Home Insurance in 95020>Question Details

Marc Perkel, Home Buyer in 95020

Trying to find home owner's insurance from a company that isn't going to cancel me for no good reason.

Asked by Marc Perkel, 95020 Tue Aug 10, 2010

Last year when I bought the house it was Farmers. They agreed to do a policy, then someone came to inspect and they didn't like the paint on the windows. I told them it wasn't my fault because I didn't yet own the home yet, and I told them as soon as I do own the home I'm going to replace the windows, not paint them. Yet they were still too stupid to get it. So I painted the windows and vowed not to renew with Farmers.

So this year I went to Gieco where I have car insurance. They sold me a Traveler's policy. Someone came out to look at my place and everything seemed fine. I have spent about $60k remodeling it. Then after 3 weeks of the policy being in place. The reason - no handrails on back steps. Just - you are canceled and we are keeping 3 months fees for on month coverage.

In this case I had removed the back porch and I'm in the process of replacing it. under the porch was some original concrete steps which will also be under the new deck. (continued)

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Talked to the morons at Geico/Travelers and apparently they don't insure homes that don't have central heating. I have a thermostat controlled wall furnace which is very common here in California and it heats the house very well. But they decided they don't cover that. Bizarre!

Also - I am in the middle of landscaping and construction of a back deck. When I bought this house it had a rotting back porch and I'm needing to install a new retaining near a rain drainage creek that cuts through my property. When I removed the back porch there were the original concrete stairs that are now exposed. They seem to have a problem that the stairs don't have a hand rail. I tried to explain that I'm in the middle of construction and those stairs will either be removed or under my new deck. But the concept of construction seems to be far too complex for these idiots to comprehend.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
What I'm reading on the web is that State Farm isn't there when you have a claim. It's not just a matter of giving money to the insurance company to make the bank happy. If something happens I want them to pay. So I'm looking at what companies did what during Katrina and if the screwed over their customers then I'm not nuying their insurance.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Marc,

I also switched to State Farm and I love them. I have a State Farm agent in my BNI(business networking) group and he has had a number of very positive testimonies given about him and his service.

I had the same insurance company for 30 years, (home, car and flood)
when suddenly I got a letter in the mail that said they will no longer cover me because my husband has a wood burning stove in his garage. My hubby practically lives in that garage and needs that as it is an inexpensive heat source for him. It was installed according to THEIR REQUIREMENTS and we have never had an insurance claim of any kind. I offered to pay an extra couple of hundred dollars a year to keep my coverage with them, but nothing doing on their part. I have sent many clients to them over the past 30 plus years as well.

Needless to say, I was very disappointed when they turned me down. I called my guy with State Farm and not only did they cover me, but it was several hundred dollars a year cheeper.

Happy customer.
Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
State Farm isn't on my short list. Apparently when Katrina hit State Farm was one of the worst to screw over those it covered. I want a company who is actually going to cover me if there's a problem.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
Call Lee Gomez, (408) 223-0970 (State Farm). He has been a Realtor and understands your situation. He does the physical inspection himself. Just give him a call and say "Wayne said to call" and he'll fix you up.
Web Reference: http://www.waynegiroux.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Aug 11, 2010
I'm not going to be able to "quickly" finish the porch because I have to do a retaining wall and a fence first. Probably be 2 months before it's all completed. It was a foreclosed home. I don't know about any history of claims. The way I see it - anything that happened to other people before me has nothing to do with me. The house is in better shape than it has ever been in. So I just want to get some insurance without having morons screwing with me.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Hello Marc and thanks for your email.

First, I can appreciate your frustration. Please know, however, that it is often not the insurance company, but the risk assessor (usually an independent consultant) who determines whether or not the insurance company can continue to provide a policy for the home. The only reason that so many people are coming out to look at your home has more to do with the property's history than your efforts to renovate it. It is also one of the reasons that I often steer my clients away from homes with excessive claims as indicated by the CLUE report unless the buyer is a cash buyer. It takes approximately three (3) years of "clean" insurance history on the home before the insurance companies will cease attempting to investigate every nook and cranny of your home and "dinging" you for any repairs made to the property, and, unfortunately, having policies terminate early due to the condition of the home will not help your situation.

So here's what I would suggest:

1. Check your CLUE report for any past damages. Keep in mind that both the number of claims and the amount tend to categorize a property as "higher" than average risk. Your insurance agent should be able to assist you.

2. This is important, use ONLY licensed contractors in making repairs to your home. You need to demonstrate to the insurance company that whoever is doing the work at your home is qualified and will complete the job to a recognized industry standard. Also, make certain that your work has permits. This is also very important. Had there been, for example, a contract and plans showing that the work on the back porch would be done a specific date and to certain specifications, the risk assessor would not have even noted the handrails. When you attempt to do something yourself, please either button it up and have it done before the assessor arrives or don't do anything until after the assessor leaves.

Okay, having said that, here's some suggestions: 1) State Farm Insurance - you can contact David Nance in Morgan Hill or a local agent to assist you; 2) Farmer's Insurance - yes, I know you don't like them, but sometimes the agent can help in these situations, talk with Peter Kohn at 925-820-1600; 3) Allstate Insurance - call your local agent in Gilroy.

Finally, please remember that regardless of who you choose as an insurance company, you will need to quickly finish the back porch and observe the things I mentioned in No 2 above to prevent losing additional policies or creating further negative reports on the property's insurance history.

Good luck!
Sincerely,
Grace Morioka, SRES
Area Pro Realty
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Hi Marc,
Boy sorry to here about your situation, I use Ed Madden @ 408-452-1300, cell 408-828-8107, he is pretty knowledgeable and he may be able to help you with your sit.
Regards,
Allyson
408-705-6578
allyson@homesbyallyson.com
DRE# 01397256
P.S. I also dislike insurance companies a lot and completely agree with you they are unthinking and unfeeling and at best " not quite bright" .
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Good morning Marc,
Sure sorry for your bad experiences. Often, homeowner's insurance has a lot to do with the agent who represents you.

Call:(831) 637-4488, Fred Flook, with Prudential Insurance. Tell him I recommended that you call him. He has helped many of my clients. He'll take care of you. Assuming he does, would you let me know that it worked out? I don't often hear back from referrals.

Mike Walters
831/630-3717
Web Reference: http://CaHomes411.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Marc,

My sister had a similar situation with one of those agencies which caused them much grief just prior to closing on their home.

And I have done much shopping when it comes to insurance companies. If you would care to email me, I can give you a little more detailed information and possibly a solution to your problem.

Linda
Web Reference: http://www.lindacefalu.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
Marc, I am not sure if this will help or not since I am in Michigan, but I do know of an insurance company here in Michigan. The agent has helped many of my investor buyers who fix up houses. If you want to contact me through my website at http://www.GoMelinda.com I will be happy to give you his name and number. Again, not sure if it helps since you are in a different State, but might be worth a shot.

The other suggestion I have is call the agent that helped you purchase the property and see if he/she can suggest any local insurance companies that might be able to offer you some assistance.

I hope this information helps! Best Wishes to you!
Web Reference: http://www.GoMelinda.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
So I'm not going to put a hand rail on something I'm going to remove.

These insurance companies really are making me quite angry.

I'm looking for an insurance company that isn't a bunch of morons and won't just cancel me every time i'm in the middle of doing some construction.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 10, 2010
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