Find the best homeowners insurance for your propertyHomeowners insurance is designed to protect you from the things that can damage your home, belongings, or hurt you financially. It covers wind/hail damage, fires, lightning, theft, and more. Plus, it covers injuries that occur on your property and lawsuits against you, such as someone suing you because they were hurt at your home.
When you get your free homeowners insurance quote, many of your coverages will be automatically included. Plus, you can add even more. That’s just one of the many reasons we’re #1 in online home insurance quotes.* Get a quote today - we have expert agents standing by to guide you through your choices.
We recommend coverage amounts for your personal situation and break down everything we offer with clear-cut explanations so you know exactly what you’re getting.
When purchasing property, doing your due diligence is more than a turn of phrase. The period when a house is under contract is an essential part of the homebuying process and requires careful attention to detail.
By answering some simple questions about your home, we’ll get you the protection that you deserve, all through our secure network. We recommend coverage amounts for your personal situation and break down everything we offer with clear-cut explanations so you know exactly what you’re getting.
The due diligence process is the buyer's opportunity to review all facets of a potential home sale. From home inspection findings to homeowner insurance costs, it's when you'll take the time to understand exactly what you're potentially buying.
Here are a few due diligence do's and don'ts to consider:
Do find out how long it lasts. Two weeks is fairly standard for the average due diligence process. However, shorter periods may be negotiated to gain a competitive edge in a seller's market.
Don't make assumptions about when it begins. In some cases, due diligence is conducted before a property goes under contract. In others, it begins after the contract is signed.
Do consult an insurance agent. Floodplain and fire-prone areas may require additional coverage. Make sure you know the estimated costs and what a new homeowners insurance policy will cover.
Don't skim the home inspection. Make sure you're familiar with every line of the report. You may want to get quotes from contractors or negotiate repair costs into your offer.
Do your research. Review neighborhood characteristics and check the area's crime rates. Look at zoning laws to ensure they align with your long-term goals.
Don't forget to review the HOA. If you're joining a homeowners association, it's not enough to simply read your HOA documents. Make sure the community is in good physical condition and the association is financially sound.
Being thorough in the due diligence phase will help you uncover potential issues and make the right choices for you and your family.
Simply having a roof over your head isn’t enough. As a homeowner you also need to take good care of this important part of the house, which means understanding what your homeowners policy includes (and what it doesn’t) in the event of damage or decay.
Is your roof properly insured, or are you carrying more risk than you realize?
Roof Insurance Basics
Generally speaking, if an unavoidable event like vandalism damages your roof, your homeowners insurance should cover it. However, if it’s determined the damage was caused by something within your control, like neglected maintenance, that’s where things get tricky.
Factors that influence your coverage include:
Address minor issues before they result in major damage by conducting a roof inspection twice a year. Carefully check the state of your shingles and examine gutters, flashing and ventilation. Look for leaks and water damage inside and out, especially after big storms.
The Bottom Line
Don’t make the costly mistake of assuming any and all roof damage will be covered by your homeowners insurance. Avoid problems by double-checking your policy for specifics about your coverage and reach out if you have questions.
This just in... there is a new Home Insurance Program available to Massachusetts residents that was just approved by the Massachusetts Commissioner of Insurance. This is an A Rated Company by AM Best and specializing in Home Insurance near the ocean.
They have chosen the Arthur D. Calfee Insurance Agency, with their corporate office located in Falmouth, on Cape Cod, in Massachusetts, to be their Home Insurance Representative Agent.
Find out if you qualify for this new Home Insurance Program by calling 508-444-0509 or get a Quick Online Home Insurance Quote at www.CalfeeInsurance.com
Actual cash value or replacement cost?
When it comes to insuring your most valuable possessions, you have important choices to make. In the event of a loss involving your home or car, do you know how you'd like to be reimbursed? Does your current policy reflect these preferences?
Carefully evaluate these two types of coverage to ensure you're well-informed.
Actual Cash Value
If you elect for an actual cash value insurance policy, you'll likely be compensated for the fair market value of the item at the time it was lost or damaged.
Pro: These policies often have less expensive monthly premiums, so you could insure expensive items for less.
Con: The payout is not based on what you paid for the item. This means you could be out the difference if something has depreciated in value since you purchased it.
For example, if you had a wreck and wanted to replace the car you bought five years ago, you'll probably be accepting payment for what a vehicle of that make and model would fetch now, minus your deductible and wear and tear.
Many agents recommend replacement cost insurance, especially for homeowners. This sets you up to be reimbursed for the full amount it would take to rebuild your home and replace everything in it.
Pro: You can replace older items for what they would cost to purchase new.
Con: This option tends to be more expensive. Also, you must replace all items claimed to recoup the payout and you can't use the money for other things.
Keep in mind that multiple factorscome into play when determining how an insurance claim will be paid out, but by learning about your options you can set yourself up for success. Please reach out with any questions you have.
The best homeowner insurance is the insurance that best meets your needs. The insurance shopper that takes the time to understand the basic elements of home insurance will have much more confidence and sense of satisfaction when making an insurance purchase. The homeowner policy has been around for a long time and so most of us have a general concept on how the policy works. The more you know about the market value of your home and the approximate cost to rebuild it the better off you will be when shopping for the homeowner policy.
This kind of knowledge is the foundation for determining what kind of policy to purchase. The age of your home has a direct bearing on the market value. The older homes built in the 1900’s have much lower market values today because most of them have depreciated. The market value for an older Victorian style home may be $50,000 but the actual cost to rebuild that home may be $200,000. The older homes that depreciate in market value are insured with actual cash value policies. They are often called market value policies. These policies will reimburse you for the market value of your home when there is a total loss. The market value policy is the best homeowner policy for the older home that has depreciated.
The replacement cost policy is better designed for newer homes or homes under construction. The replacement cost of a home and the market value are almost the same. Replacement cost is applied to the dwelling and most often to the contents of the dwelling. Replacement cost will repair or replace any loss with like kind and quality of materials without depreciation.
The best homeowner insurance for you will be determined by the age and market value of your home. The discounts for older and newer homes are the same. The protective device discount for deadbolt locks, smoke detectors, and fire extinguisher apply to both types of policies. Fire and burglar alarm systems are additional discounts that could be applied to both older and newer homes. Check our recommended insurers for more details.
Last year the UK's average premium for Buildings Insurance increased by 1% to just over £205 and the average for Contents Insurance rose to £151, up 2%. But within the market we've seen some much bigger rises – if you're with Norwich Union you'll have seen your premium rise by around 6%.
So what's going on? Every year we see premiums rising. Surely with so much competition in the home insurance market, you wouldn't expect to see such inexorable rises in premiums?
Let's consider the situation more carefully.
The cost of repairing and rebuilding houses is a reflection of the rising price of labour and building materials. This means that cost to the insurers of claims under the buildings cover similarly rises. So as their costs rise, so do your premiums. And there's also the indisputable fact that cost inflation also affects the insurance companies own operating costs. Wherever possible, they're bound to add a little extra on for that!
Then there's that lovely British weather. Michael Fish could be forgiven for believing we don't live in a hurricane zone, but nevertheless it's a fact that storms, and especially floods, are becoming ever more frequent. Flood damage can be particularly destructive with, according to the Association of British Insurers, the average insurance claim ranging between £15,000 and £30,000. And during the last 18 months we have seen particularly destructive floods create headline news at Helmsley in North Yorkshire, Carlisle, and Boscastle in Cornwall. Those events must have cost the insurance companies multi-millions.
The other area where costs have been rising is burglary. The average burglary claim has now risen to around £1,400. There seem to be two reasons – firstly burglars are finding pickings easier to come by and move on. Modern family homes are packed with valuable electronic gismos – from laptops to I pods, digital cameras and flat screen TV's. The other reason is that burglars are targeting well-off neighbourhoods more and more.
Against this background the insurance companies are able to price home and contents insurance down to individual postcodes. If their records show a problem with flooding, or subsidence, or an increasing incidence of burglary in you immediate area, their computers will load your premium to reflect the additional risk.
Your no-claims discount will only serve to offset these upward pressures to a certain extent. And don't forget that once you have a five years no-claims record, your discount doesn't increase, it's capped. Thereafter, all the premium increases will land fully in your lap.
So what can you do to save money?
The most important step by far, is to shop around every year for the best available deal. Maybe it's a chore, but thirty or forty minutes on the Internet (including ten minutes on this web site!) will yield you results. Within that space of time you'll have found the cheapest insurer and, as an online customer, you'll probably have qualified for an additional 10% discount. Then you can always agree to pay by direct debit – that'll also trim off a bit more.
Of course there are other things you can do, especially in the arena of home security. Join the local neighbourhood watch scheme, install security locks on your windows, fit external security lighting, up-grade the locks on your doors and get a burglar alarm. Added security will earn you discounts on your insurance but will cost you money to install! Perhaps the added peace of mind alone will be worth the cost. Only the local neighbourhood watch scheme arrives free!
The best general rule is don't stick with the same insurance company too long. Keep them on their toes. They have a tendency to take loyal customers for granted. Yes, it really does pay to shop around – try it and prove it to yourself!
Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. ("UIH" or the "Company") was organized as Universal Heights, Inc. in 1990. The Company changed its name to Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. on January 12, 2001. In April 1997, the Company organized a subsidiary, Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company ("UPCIC"), as part of its strategy to take advantage of growth opportunities in the Florida homeowners’ insurance marketplace. UPCIC was formed to participate in the transfer of homeowners' insurance policies from the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association ("JUA"). The Company has since evolved into a vertically integrated insurance holding company, which through its various subsidiaries, covers substantially all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution, claims processing and exposure management.
Universal Insurance Holdings, Inc. (UIH), with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, is a vertically integrated insurance holding company performing all aspects of insurance underwriting, distribution and claims. Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company (UPCIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of the Company, is one of the three leading writers of homeowners insurance in Florida and is now fully licensed and has commenced its operations in Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina. American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Company (APPCIC), also a wholly owned subsidiary, currently writes homeowners multi-peril insurance on Florida homes valued in excess of $1 million, which are limits and coverages currently not targeted through its affiliate UPCIC.
UIH’s insurance company subsidiaries have established strong relationships with a network of over 8,000 independent agents by emphasizing personal interaction, offering superior services and maintaining an exclusive focus on homeowners insurance. The Company’s insurance company underwriters work closely with independent agents to market and underwrite business. With competitively priced products, convenient installment billing plans and proactive claims management, both UPCIC and APPCIC provide their customers with superior service.
At December 31, 2015, UIH's insurance company subsidiaries serviced approximately 624 thousand homeowners and dwelling fire insurance policies.
Sean P. Downes
Chairman and Chief Executive OfficerSean P. Downes has been Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of the Company since 2013 and a director of the Company since 2005. Mr. Downes also served as President of the Company from 2013 until March 2016. Prior to serving in these roles, he served as Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since 2005 and Chief Operating Officer and a director of UPCIC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, since 2003. Mr. Downes was Chief Operating Officer of Universal Adjusting Corporation from 1999 to 2003. During that time, Mr. Downes created the Company's claims operation. Before joining the Company in 1999, Mr. Downes was Vice President of Downes and Associates, a multi-line insurance claims adjustment corporation.
Jon W. Springer
President and Chief Risk OfficerJon W. Springer has been President and Chief Risk Officer of the Company since March 2016 and a director of the Company since 2013. Mr. Springer has held several senior leadership positions with increasing responsibility at the Company, and has been instrumental in the development of the Company’s reinsurance programs and operations. Prior to assuming the positions of President and Chief Risk Officer, Mr. Springer served as Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since 2013. Previously, Mr. Springer was Executive Vice President of Blue Atlantic Reinsurance Corporation, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, from 2008 to 2013, and Executive Vice President of Universal Risk Advisors, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Company, from 2006 to 2008. Before joining Universal Risk Advisors, Inc., Mr. Springer was an Executive Vice President of Willis Re, Inc. and was responsible for managing property and casualty operations in its Minneapolis office.
Stephen J. Donaghy
Chief Operating OfficerStephen J. Donaghy has been Chief Operating Officer of the Company since March 2016. Mr. Donaghy has held key senior leadership roles in the areas of operations, marketing, sales and corporate strategy throughout his career. Prior to assuming the position of Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Donaghy served as the Company’s Chief Marketing Officer, a position he held starting in January 2015. Mr. Donaghy previously served as the Company’s Chief Administrative Officer from 2013 to June 2015, Chief Information Officer from 2009 to 2013 and Executive Vice President from 2006 to 2009. Before joining the Company, Mr. Donaghy held various executive positions at JM Family Enterprises, a top 100 Forbes private company in the United States; including Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Vice President of Sales and Marketing and Senior Information Officer.
Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting OfficerFrank C. Wilcox became Chief Financial Officer and Principal Accounting Officer of the Company and its wholly-owned insurance subsidiaries in 2013. Prior to this role, he served as the Company's Vice President - Finance since 2011. Before joining the Company, Mr. Wilcox was Director, Consolidation and SEC Reporting at Burger King Corporation from 2006 to 2011. From 2000 to 2006, he served as Senior Vice President, Controller at BankUnited. Earlier in his career he served in various capacities within the financial services industry, which included a role as an auditor at a large public accounting firm. Mr. Wilcox has been licensed as a certified public accountant in New York since 1996.
Kimberly D. Cooper
Chief Information OfficerKimberly D. Cooper became the Chief Administrative Officer of the Company in June 2015 and the Chief Information Officer of the Company in February 2015. Prior to assuming these roles, Ms. Cooper spent eight years in the Company’s IT department, serving as both IT Manager and then IT Audit Director. She managed new application deployment and performed ongoing security and risk awareness training to improve operational efficiencies and ensure ongoing compliance with regulatory requirements. Before joining the Company, Ms. Cooper supervised audit and assurance engagements for Fortune 500 clients in the financial services industry, both domestically and internationally, as part of the systems and process assurance practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). She has been licensed as a Certified Information Security Auditor (CISA) and Certified in Risk and Information Security Controls (CRISC) since December of 2007. Ms. Cooper holds a Bachelor of Science degree from University of California, Berkeley.
Cape Cod Home Insurance
Q3 2016 Universal Insurance Holdings Inc Earnings Call
Fort Lauderdale Nov 3, 2016 (Thomson StreetEvents) -- Edited Transcript of Universal Insurance Holdings Inc earnings conference call or presentation Wednesday, November 2, 2016 at 8:45:00pm GMT
TEXT version of Transcript
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Arthur D. Calfee Insurance Agency, Inc. is proudly serving primary home, vacation home, auto, collector car, business, general liability, property, professional liability, contractor's liability, worker's comp, key man, whole life, term life, group or personal disability, & long-term care insurance policies to patrons in the following Cape Cod, Massachusetts towns, communities and villages: Barnstable, Bourne, Brewster, Buzzards Bay, Centerville, Chatham, Cotuit, Craigville, Dennis, Eastham, Falmouth, Hatchville, Harwich, Hyannis, Hyannisport, Marstons Mills, Mashpee, Orleans, Osterville, Provincetown, Sandwich, Truro, Wellfleet, Woods Hole, Yarmouth, and Yarmouthport.