FL Homeowner's Insurance 90 days after the closing...is it possible
August 7, 2013 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Through a paperwork SNAFU, we failed to secure homeowners insurance at closing on the house we purchased (with cash, no mortgage) in Florida 78 days ago. Now we keep getting told by multiple Florida insurers that because the house was not insured within 30days of closing, they will not write a policy for it. They do say "If you get insurance on it, we will be happy to write a policy for you"

We own (currently and for the foreseeable future) a house in PA. Our PA house is paid off (no mortgage) and we have had it continually insured since we bought it 12 years ago.

Before buying our FL house, we asked our insurance company if they would insure it and they said "no problem, send us the address, particulars blah blah bah, and we'll send you a bill at your premium renewal". So we sent them the info and thought nothing more of it.

We bought the FL house outright 78 days ago.

Smash cut to two weeks ago we get our yearly bill from our insurance co and there is no FL house on it. A few phone calls later and we find out that our insurance company doesn't write policies for houses in Florida and the rep who we spoke to doesn't work there anymore. So sorry.

So, we have been trying for two weeks to find an insurance company/agent in Florida to buy a policy from and to a fault, they all say "We cant write a policy on a house that hasn't been insured within 30 days of closing. Once you secure insurance on the house, we will be able to quote you a policy." Like, those EXACT words...from everyone.

So, how does one go about getting insurance on a house in Florida that was not insured within 30 days after closing?


P.S. Please dont let this become a "you have to make your current insurance agency make it right. They cant. And what I need now is insurance on a Florida house. I'll get even with them later. :-)
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (8 answers total)
Can you contact the sellers, get the name of their agent or just the issuer of the policy *they* had at closing and try to work something from there?

You might also contact a real estate attorney nearby and ask if they can help.
posted by crush-onastick at 2:31 PM on August 7, 2013

We paid cash for our primary residence in MD 14 years ago... can you offer to let them inspect the property? Ask them why... it could be they are afraid of the condition of the property. Offer to get an appraisal or an inspection.
posted by brownrd at 2:38 PM on August 7, 2013

Sell it to yourself and you will be within the closing date!
posted by bensherman at 2:41 PM on August 7, 2013

You need to call a Florida insurance agent. Preferably one who is independent and can write lots of different companies.

You need to ask them if they will insure your house. If the independent agent can find you a company to insure you, great! If they can't, and at least three companies won't offer to insure you (you have to put this in writing), you can get a "nonstandard"/"surplus lines"/"special risk" policy. This will be more expensive than a standard home policy and may have special deductibles or other restrictions. But it should be enough to help you get more standard insurance afterwards.

Also, if you're still having trouble, check out the Department of Insurance's site and call them:
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:41 PM on August 7, 2013 [1 favorite]

After hurricane Andrew in 1994 most insurers pulled out of Florida and never looked back. The state of Florida started up a fund, it was an insurer of last resort, which really meant nearly anyone who bought a house in Florida had to buy shitty insurance through the JUA, now known as the Citizens Property Insurance Company.

Call them and see if you can get a policy with them. They pretty much HAVE to insure you.

Don't be surprised if a nationally known insurer won't touch your home with a barge pole though, I was only able to get my CBC construction home insured through Met Life because I was an AT&T employee and my house was built to stringent new building codes after 2000.

Good luck.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:05 PM on August 7, 2013 [2 favorites]

Your state has an office of Insurance, with an Insurance Commissioner. They'll be in the Attorney General's Office, possibly under Consumer Protection
. They should be able to help you.

Since your PA insurance co. led you astray, consider contacting the PA Insurance Commission to complain.
posted by theora55 at 6:07 PM on August 7, 2013

It looks like Ruthless Bunny has the answer here, because the CPIC is Florida's version of a FAIR plan (Fair Access to Insurance Requirements, a federal rule). This is what the entire insurance industry turns to in order to offer what they feel is high-risk insurance beyond what normal insurers want to handle. It is often more expensive, but once you are on a policy, as noted, the other insurers will at least quote you.

And yeah, I think you're right, this isn't something you can hang on your current insurance company. Without signed paperwork, a fax, some sort of firm committal they have no fiduciary duty here. File a complaint as theora55 suggests, but it probably won't amount to anything.
posted by dhartung at 9:56 PM on August 7, 2013

Don't know about Florida specifically, but in general it is much easier to buy a fire only policy. You might be able to move up from that.

Never count on anything from an insurance company that you don't have in writing.
posted by yohko at 3:34 PM on August 8, 2013

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