed replacement coverage, which means that your home will be fully covered even if it turns out that the dwelling coverage calculations are too low or there's a mass disaster in the area that destroys a lot of homes, so that rebuilding costs spike up -- it used to be that other carriers offered this as an endorsement to their homeowners' policies but most have stopped doing it and now only offer extended replacement endorsements up to, depending on the state, the carrier and the endorsement, 10%, 25% or 50% over the dwelling coverage. Further, Metlife's GrandProtect coverage combines all the coverages in one policy (auto, homeowners', umbrella in one), which means one deductible (so, if there's something that damages your home and your cars parked there, you only pay one deductible -- with every other carrier, you'd pay a separate deductible on each policy). In other words, when it comes to high value homes, Chubb has formidable competition.


Keep in mind these coverage characteristics are state specific. Met Life in CA does not offer guaranteed replacement cost.

jperkins86 said:   geo123 said:   evmocas said:   SADSADLife said:   After weighing all the factors, we decided that Chubb was worth the 20% premium over State Farm or Allstate. Their CS is the best in the biz.

Chubb was not only first, but only in class, for high relativity homes. Ace has really come on strong in the high value markets and is really giving Chubb a run for their money. My adjusters love handling claims for either of those companies as they do really take care of their clients.

I would venture that your premium for coverage is no where close to 20% higher than State Farm or Allstate, as those carriers simply don't/can't offer high net worth clients the services or coverages that Ace and Chubb provide. Note, that depending upon market, the minimum dwelling coverage for Chubb was traditionally over $1 million. Ace starts at $500,000 in most markets. This has caused Chubb to lower their required minimum coverage A. It is debated if this broadening of the market will impact their "white glove" service.
When it comes to high value homes, the rules for insurance shopping are a little bit different. For starters, many traditional companies do not offer high value homes insurance products. In our market, for instance, Ameriprise can't offer homeowners' insurance on houses with dwelling coverage over $750K. Safeco, a Liberty Mutual owned carrier, cannot issue policies on houses over, I believe, 5,000 sq. ft. (without the basement) that are over, I believe, $1MM in dwelling coverage. In other words, with high value homes your choice of insurers is more limited.

On the other hand, with high value homes it's easier to obtain more comprehensive coverage. Travelers' high value home coverage, for instance, automatically includes sewer and water backup coverage with no sublimit (with regular policies, you typically have to obtain a separate endorsement and your coverage, depending on the market, the endorsement and the carrier, will be limited to $10,000-$35,000), so you'll get full water and sewer backup coverage up to the full dwelling coverage of your home. Further, just like Chubb, Travelers' high value coverage includes a complete in-home appraisal at no additional cost -- this protects both the carrier as well as the insured, as this way all the unique features are noted and contents are detailed, which minimizes the likelihood of disputes down the road. Metlife's high value home coverage (Metlife is very selective: they don't write policies in every state and typically require all the policies to be with them; in states where it is permitted, they also require very high credit scores) also automatically includes unlimited guaranteed replacement coverage, which means that your home will be fully covered even if it turns out that the dwelling coverage calculations are too low or there's a mass disaster in the area that destroys a lot of homes, so that rebuilding costs spike up -- it used to be that other carriers offered this as an endorsement to their homeowners' policies but most have stopped doing it and now only offer extended replacement endorsements up to, depending on the state, the carrier and the endorsement, 10%, 25% or 50% over the dwelling coverage. Further, Metlife's GrandProtect coverage combines all the coverages in one policy (auto, homeowners', umbrella in one), which means one deductible (so, if there's something that damages your home and your cars parked there, you only pay one deductible -- with every other carrier, you'd pay a separate deductible on each policy). In other words, when it comes to high value homes, Chubb has formidable competition.


Keep in mind these coverage characteristics are state specific. Met Life in CA does not offer guaranteed replacement cost.
That's correct that coverage characteristics are state specific. Are you sure though that MetLife in California does not offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage on high value homes? I don't know one way or the other, but the reason that I'm asking is because in my state they also do not offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage unless it is a high value home.

fobber888 said:   Shopping home insurance for a property in Bay Area. I'm getting broad range for replacement cost quotes on a 3/2 1500 sq ft. 332,000 for replacement cost estimated from travelers - $1256 annual cost. 412,000 replacement cost estimated from Amica - $1705 annual cost. What other comparisons should I make to choose? Any thoughts?

Travelers quote:
Dwelling $ 332,000
Other Structures $ 33,200
Personal Property $ 232,400
Loss of Use $ 99,600
Personal Liability $ 300,000
Medical Payments $ 5,000
Deductible $ 2,500
Limited Fungi
Repl Cost Contents
Additional Repl Cost Prot (25%)
Workers Comp Res Empl $ 8.00



Amica Quote:
Dwelling $ 412,000
Other Structures $ 41,200
Personal Property $ 206,000
Loss of Use $ 123,600
Personal Liability $ 300,000
Medical Payments $ 5,000
Additional Dwelling Coverage (25% i believe)
Has some enhanced special limits for jewelry,etc
Water back up/sump pump
Credit card coverage $5000


As another member mentioned, most insurance companies use Marshall Swift & Boeckh's replacement cost estimate, however, it could be that Amica is using another estimator (I know Travelers uses MS&B). Another explanation for the difference is the person inputting the information. You can classify a kitchen as builders grade, semi-custom, custom or designer. Each step up adds to the estimated replacement cost and increases the dwelling coverage. These categories apply to bathrooms as well. One agent could interpret your home as semi-custom while another calls is designer.

geo123 said:   jperkins86 said:   geo123 said:   evmocas said:   SADSADLife said:   After weighing all the factors, we decided that Chubb was worth the 20% premium over State Farm or Allstate. Their CS is the best in the biz.

Chubb was not only first, but only in class, for high relativity homes. Ace has really come on strong in the high value markets and is really giving Chubb a run for their money. My adjusters love handling claims for either of those companies as they do really take care of their clients.

I would venture that your premium for coverage is no where close to 20% higher than State Farm or Allstate, as those carriers simply don't/can't offer high net worth clients the services or coverages that Ace and Chubb provide. Note, that depending upon market, the minimum dwelling coverage for Chubb was traditionally over $1 million. Ace starts at $500,000 in most markets. This has caused Chubb to lower their required minimum coverage A. It is debated if this broadening of the market will impact their "white glove" service.
When it comes to high value homes, the rules for insurance shopping are a little bit different. For starters, many traditional companies do not offer high value homes insurance products. In our market, for instance, Ameriprise can't offer homeowners' insurance on houses with dwelling coverage over $750K. Safeco, a Liberty Mutual owned carrier, cannot issue policies on houses over, I believe, 5,000 sq. ft. (without the basement) that are over, I believe, $1MM in dwelling coverage. In other words, with high value homes your choice of insurers is more limited.

On the other hand, with high value homes it's easier to obtain more comprehensive coverage. Travelers' high value home coverage, for instance, automatically includes sewer and water backup coverage with no sublimit (with regular policies, you typically have to obtain a separate endorsement and your coverage, depending on the market, the endorsement and the carrier, will be limited to $10,000-$35,000), so you'll get full water and sewer backup coverage up to the full dwelling coverage of your home. Further, just like Chubb, Travelers' high value coverage includes a complete in-home appraisal at no additional cost -- this protects both the carrier as well as the insured, as this way all the unique features are noted and contents are detailed, which minimizes the likelihood of disputes down the road. Metlife's high value home coverage (Metlife is very selective: they don't write policies in every state and typically require all the policies to be with them; in states where it is permitted, they also require very high credit scores) also automatically includes unlimited guaranteed replacement coverage, which means that your home will be fully covered even if it turns out that the dwelling coverage calculations are too low or there's a mass disaster in the area that destroys a lot of homes, so that rebuilding costs spike up -- it used to be that other carriers offered this as an endorsement to their homeowners' policies but most have stopped doing it and now only offer extended replacement endorsements up to, depending on the state, the carrier and the endorsement, 10%, 25% or 50% over the dwelling coverage. Further, Metlife's GrandProtect coverage combines all the coverages in one policy (auto, homeowners', umbrella in one), which means one deductible (so, if there's something that damages your home and your cars parked there, you only pay one deductible -- with every other carrier, you'd pay a separate deductible on each policy). In other words, when it comes to high value homes, Chubb has formidable competition.


Keep in mind these coverage characteristics are state specific. Met Life in CA does not offer guaranteed replacement cost.
That's correct that coverage characteristics are state specific. Are you sure though that MetLife in California does not offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage on high value homes? I don't know one way or the other, but the reason that I'm asking is because in my state they also do not offer guaranteed replacement cost coverage unless it is a high value home.


Just double checked and the only option for Met Home and Met Home Platinum in CA is Extended Limits Plus which gives 50% beyond coverage A. Unless there's a product our marketing rep isn't telling us about, we don't have a guaranteed replacement cost option for HVH.

fobber888 said:   Lender is saying they need replacement costs to cover the loan amount. Carrier says they don't so that. Is this a typical situation? Looking to close in two days.

Are there any carriers who will let you name the replacement costs for the purposes of closing the loan?


I've seen this several times. It's actually illegal for the mortgage company to dictate insurance coverage in CA. In these situations, as long as we show the home is insured to its full replacement value, the lender accepts the coverage without an increase.

If it's close, you can ask your agent to bump up their replacement cost estimate of your home to meet the lender's requirements though some carriers may not let you decrease in the future. As long as it's reasonable, an agent will likely be able to use the lender's request if you don't want to battle with them on the necessity of that coverage. You will be paying for coverage for a need that doesn't exist though.

jperkins86 said:   Just double checked and the only option for Met Home and Met Home Platinum in CA is Extended Limits Plus which gives 50% beyond coverage A. Unless there's a product our marketing rep isn't telling us about, we don't have a guaranteed replacement cost option for HVH.Just out of curiosity, do you have Metlife's GrandProtect product in California for high value homes? Is there the same 50% extended coverage limit under it?

do insurance companies do a hard pull when you are applying for home owner's insurance?

Silverthunder said:   do insurance companies do a hard pull when you are applying for home owner's insurance?
No, they shouldn't be.

stewievb said:   I know there are going to be many factors that affect the pricing of home owners insurance. I was wondering if anyone had suggestions. My bank told me that his projection at the top of the scale would be $500/yr. He also told me USAA had the lowest rates. Well, the lowest they said they could go was $680. Without trying to get a quote from every company out there, I wondered what your thoughts were. (Of course going to be calling company car insurance is through for their quote).

I'm closing on a condo this week. My lender also projected a low insurance quote and I was very puzzled why the quotes I was getting were so much higher. The reason was because they that amount was based on the lowest possible coverage - in my case they were quoting on the walls only, no contents, bare minimum liability, no loss of use, etc.

Just checking back in to close the loop on my question above in case it helps someone else reading this thread in the future. I had to do like SIS said about the getting the higher coverage simply to close the deal. And Travelers was the only one I found that was willing to do that. I did know that it was illegal for the lender to do it but being in the middle of the escrow process in a very competitive RE market, there was a lot of pressure to simply play by the rules set by the other players.

Amica definitely stood by their stance that it was not appropriate for them to over-insure the replacement cost and would not budge.

I am an Allstate agent in WA and our home rates are usually very competitive especially for high value homes. I just quoted a 1.3 million dollar home and the premium was only 950 dollars a year!

My condo policy is up for renewal so I've called a few other companies for quotes.

Current policy renewal (Liberty Mutual) $392   [current policy was $375]
New policy (same coverage/deductible):
  Travelers $285
  Amica $400 with Auto / $488 standalone

So making this call just saved me a hundred bucks since I'll go with Travelers.

BTW, during the quote, I wasn't even asked how much the home was worth, so it doesn't matter if the market value is 1.5 Mil or $400K.

mmyk72 said:   BTW, during the quote, I wasn't even asked how much the home was worth, so it doesn't matter if the market value is 1.5 Mil or $400K.
You weren't asked how much it's worth because the insurance company doesn't care about its fair market value. It cares about its cost to rebuild, which it calculates as part of the quote. There would be an enormous difference in premiums, policy features and even your insurance agent's ability to provide a quote to you if the property's cost to rebuild was $400K vs $1.5MM.

Having said that, agents do sometimes ask you what the property's FMV is, as that'll give them an idea about the carriers that can and cannot provide quotes, etc... For instance, if you call an agent that does business with Chubb, the agent will probably ask you for your property's FMV. That's because Chubb doesn't write policies on properties under $500K. On the other hand, as I mentioned above, some carriers will not go above $750K or over a certain square footage, etc...
 

anyone ever used a company called assurant for home owners experience?


Please note that they replacement cost of your home has absolutely NOTHING to do with market value. When USAA is stating rebuild costs are $450k, they may very well be. How many square feet is the home? Is this average construction or do you have higher end functions? Think about it. If your house burns to the ground you have removal costs, permits, contractors overhead and profit, ever increasing material and labor costs, etc. My house was appraised recently for $320,000 and when backing out $50,000 for land that means my home is "worth" $270,000. There is absolutely no way I could rebuild my home for less than $400,000. This is a very general, round about number assuming you are in Columbus type area, but figure around $110 per square foot for rebuilding. 

What you want:
Coverage A Dwelling which is reflective of the demolish, debris removal and rebuilding of your property to the like kind and quality that it currently is. This will be higher than your market value (remember it's a buyers market and properties are generally discounted).

called Homesite. http://www.homesite.com/about-homesite/index.htm      Note Homesite was founded in 1997 so the track record is very limited. If you read their "About Us" where they are talking about distribution channels, etc they are talking about the direct auto writers.  lenders will not accept any grade of B (or less) rated carriers as they are (likely rightfully) concerned about their future ability to pay claims.

  I have started pricing insurance because frankly I think it is like cable TV, you get one quote and than they start ratcheting it up every year until you go with another company.   I'm currently with Liberty Mutual but can't say too many good things about them.  When I had a tree fall on my roof, it took nearly 8 months to get the damage repaired.  Seemed like every month I was talking to a different person.  Meanwhile the damage was increasing!  Go Figure!

When comparing rates, I found Costco's backer Ameriprise to be the weirdest of the bunch I have talked to thus far.  The market value of this home is probably around $100,000 including the property.  However, even after subtracting the land value which is easily $10,000, Ameriprise was quoting me dwelling at $250,311!   I know the cost replacement value is higher than market value but that is a totally ridiculous figure.  I called them up and talked to a customer service rep because their numbers were so far off reality, I thought their software had a computer glitch!   This is Indiana, the replacement cost will be lower than many other states.  Perhaps they thought I lived in Hawaii.....

Speaking of which, for $250,000 it doesn't make sense to rebuild this home.  It would be easier to just buy a bigger, nicer house in a better neighborhood and then sell the remaining land.  Since I could do that, these figures aren't based in reality.  

Homesite, Progressive has high rates for homeowners insurance (they also tried to quote for $250,000 dwelling), the rates would reflect the fact that they are not a real company.  And, I think these companies are quoting dwelling this way because they just do not want to insure less - it's not based on real figures.



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