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Florida Insurance Agent Problems

Most readers of this site will have experience with Citizens Property Insurance jacking up their premiums, or having a claim denied or only partially covered, or they have experienced extraordinary delays with their insurance money coming through. But what inspired this web site was actually something a little bit more mundane.

Florida Homeowner Insurance Brokers

I also had extraordinary problems with some Florida insurance agents. One would think that it would be a simple matter, with only one house insurer to choose from, for a Florida insurance broker to be able to get it right when writing a home owner's insurance policyand getting a quote for a premium. No, a lot of insurance brokers apparently have trouble getting even that right here in Fla.

Considering how they are raking it in at the moment as a result of Citizens' rising rates you'd think they would make an effort to do a good job. See more about that on this page.

My problem with insurance industry here is less with Citizens and more with the insurance agents in this state. I've had the misfortune in the year I have lived in Florida to have dealt with two different brokers, and it is a toss-up as to who caused more despair.

I was inspired to set up this web site by one mistake:

1. which left my home uninsured for a month
2. which made me have to pay extra for my insurance to the tune of almost $400 as the insurance reinstatement date fell after one of Citizen's premium increases.

I had just gone on vacation to the other side of the world too, so it ended up that I had a miserable time.

Here is my first story with Florida insurance agents:

I have removed the names here, as I still believe that the offenders have the opportunity to redeem themselves. When I wrote this I was still waiting to hear if my loan service company is going to slug us with some sort of "fine" for the time we were uninsured. They didn't in the end, so that is one bit of good news.

Our property is one lot, with two buildings, which means we need a homeowner's policy for the home building and a second property insurance policy for the rental building.

Bill to insured or bill to mortgagee?

On March 31, 2005, we were due to close on the purchase of the property. Our Florida insurance agent, NF who worked for a St Petersburg insurance broker, had written two policies with the applications both specifying bill to mortgagee (i.e. the lender with the escrow account). However, we did not close, so for some reason these building insurance policies had to be withdrawn. I have copies of the original home insurance applications with the boxes for "bill to mortgagee" checked.

On April 1, 2005, we did close, with two new house insurance policies. However the insurance applications now both stated bill to insured. I didn't see this so I can accept partial blame if indeed we were shown these documents before closing.

On January 31, 2006, we received renewal notices/bills for the two home insurance policies. As we had escrowed our home insurance, we took no action, assuming that the mortgage servicing company, Aurora Loan Services, would be billed and would pay the premiums by the due date of April 1. We had been happily paying into the mortgage escrow account since we had closed on our Florida home.

Reducing My Homeowner Insurance Premiums

Through February and March I had been negotiating with NF to increase the deductibles on our homeowner's policies so that the monthly insurance premiums would be somewhere near bearable.

There were communication problems (i.e. it was very difficult to get NF to respond to either phone calls or e-mails), and in the last week of March I went to the broker's office to make sure that these changes were made. She was sitting right there so there was no reason that the e-mails or phone calls could not have been returned.

By increasing our deductibles and changing the contents coverage from replacement value to ACV (actual cash value) we were able to achieve a substantial decrease in premium cost. However now we have enormous deductibles on our home coverage, so basically we are forced only to be able to make a claim in the event of a catastrophic event. The quoted premium on the rental building was $953.

The homeowner's policy changes did not get through to Citizens until around April 6, 2006 from BBM.

Our Lender Makes The House Insurance Payment

On or before April 1 Citizens Insurance received a payment from Aurora, the loan service company, for what Aurora thought would be the premium for our home policy, $2183. At this point, as they had never been sent a bill by Citizens, they were just guessing.

FL Insurance Broker Mistake (continued)

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