I hope everyone is enjoying Summer.
Today, I’d like to further our discussion on homeowners insurance. We’ve begun to notice the storm activity of recent years impacting our rates. Across our network, most carriers are observing average increases of 15-20% on homeowners coverage, with some spikes in the range of 40-50%.
This level of increase is rare in our industry. We’ve previously delved into the reasons behind this rise (you can refresh your memory here). Today, however, I want to concentrate on how we can secure the best value for our money while maintaining top-tier protection.
Assessing Your Home’s Replacement Cost
The first order of business is reviewing the replacement cost of your home. Many carriers are adjusting their business values to mirror the current replacement value. Given the inflation in construction costs, this is a logical move for insurance companies. Policies that offer 50% or even 100% over the building limit as guaranteed replacement cost are particularly vital. If your home falls within the purview of these policies, it’s crucial to ensure we’re all charged accurately for our homeowners insurance.
Replacement cost estimators can vary, depending on the available information about your home. For homes 50 years or newer, we suggest that basic construction would run around $200 per square foot, whereas homes with custom features and kitchen or bath upgrades would be closer to $300 per foot. We’re committed to ensuring your policy accurately reflects the replacement value of your home. Reach out to us if you’d like to review your home’s replacement cost or have completed any recent projects.
The Importance of Roof Age
Another point of focus for carriers is your roof’s age. Several have implemented endorsements that depreciate the roof’s value after a certain time, usually 15-20 years. Others have introduced larger wind and hail deductibles to counterbalance the rising costs of roof repairs. Storm activity, particularly wind and hail, noticeably increased claim rates throughout 2021 and 2022.
Changes in policy formats and increased deductibles are some of the ways carriers are offsetting costs and ensuring fairer claims for policyholders. Limiting coverage on older roofs makes sense as they’re more prone to hail damage and have exhausted most of their effective life. If your roof is under 15 years old and you haven’t heard from your carrier recently, it’s wise to verify your information.
Creating Value Amid Challenges
So, how do we continue to derive value from our insurance policies amid these challenges? The approach differs slightly from previous years. Firstly, we must ensure your information is current to provide the best policy coverage. For instance, if your roof is over 15-20 years old and we can still secure replacement cost, it may not be the right time to change carriers, even if you save on premiums.
When comparing policies or carriers, make sure the coverage is similar, especially concerning roof valuation and any special deductibles. Regrettably, insurance has become more complicated. However, we might be able to help by increasing your deductible to offset premium costs. We’ve helped many clients transition from $500 to $1,000 deductibles, often yielding 10-15% savings. It may not happen in all cases, but it’s definitely worth a review.
Now, more than ever, Lindow Insurance is a trusted partner in securing adequate coverage at reasonable prices. Much has changed over the past year, but we persist in our mission to deliver the best for our clients. As always, we’re immensely grateful for the opportunity to serve you. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.