Notes on Homeowners Insurance
Bynum, North Carolina is a teeny tiny town on the banks of the Haw River. It lies between Chapel Hill and Pittsboro off 15-501. Bynum is small, but it produces some impressive folks:
People are much more concerned about flood insurance than they have been in the past. Sara says Chatham County was one of three counties not part of the Federal Flood Insurance program until a few years ago. Primarily because the county's flood plains were not mapped. The county is mapped now and Chatham is a partner in the Flood Insurance Program. If you are in a flood plain, your lender will require you to have flood insurance. You will then qualify to be a part of the federal program. Be forewarned, it does take a few weeks to get flood insurance in place. DO NOT WAIT UNTIL THE WEEK BEFORE CLOSING ON YOUR NEW HOME. If your home is NOT in a flood plain and you want to get insurance, you won't be able to participate in the federal program.
Sara mentioned a State Farm client from Mississippi was staying with relatives in this area after Katrina. She had her car, a few clothes and $300. Everything else was gone. The woman came to the State Farm office in Pittsboro to see about getting some help. Once they confirmed her policy, Sara was able to write her a check then and there to help her get back on feet. State Farm Insurance seems to be the only company who authorizes its' agents to write out checks on the spot.
It became clear how important it is to have a knowledgeable,
experienced agent when Sara mentioned that although
standard Homeowners Insurance
policies do not include flood insurance, mobile home insurance does!
Many NC victims of Hurricane Fran would have been covered if they
would have had the proper policy for their home. If you live in a mobile
home insist on a mobile home policy and NOT a standard Homeowners
Many of you have read articles in financial magazines bemoaning the fact that most insurance companies are tying rates to credit reports and that a unfavorable loss history on a home (by seller OR buyer) can result in not being able to secure insurance. I asked Sara about this.
While all insurance companies check credit reports for auto insurance, not all do for homeowners. Shop around and ask! All companies do check loss reports. Loss report records are kept in the database for five years. When I asked if the local State Farm office had encountered many homes that were not insurable because of loss history, the answer was no. When asked if any had been denied, the answer was yes. BE SURE YOU CAN SECURE HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE LONG BEFORE CLOSING ON YOUR NEW HOME. I make it a contingency of the contract for my clients. In a worst case scenario, there is a state program for homes that do not qualify for typical insurance programs, however, its coverage is not as comprehensive.
My conversation with Sara Donaldson reinforced how important it is to work with a professional in any field who listens, is experienced and knowledgeable.
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