We live in an area that is prone to suffer the ravages of hurricanes. And our property insurance reflects just that. In fact, just a few years ago, after the area was hit by not one, but TWO major hurricanes in the span of 2 weeks, our insurance company dropped us like a bad habit.
It did not matter that we had never ever filed any kind of claim. And paid our insurance EARLY every year. And that this same large company also carries our car, life, AND flood insurance. According to our insurance agent, 75% of the houses covered by their property insurance division were dropped. And it was completely random. Even he was dropped by his own company.
He took pity on me and helped me locate another reputable company that would carry our property insurance. And he could still act as the go-between so I would be able to contact him with any problems or questions.
This year when I picked myself up off of the cheap linoleum after opening our insurance bill, I gave him a call that basically began with WHAT THE HECK???? Our yearly insurance had jumped a good $500.00. That’s quite a leap. Considering that still, we have never filed a claim on any property damage (which thank God, we’ve been spared from).
He talked me down by explaining new laws, and taxes, and legislature, and blah blah blah, please stop because my eyes are rolling into the back of my head, my ears are bleeding, and I’m no longer listening to you.
Then he suggested that I hire an inspection company to come out and assess our roof and building material, for a possible discount. The general cost of such an inspection was about $100. I was dubious, because our house was built by Johnny Fly-By-Night Builders who hired people right out of the gutter to do contract work for them.
Oh, you’ve NEVER laid carpet before? YOU’RE PERFECT FOR THE JOB. What? You haven’t seen a sober day in 5 years? YOU WILL PAINT THE WALLS AND LAY THE BATH TILE!
I am still finding stuff that they did that curls my toenails, all of these 11 years later. But, whatever.
I made an appointment with the inspector because I’m a girl that likes to live on the edge. But I honestly assumed that he’d discover our roof was held together with chewing tobacco and staples, and then our insurance company would be forced to charge us MORE.
However. After talking with him after the inspection, he said that our builder did use the right materials, and it should net me a savings on my insurance. Really, they used actual NAILS?
A couple of days ago, the amended insurance bill came in, and get this, our yearly insurance is now $100 less than it was LAST YEAR.
In other words, that simple phone call to my insurance agent ended up saving us nearly $500.00. (Including the $100 spent on the inspector.)
Lesson learned: it doesn’t hurt to ask.