The Anna Maria Island Sun Newspaper

Vol. 13 No. 37 - July 10, 2013


Insurance – up, up and away


Here’s the definition of insurance, “The equitable transfer of the risk of a loss from one entity to another in exchange for payment." Sounds fair. You pay a third party to insure your property in the event that you have a loss. The only problem is that nothing is ever that simple.

At the end of June, Citizens, the state owned insurance of last resort, voted at its board meeting to increase rates by about 7.5 percent for next year. When approved by the state Office of Insurance Regulations, which will invariably happen, the standard “multi-peril” homeowner’s policy will increase on average $110 statewide and $150 in Sarasota and Manatee Counties.

This will be the fifth straight year Citizens has increased its rates. Since 2009, rates have increased 43 percent for the 1.26 million policies it carries including 80,000 in Sarasota and Manatee. This is in spite of a current $6.3 billion surplus in its coffers, which it claims still puts it in an underfunded position. The primary reason the rate freeze was suspended in 2009 was a response to private insurers that the freeze made Citizens too attractive for customers keeping them out of the private market.

By now, there is no secret that Citizens is actively attempting to remove policyholders from its roster. Citizens’ policyholders are being transferred to private insurance companies without their approval or prior knowledge. If you do not want your policy to go to one of the new companies, you have to affirm to Citizens that you want to stay with it. Basically these homeowners are being forced to opt in if they want to keep Citizens Insurance. Otherwise, they will automatically go to a new insurer.

In addition, Citizens will not be insuring homes valued at more than $1 million starting next year with that figure being lowered by $100,000 annually to a maximum value of $700,000 by 2017. Homeowner’s whose properties exceed this limit will be forced to purchase additional private insurance for the uninsured portion of their Citizens policy.

Anna Maria Island residents also are starting to feel the impact of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. The goal of this law is to phase out many of the nation’s subsidized flood insurance policies. Vacation homes and business will bear the brunt of the increase in premiums with a possible 25 percent annual increase continuing until the rates are high enough to be at an actuarially sound level.

Also beginning Oct. 1, 2013, owners of properties that have experienced severe or repeated flooding will be subject to a 25 percent rate increase annually until rates reflect the true risk. Since the flood maps are being redrawn by FEMA, each property’s risk could be different and a conversation with your insurance broker should help explain the impact on you individually.

There are more than 2 million flood insurance policies in force in the state of Florida, where homeowners really understand the need for flood insurance. Never-the-less there are homeowners who will drop their coverage because of the increase in premiums. However, if you have a federally backed mortgage, Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the mortgage lender will require that you purchase flood insurance if you live in a special flood hazard area. This is exactly the same as your mortgage lender requiring that you carry homeowner’s insurance to cover the property in the event of a fire or other unusual event.

Putting what for most people is their largest investment in the hands of a third party who keeps changing the rules can be at the least a little intimidating. Unfortunately, that’s the world we live in in southwest Florida and most of us wouldn’t change a thing.

Real Estate Transactions
Real estate transfers of February 2013
Sponsored by Alan Galletto Island Real Estate

Sold Date | List Price | Sold Price | Address | Provision | Property Style

Anna Maria

02/28/2013 260,000 230,000 522 Pine Ave. # 5d 822 2 Br/1 Ba Condo
02/01/2013 499,000 480,000 142 Crescent Dr. 1282 116x111 2 Br/2 Ba SFR
02/07/2013 4,495,000 3,425,000 102 Mangrove Ave. 6483 115x125 4 Br/5.5 Ba SFR
02/13/2013 849,000 795,000 868 N. Shore Dr. 1490 50x110 4 Br/2 Ba SFR
02/14/2013 1,195,000 999,900 749 Jacaranda Rd. 2832 50x100 5 Br/3.5 Ba SFR
02/14/2013 599,000 547,000 301 S. Bay Blvd. 1500 61x116 3 Br/2.5 Ba SFR

Bradenton Beach

02/15/2013 399,000 400,000 2312 Gulf N. Dr. # 106 1180 2 Br/2 Ba Condo,

Bank Owned

02/19/2013 159,900 145,000 2312 Avenue C # 9 651 2 Br/1 Ba Condo
02/19/2013 169,000 160,000 611 Gulf N. Dr. # A12 794 2 Br/1 Ba Condo
02/21/2013 333,000 300,000 1000 Gulf Dr. # 3 480 1 Br/1 Ba Condo
02/27/2013 239,000 205,000 1301 Bay N. Dr. # 5b 1079 2 Br/2 Ba Condo
02/28/2013 99,900 114,500 117 7th N. St. # 25 594 1 Br/1 Ba Condo,

Short Sale

02/28/2013 135,000 122,000 611 Gulf N. Dr. # D24 745 1 Br/1 Ba Condo
02/22/2013 389,000 368,000 108 5th St. S. 764 42x98 2 Br/2 Ba SFR

Holmes Beach

02/01/2013 649,000 610,000 2700 Gulf Dr. # 204 1350 3 Br/2 Ba Condo
02/05/2013 399,000 385,000 6500 Flotilla Dr. # 225 1793 3 Br/2 Ba Condo
02/15/2013 369,500 350,000 7100 Gulf Dr. # 105 1081 2 Br/2 Ba Condo
02/22/2013 180,000 186,000 201 35th St. # 3 630 1 Br/1 Ba Condo,

Short Sale

02/26/2013 325,000 315,000 26 Seaside Ct. 978 2br/2 Ba Villa
02/26/2013 549,000 525,000 207 55th St. # A 1232 3br/2 Ba Villa
02/01/2013 679,000 650,000 417 Clark Dr. 2400 3 Br/2.5 Ba SFR
02/08/2013 565,000 535,000 520 70th St. 1296 85x103 2 Br/2 Ba SFR
02/15/2013 158,900 145,000 445 62nd St. # B 588 1 Br/1 Ba SFR
02/20/2013 335,000 330,000 5617 Gulf Dr. 1076 58x105 2 Br/1 Ba SFR
02/28/2013 579,000 535,000 205 68th St. 1384 75x100 3 Br/2 Ba SFR


Source: Manatee County Property Appraiser’s Office

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