Thursday, October 24, 2013

Dear Clients, Customers, Neighbors, Friends…

Joan certainly writes great letters so as the saying goings "why try to re-invent the wheel".( i did add some underline and color and link to my insurance page) Hope you enjoy and 
this conversation and if you find it helpful lets us know?
Real estate  professionals often offer our customers resources to compare coverage options and arrange insurance for the property they are interested in buying.    We are not qualified to advise on insurance issues, specifically rates and coverage,  but the concerned and engaged professionals always strive to share information coming across our desk  which may help someone we know professionally or personally.

The letter below came to me from an insurance professional, Tracey Barry.  Tracey does not handle my property insurance,  she is a lady whom a former mortgage partner and I respected and trusted because of her honest and extremely diligent efforts to serve her clients.   This letter is not promotional.    Although she would not be unhappy with new business, at the moment Tracey has all she can handle caring for the concerns of  her current clients.  She asks anyone I forward this to,  please contact your own agent.  At my request, she  has allowed me to pass on her thoughtful email to my own clients and friends in the event this will help some of you.

Please take this email in that spirit, I am not qualified to give insurance information, much less adviceGenerally, real estate professionals donot refer business specifically to one agent or another, only provide contact information for qualified professionals.  This mail is meant to be educational only, raise awareness in worse case, give folks questions to ask your own agent.   We all hope for  better resolution and vision regarding the flood insurance issues so many of us face…..

in any event it is a good thing to be prepared. 

As professionals in our respective industries, those  who reach out to fellow professionals and clients and friends, we hope to make a difference for someone, and perhaps, as numbers grow,  for our  communities. 

We will be able to realize better solutions, but only when we communicate and share knowledge and experience and support.

All the best

Joan H. Walker

Certified International Property Specialist
Chair, Cultural Awareness Committee, Pinellas International Council Director
Associate Broker, GRI, CREA, AHWD, TRC

Frank T. Hurley Associates, Inc., Realtors

Hi Joan,

There is so much going on with insurance right now.

I have wanted to get the word out to my clients of certain changes but have not had a moment to slow down and get it in writing.
Making this all easy to understand is the hardest thing for me, but I will do my best.
I know not everyone is affected by these changes but I am sending this out to everyone as this information may help someone you know.

First thank you all for your business and your patience these days as many calls are coming thru about changes with the NFIP flood insurance and Citizens take-outs. I am doing my best to give everyone their individual time and return all calls in a timely manner.

As we all know the Biggert Waters Reform Act of 2012 has been put into place by congress. We were all hoping that this would be delayed, as it will make a huge impact on flood premiums and the housing market in Florida.

I have not heard of any changes so my advice is to be prepared.
Not everyone will have increases on their flood policies. The hardest hit homes are the pre-firm homes, which were given subsidized rates.
Please review your flood policy, as you will see if you are rated pre-firm or post firm.
If pre-firm, you will now be required to turn in an elevation. If you choose not to turn this in then you will be subject to 20-25% increases.
In addition, hardest hit are those pre-firm homes bought after July 2012. These policies will be non-renewed.
We must get an elevation or we may take tentative rates for one year before we turn them in.
I am currently working with a customer service representative at the NFIP that is finding out if I have a choice once I turn in the elevation to reject their offer of premium and choose the rate increase of 20 – 25%.
I am hoping to get that answer this week.

Non-primary homes will be subject to other increases.

If a buyer assumes a flood policy from the seller they must get an elevation done for their renewal and be rerated.

Then there is the Depopulation or also called Take Outs of the Citizens policies.
A take out is when the state encourages private carriers to come in and take over the Citizens policies at renewal.
These are financially stable carriers with A ratings, I am appointed to these carriers for your policies.

This is actually a good thing as you have more choices for coverage’s and you are now with an A rated carrier.
As for knowing what premium you will be offered at renewal, we do not know. I have been thru two smaller take-outs and most of my clients did ok.
I have had a few clients I had to write back with Citizens due to the rate increase from the take out carrier.
This is your choice to stay with Citizens or move to the A rated carrier. If you want to stay you MUST send in the OPT out form that you received in the mail.

This is one of the busiest depopulation campaigns in Citizens history. More offers will be going out to policyholders in November and December.

If you choose to stay with Citizens, you will be given another choice after January 2014.

Citizens will be rolling out a Clearinghouse campaign.

In the past we could only write a policy with Citizens if we had no other A rated carrier available OR if we had an A rated carrier that offers 15% and higher for premium, then we can write with Citizens. This is a rule of Citizens.

The Clearinghouse will bring offers from private carriers that are financially stable and A rated. These offers cannot be 15% or higher.
I will be appointed to these carriers for your individual policies.
If you are offered a premium that is 1-14% higher than your Citizens policy-you must take the offer.
I will write the new policy with the A rated carrier and will continue to be your agent.
Citizens will cancel your current policy if you do not take the offer. It is very important to understand this, as we cannot ignore these offers.

The state is pushing these private carriers to open up for us. If you are afraid to go with the Take out offer then I would wait and see what offers are available thru the Clearinghouse at renewal.

I wish I had a crystal ball and could tell everyone what their premiums may be but I am going thru these changes as you are.
I cannot make these decisions for my clients, the best I can do is inform you of what is to come and why it is happening.

I know there is allot of information in this email but by doing this, I am hoping to reach out to my clients so we all understand the changes to come.

Please have patience if you call in or email, as always I will get back to you within 24 hours.

Thank you for your business!

Tracey Barry - First Choice Insurance of FL. Inc.

111 2ND AVE N.E. STE 900  |   St. Petersburg, FL  |   33701


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