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Why is My Home Insurance Premium So Different From My Neighbor's?

Home insurance rate fluctuations are making the news weekly it seems - especially here in Florida. Many private insurers are fleeing the state and Citizens is working to offload some of their client roster and get back to becoming the "insurer of last resort" (versus Florida's largest home insurer, which is what it has turned into today.)

With all the narrative out there, it's probable that you are talking to your neighbors and friends about how much your rates have increased over the past couple of years. It can be easy - especially with those living in your same area or neighborhood - to wonder why your premium is so different from theirs. There are many reasons this may be so - home insurance is not a "cookie cutter" solution, it is customized to every home and every homeowner.

A few things that vary from policy to policy, affecting your rates, may include:

  • Variations in personal property limits (i.e. furniture, clothing, electronics, kitchenware)
  • Whether flood insurance is added
  • Age of roof
  • Age of home
  • Claim coverage limits
  • Loss history of the home OR applicant (ex: even if you filed a claim on a different house in a different state, it may still be part of the insurance equation unless it is tied to an "Act of God," a natural event caused without human intervention).
  • Inspections you have (or haven't) had done. For example, wind mitigation inspections are helpful in verifying the condition of the roof structure and materials, as well as windstorm damage protection levels. 4-point inspections - used to verify the condition of HVAC, electrical, plumbing and roof - can also help lower premiums depending on life left on the roof, as stated on the report.

Additionally - and this one is fairly common - it is possible that your neighbor was "grandfathered in" at a lower rate with an insurer that no longer writes new policies in Florida. Here are a couple of recent examples we've encountered:

  • Example 1: A new condo owner wanted to secure a Slide Insurance policy similar to the one her neighbor has. Today however, the new unit owner is not eligible to use this carrier because they no longer write new policies in that zip code.  
  • Example 2: In 2023 a homeowner that purchased a 2021 home was able to secure an insurance policy through American Integrity because the home met the company's "two years old or less" coverage guideline, but today in 2024, the neighbor of that same homeowner cannot sign with that carrier because their property is now three years old, just outside of the eligibility guideline.  

Overall, if you'd like to know more about why your rates vary from others, or if you need help reviewing the intricacies of your current or upcoming policy to consider what changes may need to be made, simply pick up the phone and give us a call anytime. We are always happy to spend some time with you one on one!

Meaghan Beltz is a Personal Lines Account Manager at Wren.