The Florida home insurance market is still fragmented and confusing to consumers. Despite the legislation of the past two years, it is still difficult to find affordable Florida home insurance – particularly for homes that are close to the coast or those that are older. After the exodus of most national insurance companies, Florida consumers are still faced with a limited number of newer, smaller, Florida based companies to protect their most significant investment.
With all of the uncertainty in this market, what can you do to create competition for your Florida home insurance and save the most money?
For starters, you need to understand that while there are over 450 companies licensed to write homeowners insurance in Florida, only around 40 are actually writing any new business at this time. And of those 40, only a portion of those companies are willing to cover your home. Why? Because each company establishes underwriting guidelines for the type of homes they want to insure. The two most significant factors that companies use to determine whether they want to insure your home is its age and its distance from the Florida coast.
Let’s say that there are 25 companies of the 40 out there right now who are willing to cover your Florida home. The best way for you to create the most competition and to get the lowest cost home insurance would be to get a quote from each and every one of them. So how do you do that?
For starters each insurance company offers their insurance through agents that represent them. This results in a fragmented market where consumers like you run a high risk of not getting to all the companies that want to cover your Florida home due to the following:
Companies do not make their insurance available to each and every agent.
Agents do not want to offer insurance from all companies.
Some companies have captive agents that are only allowed to write coverage exclusively for their company.
Some companies sell directly to the public and bypass the agent network completely.
What does all of this mean to you?
If you shop for Florida home insurance by only contacting one insurance agent, you are guaranteed to miss out on many of the companies who want to cover your home. If you only obtain quotes from one agent, you will be limiting the competition for your Florida home insurance business and your chances of overpaying on homeowners insurance will increase dramatically.
You could rely on quote generator websites that ask you to provide sensitive, personal information. You will find some companies using this method, but you will not get to all the companies that want to cover your home. And you many get tons of unwanted phone calls and emails from multiple agents that are all representing the same company.
So what’s the best way for you to get quotes from all of the Florida home insurance companies who want to cover your home?
Follow these steps to create the most competition for your Florida homeowners insurance business and you could save thousands:
Utilize Florida insurance agents that are independent – not captive agents that only represent one company.
Work with more than one independent insurance agent. If the first agent doesn’t carry some of the companies that want to cover your home, the second agent just might.
Use independent agents that represent a large number of Florida homeowners insurance companies. An agent that has only four companies is too small for you. Look for agents that represent at least 10 companies or more that are actively writing new business.
Last but not least, don’t ignore the Florida home insurance companies that sell directly to the public through their own agency. Get quotes from these companies directly either by phone or through their website.
These steps will dramatically increase your chances of getting to all of the companies who want to cover your Florida home. Each additional company that you can get to quote your home results in more competition and can save you thousands on homeowners insurance in Florida.