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Re: [TowerTalk] Homeowner's Insurance

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Subject: Re: [TowerTalk] Homeowner's Insurance
From: "Kenneth Goodwin" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2011 11:11:15 -0500
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The experience in Texas especially after Hurricane Ike has convinced me that
the only time one should file a homeowner's insurance claim is when the
house has completely vanished off the face of the earth.

In the Houston area, the insurance companies are cancelling policies at
extremely high rates.  I had all of my policies (house, car, liability and a
itemized specific policy for jewelry, etc.) with State Farm for over 30
years and had one claim from an indirect lightning hit (struck a pine tree
75 feet from the house, the tree was about the same height as my tower) that
nailed various pieces of electronics and one of the two HVAC compressors.
In short, I was a money maker for them.  Last year State Farm cancelled all
homeowner policies in the area without explanation.  The rumors were that if
you lived within one mile of a body of water, you were no longer going to be
insured by State Farm.  All my neighbors with State Farm were cancelled at

So between the deductibles (minimum was 1% of the house value, 2 % was the
norm), the fact that they were very likely going to raise your rates and
possibly cancel your policy, made it such that in my opinion making a claim
under $10K was the height of folly.  On the radio side, I wouldn't even
consider for a moment antennas and most likely only if the tower fell onto
the house.  You say you have a no cancellation clause.  That is desirable
but Farmers Insurance solution to this was to more than double their
premiums in the area so a house policy went from like $2K a year to $4K a
year for a $150 - $300K valuation (best guess).

In response to this, the State of Texas began insuring home owners if you
had been turned down by any insurance company (I found out that 8 majors
were not writing insurance in the 77058 area) but the resultant policy was
almost a joke in what it didn't cover (glass, windows, broken pipe water
damage over $500, it wasn't replacement value so your roof was going to be
amortized, etc.).  It was reasonably priced but you got exactly what you
paid for which wasn't much. The lawyers had a ball with them after Hurricane
Ike and the TV lawyer ads are still being aired daily today, more than two
years after Ike.

So I would give very serious consideration to filing a claim for anything in
today's insurance business environment. If you file a claim, there will be a
public record of it for your entire lifetime.  I am just waiting to see what
is going to happen to the northeast after Irene.  I bet they will end up
having the same set of problems as the Gulf coast and Florida.  As a close
to this story, I ended up with Liberty Mutual with whom I had been a
customer 40 years ago when I lived in the northeast. One of my associates
told me last week that Liberty Mutual is no longer writing insurance in the
area, so the insurance companies seem to be evaluating their exposure on a
monthly basis.  Ken K5RG


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