ST. PETE, Fla. — When first-time homeowner Chris Whalen got the notice he was being dropped from Citizens Insurance through depopulation and facing yet another rate increase, he decided to be his own advocate to find lower rates.
When Whalen bought his 2/1 bungalow in 2019, his property insurance rate was under $3,000, but now $6,400 through Citizens, and after depopulation, he was facing a renewal with a new company at $7900.
“I lost a lot of sleep, so I kept doing my own research,” Whalen said.
Through friends and family, he was referred to Florida Strategic Insurance to shop around for new policies. They suggested Whalen get a home inspection.
He had one in 2021, but didn’t realize it was no longer valid.
“I was pretty expected to tell the new insurance agent that I already had an inspection done, and that’s when they told me I have to get it redone,” he said.
So he went with Turning Point Home Inspections and passed.
“This is my new quote of $3,600,” he said happily.
His new quote is more than 50% less than his renewal quote at $7,900.
“It’s almost too good to be true,” he said.
Cliff Turner with Turning Point Home Inspectionssaid he’s seen rates come down after inspections.
“Especially if you get a clean inspection,” Turner said. “And usually what we find in the field, if there is a deficiency, it’s very minor.”
There are different kinds of inspections, but he suggests homeowners do a combo with a 4-point inspection and a wind mitigation inspection.
A 4-point inspection looks at electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and your roof. Wind Mitigation, Turner said, looks at how your roof will hold up. These are the ones that bring the discounts.
“That wind mitigation would give them additional discounts, and people don’t realize that,” Turner said.
He added people, like Whalen, also don’t realize these inspections expire. 4-point inspections are only valid for one year. Wind Mitigation is valid for 5 years.
“I think that’s something that people should know,” Whalen said. “Ask them if having an inspection redone at $150 dollars is going to save you a couple of grand in that renewal. Because if it worked for me, I really think it’s going to work for a lot of people.”
Alice J. Roden started working for Trending Insurance News at the end of 2021. Alice grew up in Salt Lake City, UT. A writer with a vast insurance industry background Alice has help with several of the biggest insurance companies. Before joining Trending Insurance News, Alice briefly worked as a freelance journalist for several radio stations. She covers home, renters and other property insurance stories.