The hardest part about change is change. It's easy to decide to change but actually following through can be a real challenge. Some changes are easy, like moving the milk to the fridge door instead of shoving it to the back. A new year brings a great opportunity to make positive changes to your family or business finances.
When insurance companies make profits they are more willing to compromise on prices, leading to what we call a "soft-market" or buyers-market. I believe we are diving into the softest market in years after another profitable year for insurance companies. The only notable large-claim events were Hurricane Hermine and Matthew. Out of over 19,000 claims for Hermine, only 38 were in Walton or Okaloosa Counties, with another 61 in Bay County. Hurricane Matthew brought even fewer claims to our area: 42 total from those three counties. Statewide losses reported by insurance companies were under $1 billion, but considering Florida has nearly $3 trillion in coastal property vulnerable to hurricanes, it was another quiet year.
The result is insurance companies are increasingly willing to negotiate prices on coastal property insurance, especially high value commercial buildings such as multi-unit condo buildings. Homes that have traditionally been difficult or expensive to insure, such as those built before 1985, in flood zones, or beachfront, are in some cases now being written nearly on par with their inland counterparts.
We recently saw two commercial buildings receive 25% decrease in their premium over last year. If you haven't quoted your property in a while, now is the time. Our agency has access to dozens of companies and options and have had success negotiating prices to beat expiring policies. Our quotes are free but could save you thousands. Make it a goal this year to test the insurance market and see if we can't save you some money. That's pocket change to be happy about.
The views expressed here are the opinion of the author and do not attempt to make any recommendation for insurance coverage. Eligibility is determined by the insurance carrier and not all applicants will qualify. Please contact your licensed insurance agent regarding your area's coverage and eligibility.