Annual condo association meetings are mostly finished but the same questions seem to come up every year. Are we getting the best price for our property insurance? How much is the increase going to be this year? What exactly are we paying for anyway? What is wrong with my football team and why can't we ever win!
Condo Association insurance is meant to cover the common ownership areas, usually defined in the bylaws to include the building itself, fences, pools, boardwalks, parking areas, and clubhouses. Most unit owners are only required to obtain insurance for the 'air' between their walls. Essentially, the unit owners pool together to get one big policy instead of a bunch of small ones on their own. The intended result is clearer coverage, easier handling, and cheaper rates.
If nothing has changed at your location, a change in price often takes looking at the bigger picture to explain. Property insurance is strongly dependent on the local and national insurance landscape, which among other things is shaped by economic trends, natural disaster events, and individual insurance company preferences. Insurance is only possible through pooling large numbers of customers from various locations and lifestyles; large disasters in one region can have an effect on premiums nationwide.
On a single day in 2005, the insurance industry paid $8 billion in claims- eight times the profit they had earned collectively since 1980. On this day in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit and the days that followed, roughly $40 billion was paid during the recovery in southern states. Is it any wonder why the top three most expensive states for Homeowners Insurance are Florida, Louisiana, and Texas?
Since most large insurers are publicly traded, their losses and profits are readily available and reviewed by insurance professionals. Many companies are international and may have paid claims for disasters across the globe. Many have bond departments that face huge risks on single projects, like the billion dollar contract bond on the Panama Canal renovation. Results are published in national newsletters and discussed in insurance offices around the country.
You could spend weeks reviewing insurance companies until you find the perfect fit for you- one with high customer satisfaction, strong financial reserves, catastrophe modeling, familiarity with the Emerald Coast and it's coastal property, specialization in your industry (especially condo associations), and the best premium. Or you could save yourself a headache and rely on the experts.
Insurance agents spend every day with these companies and are constantly looking to partner with the strongest ones, offering customers the best value. The strongest agents have the strongest partners. If you aren't at least asking your insurance agent about your price every year, you should be. Are you confident in the strength of the agency you partner with? Your agent should know the insurance marketplace and whether or not the company that insures your property is giving you a fair price. One company may increase prices while another is decreasing theirs the same year. Try getting an indication from your agent each year on the strength of your company and how well it fits with your goals and plans.
Norton Insurance has been helping customers in Fort Walton, Okaloosa Island, Destin, and Santa Rosa Beach find the perfect fit for their coastal property insurance since 1980. We partner with over 50 nationwide and international insurance companies to find the right price for your needs and are reviewing more everyday. With deep experience in the challenges you face, we are available to answer your questions and partner with you in obtaining the most favorable insurance available.
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.