Updated: Jun 10
Article Date: 06/02/2022 Last Updated: 06/10/2022
Have your property insurance rates gone up 10, 15 or even 20 percent or more in the last two years? If so, you're not alone.
The current inflation rates are soaring - the highest seen in decades since the mid-1980s. With inflation impacting every facet of the economy, building materials (specifically lumber) are no exception.
The national average rebuild cost on a building is nearly 25% higher in 2022 than it was just 3 years prior. As insurance policyholders, it is important to understand that you have options in the various insurance markets that provide customized coverage specifically for your category of home.
Our local Jordan First Insurance agents have assembled this list of products that might be beneficial for certain home and building owners to help lower costs while keeping maximum coverage.
Our pick for turn of the century homes:
"Classic Home" program by Utica First
Classic Home eligibility guidelines
Homeowners (Owner Occupied) Only
Not available for rental / landlord properties
Possibly available for secondary homes (Call for underwriting)
Year built must be between1920 - 1969
Must be well maintained and recently renovated in the last 15 years to receive full credits available
Utica First's "Classic Home" program is an industry leading coverage available to select homeowners across New York state. Utica does require an interior inspection to keep coverage, but it is well worth it if you have recently updated your older home.
This program, built on its functional replacement cost method, provides a form of replacement cost that rebuilds your home with new materials that are similar to the old. The key difference is understanding that you will not get the property back exactly like it was - some things from the turn of the century cannot be replaced, like certain wood, that is no longer available on the market.
This program is available in nearly all major Upstate cities and rural areas.
Our pick for older & rural homes:
"Freedom Home" program by Madison Mutual
Freedom Home eligibility guidelines
Homeowners or Rental (Landlord)
Available for secondary and seasonal homes
No year built requirements
Any condition for Form 1 (Basic) but must be in acceptable or better condition for Form 3 (Special, Open Perils)
Madison Mutual's Freedom program is one of the best we have seen as agents for homes where the cost to rebuild the property far exceeds the actual market value of the property. Designed to be an "Agreed Value", the Freedom program eliminates the co-insurance clause of the property contract, and offers to pay up to the face value of the policy in the event of a total loss. The best part of this program that we like is that partial losses, such as a roof claim, are still covered at their full replacement cost as long as it does not exceed the Coverage A limit.
This policy drives the cost of insurance down since it is technically an Actual Cash Value limit on the property but operates as a flexible coverage that does include replacement cost.
This program is available in Upstate and closed to Downstate/Long Island
Our pick for condos:
Standard Condo program by Travelers
Condo eligibility guidelines
Unit-Owners only - not for tenants/renters
Available for Primary Residences
No Age Limitations
Full Interior "Walls In" coverage
Condo Owner's policies from Travelers are by far one of the most competitive in the market. What we like most about Traveler's condo policies are that they can include full interior coverage, as well as contents and liability. These policies are competitively priced - we bind 90% of our condo policies with Travelers.
And for those of you downstate in New York, Travelers writes in all 5 boroughs of New York as well as Long Island (Except excluded coastal zones).
Our pick for homes with pools
Standard homeowners program by New York Central Mutual
Home eligibility guidelines
Available for Primary Residences - Secondary & Rental with Supporting Business
No Age Limitations
Pools must be fenced or are allowed to be un-fenced according to local code
NYCM is a strong choice for upstate New York - based out of Edmeston in Otsego County, NYCM is one of the largest insurers in New York state by market share. The company was founded in 1899 as the New York Central Mutual Fire Insurance Company and has a significant footprint in CNY, and a growing one downstate and in Western NY.
NYCM takes a realistic approach to pools that no other carrier really does - they go by what the local ordinance says. We've come across homeowners with in-ground pools that are unfenced who have had a problem getting/maintaining liability coverage; this is where NYCM shines. A common-sense solution for property owners and agents alike.
Homeowners insurance is certainly not one-size-fits-all. Your property is unique and should be insured in a program that best suits it. These specialty programs are available to help property owners find the right fit for their needs.
Interested in obtaining a new quote? Want to speak to a professional? Call the property experts at Jordan First Insurance (800) 484-9712. Serving all of Central New York and Upstate.
PO Box 1023 • 21 N Main St. Jordan NY 13080
JORDAN FIRST INSURANCE IS A WHOLLY OWNED SUBSIDIARY OF ENCOMPASS AGENCY, INC.
WITH PRINCIPAL OFFICES IN BUFFALO, NY