Solano Real Estate Scene: Review the over-under of insurance products
The insurance business is like the mortgage industry in one way: People need insurance and need mortgages, but no one loves buying these financial products. Everyone wants to protect their family and their assets, but nobody loves spending a ton of money on medical, life, property and liability insurance.
Very few people have trouble sleeping because of the adrenaline and excitement of an appointment the next morning with their insurance broker to purchase insurance. Hardly anyone likes thinking and talking about death insurance, which is what it could be called if the insurance industry were not super smart about marketing and selling insurance.
I love the hilarious Gecko and Flo TV commercials but few of us giggle and laugh about, in some cases, the enormous insurance premiums we pay to protect our family and assets.
It is possible to be overinsured. A car, for example, that is worthless and a year away from the junkyard probably does not need to have collision and comprehensive. Yes, liability is required by law and if you think about it, you may want to have more than the minimum required by law because when the bumper falls off while driving 65 mph, someone could get hurt and it would be your fault.
Mortgage companies want you to have enough dwelling coverage to replace the home and occasionally require the insurance company to issue something called a “dwelling reconstruction cost estimate” but can only legally require the homeowner to have enough insurance to pay off the mortgage.
I had my life, fire and casualty insurance licenses back in the 1980s and I stayed at the Holiday Inn a couple of times, but please call your local insurance broker for advice on insurance coverage.
Several awesome Vacaville families were underinsured in the past nine months when their homes were burned to the ground and all these folks I am talking about have high FICO score, are financially sharp and are strong homeowners. They all thought they were properly insured, and one owned their home free and clear.
One of the folks is $250,000 short and the others between $100,000 and $200,000 shy of what is needed to rebuild exactly what they had before, and in one case even after they cut corners and are putting in inferior cabinets and flooring.
I am pretty sure I am underinsured on a couple of my homes, too, but I have procrastinated on calling my broker because like many of you, I do not love talking about insurance. The cost of lumber is three to four times as expensive as it was two years ago, and labor and other materials costs are up, too, from just three or four years ago when the cost to build was around $250 per square foot and now is $350.
CYA = Cover your assets.