I want to make you all aware of some unusual things happening in regards to homeowners insurance since Ida’s visit to southeastern Louisiana. First, my buyers have been seeing wild differences in quotes after going under contract on a property. Some of it depends upon the neighborhood, which is not new, but some of the premiums being quoted are astronomical. If you’re looking for a new policy, make sure you shop around. A lot. Also, if you’re planning to buy a home, your estimated monthly payments might have gone up as a result. The additional monthly cost could also change your debt-to-income ratio and affect your ability to get approved for a loan.
We’re also hearing some stories affecting people who have owned their homes for years. Their insurance carriers are mailing notices stating that a representative of the insurance carrier will need to come out by certain date to inspect the home for any storm damage. If an inspection isn’t scheduled before that deadline, which can be quick, a termination notice follows.
What’s going on? The last two hurricane seasons have been brutal in Louisiana. This year alone has resulted in over $10 billion in insurance claims, on top of another $10 billion of claims from last year’s storms. As a result, insurance companies aren’t too eager to write new homeowners policies in Louisiana these days. Some carriers have pulled out of the state altogether. Others are looking to reduce the number of policies they carry here.
This isn’t all that unusual, and things will eventually return to something resembling normal after a while. In the meantime, make sure you do a lot of shopping around for a new homeowners policy. If you already have one on your home, keep making your premium payments on time and pay attention to any mail that comes from your carrier.