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Why Is The Cost to Rebuild Your Home Higher Than New Construction?

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Many of you are astounded when they buy a home for $175,000 and your insurance agent wants to insure it for $300,000 or more.  The reason an agent would (and should) recommend the higher amount is because the cost to replace your home after damage from a fire, storm or some other tragedy is higher than the cost to buy another similar home on the market.  This assumes, of course, that you have replacement cost coverage on your homeowner policy.Following are several reasons that explain why rebuilding costs could be 30-40% higher than new construction. 
Demolition and debris removal.  While new home construction normally begins on open site with perhaps some brush removal and grading, rebuilding begins with a partially or totally destroyed structure occupying the building site with trees, plantings, driveways, sidewalks and other structures that have to worked around. The site may have to be cleaned after a fire left it contaminated.
Top-down versus Bottom-up.  New construction begins at the foundation and builds upwards.  Repairing a house that is not destroyed often means removing the roof and rebuilding from the top down, a far more time-consuming and labor-intensive process.
Costs Vary by Location.  The demand for construction labor and associated fees in your community may vary greatly with those in another community. As an example, average rebuild prices for a mid-century ranch in suburban Ohio may be $75 to $90 a square foot, while the cost to rebuild a condo in Manhattan may be $300 a square foot.
Access to the Worksite.  When new homes are under construction, there is usually open area, allowing for easy access to the site. Materials can be driven directly up to any side of the structure as needed. When a house is being rebuilt among existing homes though, there is often landscaping, fences, and similar obstructions limiting access. Materials often have to be off-loaded further away and delivered by wheelbarrows or hand-carried to where they are needed. The impact on labor costs can be significant.
Construction costs rise after natural disasters.  Following a natural disaster affecting a wide area, the costs of building materials and contractor fees nearly always rise sharply in response to the sudden increase in demand. In Florida we saw this after Hurricane Andrew. Even without deliberate profiteering, this would normally be true because when local supplies are quickly exhausted, materials have to be brought in on an emergency basis, often from mills or factories at great distance. This may require higher transportation costs. Whenever many homes have to be repaired or rebuilt at the same time, the cost for each will be higher than normal.
Special Features and Unusual Materials.  Older homes and homes that have been extensively remodeled often have customized features or include materials not commonly found in homes being built today. These features and materials can be expensive, if not impossible to duplicate. It’s often difficult to even find craftsmen that still do this type of work. 
Rebuilding to code.  Most older homes were built during times when building codes were less strict than they are today. If you are rebuilding or restoring your home, you may need to meet the newer and more demanding building codes. Even undamaged parts of the structure may have to be rewired or plumbed to meet current codes. Building code changes can add thousands of dollars to the cost of restoring a damaged home.
Economy of scale.  When contractors have many homes under construction at once, materials can be purchased in at a discount due to large quantities and work can be scheduled for the most efficient use of carpenters, plumbers, electricians, and other tradesmen.

We recommend checking with your agent every two to three years to request a new rebuilding cost estimate.  If you don’t have replacement cost coverage on your homeowners policy, you should speak with your insurance agent about getting it.  Not having replacement cost coverage could mean you end up with huge out of pocket expenses.

EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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Insurance Companies Know Your History

By Insurance

Considering that around 90% of all insurers underwriting homeowner’s insurance subscribe to the CLUE service, it’s certainly something that you should know about. Many home buyers have at least a basic understanding of the process such as their credit, pre-approval, and a home inspection. However, most buyers don’t have a clue what a CLUE report is, much less what an important element it ti when buying and insuring a new home.    About CLUE ReportsThe Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange, or CLUE, is a database that allows auto and homeowner insurers to exchange information about property loss claims. Unless your state specifically requires it, prior notification isn’t required before your information goes into the system.  In Florida, CLUE reports are used for automobile homeowner’s insurance policies.Here’s a simple example of how the exchange system works:
Insurance companies feed information about property loss claims, perhaps even inquiries about coverage, into a central database.
If you file a claim for loss against your homeowner policy, the insurance company adds this information to the national database.
The CLUE database is maintained by an information vendor, not another insurance company.  
If you apply for homeowner’s insurance with another company – say, you move to another part of the country – the new insurance company can access the CLUE database and learn of your past claims and claims on your new home from the previous owners.

What does a CLUE report say about me?The CLUE report includes personal information such as your name and date of birth. Tied to your identifying information is a record of any homeowner property loss claims you have submitted to an insurance company for the past five years, including:
Date of the loss
Type of loss claimed
Amount paid by the insurance company

The CLUE database may also include notations of property “damage” – even if the insurance company didn’t pay out a cent. Any hint of water damage to a property, for example, is likely to trigger a negative mark on the property’s CLUE report. Well intended consumers who call an insurer to merely inquire about coverage for water damage have been shocked to have their insurance cancelled. Your chance to get new insurance at a good rate could be affected.Why do insurers use CLUE reports? CLUE reports are a way for insurers to share information about your record of filing insurance claims. Insurance companies are by nature in the business of assuming risk. The more that a company pays in property claims, the less it profits. CLUE reports are one of the ways an insurer assesses how much of a risk it is assuming by selling you an insurance policy.The theory is that an individual’s history of filing insurance claims is a good indicator of how likely that person is to file future claims. Taken to the extreme, this process of risk analysis translates to “use it and lose it”.  If you file a claim against your policy, report damage without filing a claim, or even inquire about your coverage, you may not get new insurance at a good rate – or at all. 

EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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4 Insurance Tips for Home Remodeling

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With the high costs associated with home improvement projects, it’s a good idea to check in with your insurance agent to let them know your plans before starting a project. Depending on the improvements, you may find you need to update your homeowners’ insurance coverage.Here are four tips from the Insurance Information Institute to keep in mind before you tackle your next big project:
Are you DIYing your home improvement project? If you’re thinking of tackling a project yourself or with friends you may need to increase the amount of liability protection in your policy. This coverage ensures you’ll have enough funds for medical bills if someone gets hurt while helping out.
Consider a builder’s risk policy if you’re working with a professional contractor. This coverage protects your home from damage during construction, such as wind and rain damage, theft or vandalism.
Confirm your contractor has insurance coverage. Your contractor should have a business liability and workers’ compensation policy, and should willingly verify their coverage. This is important because your contractor’s insurance covers injured employees, so they do not sue you.
Follow up with your insurance agent. Major renovations could change the value of your home, and you’ll want to be sure your policy is updated to reflect this. Additionally, be sure to update your home inventory list with any new furnishings or items purchased for your renovation, such as new deck furniture.

EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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Dog Liability

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If your #dogbites someone, you are liable. Your Florida homeowner’s insurance policy has limited animal liability, and you may have no coverage if you’ve failed to inform the insurance company you have a dog. If your agent haven’t asked, they should have. Call you agent and make sure you’re covered
Call us for a review of your homeowner’s insurance policy.EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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Why Insurance Companies Don’t Like Trampolines

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Physical injuries and liability claims are the major reasons insurance companies my not offer you homeowner’s insurance if you own a trampoline.Backyard trampolines are fun but dangerous. The National Safe Kids Campaign says that children under 7 should not be allow on trampolines at all, and those 7 and older should be closely supervised. 
We are expert in Florida homeowner’s insurance, especially with homes that have difficult in finding insurance.EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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E- Business Insurance

By Insurance

E – Business Insurance protects your business from loss of revenue; loss of reputation; public disclosure of private information; libel, slander, disparagement and/or e-business extortion; and liability for copyright infringement and/or theft of data, income, securities, software, or computer resources.  Here are some pointers on what you can do to protect your business. E-Business Insurance is not as expensive or costly as the damage a hacker can do to your business.

Call us to assess your e-commence risk and discuss protection options.EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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Car Breakdown Safety

By Insurance

Having your car break down in heavy traffic can be a nightmare, and when it happens many drivers stop the car, and attempt to fix the problem on the spot. Getting out of your car can be extremely dangerous, taking a minor problem and turning it into a fatal accident. EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY recommends these safety pointers on what to do when you have that unexpected breakdown.
EMERGE INSURANCE AGENCY904-677-5884

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