Change the policy on your goods from Replacement value to Actual Cash Value (ACV)
Citizens calculates the replacement value of your goods by halving the value of your home. So if you have a $600,000 home, they assume you have $300,000 worth of goods inside it. What I did to reduce my premium was to specify I wanted actual cash value rather than replacement value in the event of a loss and subsequent claim. A gamble, but in this Florida insurance monopoly it was one of the ways to get the premium down, in addition to specifying an outrageous deductible on your homeowner's (HO) policy.
Shop around for insurance brokers
You will want to shop around agents. Sometimes the quote that one Citizens agent provides will be different to the quote from another. Some insureds have saved hundreds of dollars by doing this.
For example someone reported the following:
I don't know which (if any) carriers are writing non-owner occupied insurance policies in that area, but I did find that shopping Citizens rates can make a big difference. The best Citizens quote I got for my son's Pasco home was $3,900 here in town, but an insurance broker in Orlando got me the same policy for $2,900 by using the $134,000 purchase price versus the $179,000 value local brokers were using, and charging lower fees.
You may even be able to insure homes with knob and tube wiring! Lloyds of London has commonly come up in the cheaper quotes I have gotten. Note that Lloyds is a Surplus Lines Carrier. These do have some shortcomings.
A captive agent is an
Allstate, State farm, Nationwide and Liberty Mutual type agent and they
can only offer what the parent company will allow.
Independent agents work for you, unlike captive agents are under contract
with the parent company and cannot shop coverage unless the parent
company has a contract with the outside carrier. Brokers and independent agents have direct contracts with the carriers and can
create new contracts with other carriers like Lloyds and Clearwater Underwriters.
When looking for the Independent agent or Broker look for the IIA symbol and
the Trusted Choice symbol on their ad or wall when you walk into the
agency. There are higher standards they have been granted because of
their service and commitment to the client.
We have found wide variations on quotes from different agents, some of the quotes from that “good guy” being the worst, sometimes hundred of dollars!
Ask questions of the agent! Can I reduce this or that? What else can you do to lower my premium? Is the company a regulated* or unregulated / surplus* line company (very important)? Unregulated companies can charge more, cover less and many times you are not even aware that you have been placed with an unregulated company. Check it out at: www.fmap.org
Also check out: www.ShopandCompareRates.com for your own area.
Get separate Liability Insurance
I have heard anecdotally that State Farm Insurance will do liability cheaper than Citizens, so you should waive it with CPIC and then go to State Farm.
If liability is a concern for you, for example if you have a lot of assets, then you need an Umbrella policy. It will only cost a minimal amount but will only cover you if other liability policies are in effect.
Driving a car is your biggest vulnerability in your asset protection strategy. Due to a split second of inattention on the road, you can lose everything you own in the consequent law suit.
Homeowner's Insurance For Veterans
is available to anyone who has been in the military or has a spouse or a parent who has served. The DD214 shows that you have served. You can have it recorded at the county to ensure that it is not lost.
USAA used to be available for officers only but is now more generally accessible to veterans.
They will only cover three investment properties. But if you quit claim 1% of additional investment properties to a veteran, then your home is eligible for USAA coverage. Make sure it is someone you trust! You and the new 1% owner of your property may be able to obtain coverage at lower rates that Citizens.
According to their website:
You may be eligible for membership.
- Active duty officers and enlisted personnel.
- National Guard, Selected Reserve officers and enlisted personnel.
- Officer candidates in commissioning programs.
- Recently retired or separated military personnel.
- Children of USAA members.
- Former USAA members.
Florida Farm Bureau
If you have property in a rural area and have acreage, you may be able to get coverage with the Florida Farm Bureau
. Though apparently the FFB
doesn't like roofs older than 20 years and some homeowners are being penalized because they're not on a "hydrant
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