Winnetka, IL Condos For Sale

Why Has my Insurance Skyrocketed?

Well, it happened again. I checked the mail last week only to receive the dreaded "your escrow account is short" letter - something the Parker Household has come to dread (and yet expect) this time every year. This time was a bit more significant than others. Considering our monthly payment only changes by two things - taxes and insurance - we knew there was likely a hit to both. If you're looking for more info on tax valuation reassessments, check out last month's blog post here. If you're asking yourself what the heck is happening in the insurance on. 

We immediately went straight to the source, our trusted Insurance Advisor, Jessica Osborne with Brightway, to get a pulse check on insurance in the Triangle. What she shared blew our minds. Did you know that NC has a proposed 42% increase to premiums this year?! While we don't think that full amount will be approved, start saving...because there's definitely some type of increase coming. In Jessica's words "when not if" - we broke down her top points below in an easy FAQ format. Whether you own a home or are considering a purchase in the future, this info is for you.


Why the rate increases?

It started in Florida when all the storms came through, has moved to coastal towns and is now starting to affect more inland areas like Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and surrounding towns. Carriers are specifically getting pickier around covering homes with older roofs - which makes sense considering this is what Jessica shared was the most popular claim...and if you've gotten a new roof recently, you know they aren't cheap. Instead of getting choosier around which homes to insure and which to avoid, the simplest way for carriers to handle the situation is to pull out of markets entirely. 

What happens if my roof is older than 10 to 15 years of age?

Well, you're looking at potentially losing your insurance on the next cycle....seriously. Some carriers are getting really picky about 10-15 year minimums on roof coverage. That's why working with an agent who has access to hundreds of carriers like Brightway comes in hand - they have access to plenty of carriers who will go up to 20 years. Anything past, you're testing your luck on coverage. 

What if I am looking at a house with a roof that's older than 20 years?

Farm Bureau is going to be your best bet but they have special guidelines and restrictions around bundling car and home together. Shelby Snuggs is who we recommend!

Who determines the rate increase?

We're lucky to live in North Carolina which has a rate bureau that helps to regulate rates. It's a good thing because if a carrier wants to do a rate increase they have to get it approved whereas other states they can pass automatically without it being approved. Can you imagine with many carriers pulling out of entire areas what that does to rates of those who stay? If the rate bureau takes an increase (right now there is a proposal to pass a 42% rate increase), we will likely see increase but not that high - it's up to the commissioner to approve or deny.

What's an average/baseline insurance premium?

The average home premium in this area is around $1,400 annually. Seven years ago, when Brightway opened, the average was $700.

Part of my lot is in a flood zone, what does that mean and how does flood insurance work?

Sometimes your mortgage lender will require it and other times they will not. The flood zone depends on the proximity to the actual structure and percentage of the lot. If you're able to get an elevation certificate, that will help flood rate significantly. If you're seriously considering a home that has this situation, Allie can help to navigate the survey to obtain the certificate. 

What are the most common claims you see?

Roofs are #1. Water damage claims, like a leaking pipe, overflowing toilet/sink or water heater closely follow. There's been more water backup claims recently - but if you're working with Brightway you most likely have an endorsement on your policy to cover that type of claim as they automatically add it. In this situation, you may not be covered otherwise! Maximum claim for this type of damage is $25,000.

How does insurance work on an investment property?

Some carriers won't insure investment properties. There's a higher liability risk, higher limits and umbrella policies in play.

I just got a notification my insurance isn't covering me anymore, what gives and what do I do?

If you're working with a good agent, chances are they already know and are shopping for replacement carriers with similar rates. If you're not sure, reach out to your agent or Jessica for more information. If you have a mortgage loan, remember you're required to have insurance on the property at all times.

It's blowing our minds to learn all this too! But we're grateful to have great team players to educate us as agents and be able to point out these important notes during showings with clients or when considering listing preparations with sellers. 


Jessica Osborne

Agency Owner, Brightway Insurance - The Osborne Agency

t: 919-589-3881

m: 336-706-0834


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