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Cara's Forum Posts: 38
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By Cara in Orlando, FL on 4/6/2006


We're having a lot of trouble finding an insurance company, and I'm guessing other Florida OBs (particularly non-GCs that are using a bank loan to finance) are having the same trouble. Please post the following:

1. What types of policies you had to carry
2. What company you used
3. Whether you are a GC
4. Other information/advice/etc.

Thanks in advance- hopefully this will help us and others find reputable insurance companies.

Cara

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By Kristy in Saint Lucie, FL on 4/7/2006


Ugh! Yes this was tricky for us.  We secured our policy in 2002 before all those hurricanes, and unfortunately we had a claim! Theft ...  lots of power tools and fortunately just one appliance.

1. Builders Risk policy

2. Allstate

3. Not a GC

4. I understand that Florida Farm Bureau writes Builder's Risk policy or try Zurich North America   zurichna.com

Good luck!


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By Eric in Clermont, FL on 9/27/2006


I tried everywhere as well and one guy quoted me $2000. I tried Zurich, and they came in at $1000 and they had better coverage and I didn't have to give them my life story. I would try them if I were you.

 

Just beware, if you don't have at least 2 years experience building it will be VERY hard to get coverage. I am using Ubuildit as my consultant and Zurich put them down as the "builder". Having a consultant helps the process....

 

Eric

Orlando, FL


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By Randy in PB, FL on 9/27/2006


I'm seriously considering insurancepoliciesonline.com. They've offered me builders risk and a personal liability policy for $1,500. Only one other instance on this web site of someone using them and no bad feedback.
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By Joe in Ruskin, FL on 2/16/2007


Randy,

Did you get a builders risk policy?  I had hoped to start construction by last November.  Now it appears I will not have a permit to break ground until at least early March. 

My concern is having my place complete with a c.o. so I can get a homeowners policy and flood insurance BEFORE this hurricane season starts particularly since I am on Tampa Bay.  When I briefly spoke with agents last fall about a builders risk policy they almost laughed at me.  Now with my new start date I am really concerned about potential hurricane damage or flood damage before the place is complete and not having insurance.  I can't afford to take a chance on risking 250k or more without some reasonable coverage. 

Also, would a builders risk policy even cover for storm damage?  Or maybe all of us in Florida and the Gulf Coast could start chanting together to the hurricane gods for a kinder gentler hurricane season.

Joe H


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By Randy in PB, FL on 2/16/2007


Yes...I went through insurancepoliciesonline.com because they're tied into my lender and had a complete package. I got $500K of BR and $300K of liability for $2,200. The BR carries a 1% windstorm deductible. That's not too bad given the insurance nuttiness going on in Florida right now.

The BR is a 12-month policy. If you start in March it might be better  to delay taking CO until after hurricane season (November). If you need flood....I don't think the BR applies. You may need a separate flood policy. You should speak to an insurance carrier or broker. I talked with at least half a dozen. Hang up on any idiot that laughs.

BTW: I found that IPO simply writes BR policies for Zurich, NA just like any other schmo on the block - and I found there's no price differential. I forget who provided the liability.

Hope that helps

Randy


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By Dorothy & James in Tampa, FL on 2/17/2007


Randy,

Thanks for the link . One thing I noticed on their front page was this "If you are acting as the owner/builder, the actual construction work must be done by licensed and experienced contractors." . I did not go any further into getting a quote but want to know if the statement is true? We are planning on doing a lot of the building ourselves so what it said concerned me. Also how do they know if the work is done by a licensed contractor?

 

Dorothy


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By Randy in PB, FL on 2/17/2007


We plan to do a lot ourselves as well. I'll sub out my concrete, block work, framing, electrical, stucco, and roofing - the stuff me and my homies thought we could never accomplish on weekends. In my mind that pretty much qualifies me under the clause you pointed out in your post. I don't believe you have to sub the whole job out to qualify. Ask them.

You can get a quote from IPO. You are not bound to purchase. It's all done online. You simply log in and look at how much. If I remember correctly the actual policy gets mailed to you at a later date, after you have purchased. Be sure to ask what your coverages are beforehand. Again, it's really no different than calling a local broker (maybe someone you've worked with before?).

I want you to do your homework. Do not take my advice as the best thing to do. This is simply what I did. I am hoping not to have to get involved in claims (especially liability). Hurricane season is on my mind though.

Hope that helps.

Randy


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By John in Lake City, FL on 3/21/2007


Randy,

 

Thanks for the information.  I just received my quote from IPO and I was very pleased - $200,000 for $640.  I agree that you will be onsite more than a contractor and and you don't have to sub all the work out.  My take on it is if the bank is willing to lend you the money to build, then the insurance company should write a policy.  The last BR I took out was in 2005 through my local agent and I it cost me about $900.  I didn't question it at the time; however; I believe my agent probably skimmed some profit off of it.

Just my 2 cents.

John


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 4/3/2007


Just my two cents worth: We needed Builders Risk and liability insurance quickly. We have had so much hassle lately, frankly it was forgotten. 

My husband had a frustrating morning on the phone with many companies laughing that we were really asking for it, with no GC. Allstate has suspended doing policies  in Florida. One quote was $4,447 (you've got to be kidding). Zurich wanted us to be with a company like UBuildIt. 

Our bank told us to try Tower Hill Insurance. Rup called a broker (listed on the Tower Hill website) in Minneola. They would have nothing to do with us, due to no GC. They were surly too. 

I tried a Groveland company from the Tower Hill Insurance website called ANB Insurance Services, Inc.  Not only did they get right on it, they also said they would call back in an hour. They got back with me less than 30 mins later, with a first quote of approx $3,600 (ouch). I told them this and they knocked off the "whistles and bells", that can wait until we have moved in (if they are needed at all).  Bingo! The quote was down to $2,646.

The quote is for $300K liability and $855K Builders Risk with $2,500 deductible and standard 2% Hurricane deductible. They have faxed our bank, so we are good to go to close on the construction loan tomorrow. 

We have never done this before (so it may not be the cheapest), but ANB was quick. It took insurance policies online days to get back to me. When they did respond, they wanted more and more details.  We just did not have the time for that while moving. The lack of hassle from ANB was certainly appreciated and we saved over $1,800 on what some wanted to charge.  It is a lot more than $900, but it is for a lot more coverage. 

We are not U.S. citizens, so we come with signs on our heads saying: "please double all charges!!!". Well..... not quite, but almost :).


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By Zeek in Jacksonville, FL on 4/4/2007


Lisa,

Carefully check the agreement you have with Tower Hill Insurance. I used them as well, but I had to complete my house in 6 months or less. When I faced delays in permitting, I notified my agent and they extended it by another 3 months. If you do not finish the project within the stated time frame, your insurance would be canceled. The transfer from a builder's risk to a home owner's policy was seamless though.


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By Lisa in Groveland, FL on 4/4/2007


Zeek,

No worries our policy is for a whole year the same term as our construction loan. I must say it was all explained very thoroughly by the agent we dealt with.  According to our bank everyone ends up going with them because they are so good.  So definitely one year and one day actually.  Thanks for the concern though, always appreciated.

Lisa.


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