VOL. 8 | NO. 17 | Saturday, April 18, 2015
Disaster Drought Might Net Insurance Savings
RICHARD COURTNEY | The Ledger
I should probably knock on a rather large piece of wood as I write this, perhaps a California Redwood, but here goes:
In 2011, following the Great Flood of 2010, there was lesser flooding that affected a much smaller area. Then there was the hailstorm in 2012 that resulted in new roofs for thousands – if not tens of thousands – of homes in the area.
That was enough to force several large insurance companies, such as Travelers, to cancel the coverage for many in the area.
Here comes the knock-on-wood segment, and I intend to pass the wooden buck here and place the blame squarely on Darla Bousselot, a vice president with Anderson Benson Insurance Company.
Last week, Bousselot addressed a Realtor function and let it be known that Nashville has been without a natural disaster for three years, and three years is long enough to endure higher post-disaster premiums.
Therefore, homeowners should have their insurance policies reviewed to see if rates have dropped.
One broker there noted the newest edition of the Tennessee Association of Realtors contract – the contract most firms in the state require their agents to use – has a provision included in the due diligence section that states it is the responsibility of the buyer to determine the insurability of the property.
This was added after several properties were purchased expecting the rubber stamp approval of the insurance companies – as had happened in the past – only to be denied coverage.
As most contracts did not include insurance coverage contingencies, most buyers had to resort to the finance contingency to be released from the contract since banks would not lend money on an uninsurable property.
This situation was created after CLUE (Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange) reports gained wider usage. Bousselot noted the CLUE report may follow the home or the homeowner. If the property has had an inordinate number of claims filed, coverage may be denied.
And according to Reno Benson, a principal with Anderson Benson, the same is true with the person applying for the insurance. Individuals with a history of filing insurance claims can be denied.
In many cases, Bousselot noted, she is able to “mitigate those claims” and restore coverage to a property or person denied coverage, and that homeowners should seek a “member advocate” to work with them to mitigate some of these claims.
“Leak protection systems, lighting suppression” and other repairs might allow for more coverage, Bousselot added.
Insurance companies, she explained, look at a five-year record for claims, with a surcharge for three-year-old claims.
With the Flood and the hailstorm celebrating their fifth and third anniversaries, respectively, there should be windfall of insurance premium savings on the horizon. Until then, maintain the safe rooms. Who knows what Doppler has in store for the spring?
Sale of the Week
When iconic Realtor Brian Copeland and his soon-to-be iconic brother Brad list a house, you can throw price per square foot out of the second floor bathroom window, especially when Design Build East is involved.
Brian Copeland, an officer at the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and the Tennessee Association of Realtors, not to mention being heavily involved in leadership with the granddaddy of them all, the National Association of Realtors, brought his brother Brad into the biz a couple of years ago.
Brad has responded to the challenge, wasting no time in completing the Leadership GNAR program and being named the Rookie of the Year last year for the most sales by a new agent in the entire association. Brian was tabbed the Realtor of the Year by GNAR a few years back.
They listed 1206 Calvin Avenue for $515,615, a number that would test the market for its modest 2,155 square feet. In a matter of hours, Leah Cameron of Sneaky Ninja, Inc. who shared a buyer with Brad Copeland, naturally, bought the dwelling for $525,000, almost $10,000 more than list price.
When the home was purchased in 2014, tax records stated it had 1,298 square feet, so the current owner added 857 square feet with two bedrooms and a bath upstairs, then renovated everything.
He purchased the property for $220,000 and sold for $525,000, so he was rewarded for the quality that he infused into the property.
The 2,155 square feet includes three bedrooms and two full baths, along with a half bath. It is in the desirable Lockeland Springs area that feeds Warner Elementary and Lockeland Elementary.
For those unfamiliar with the area, this house is located off of Gallatin Road near the popular streets such as Ordway, Gartland, and Stratton.
Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney and Associates and can be reached at Richard@richardcourtney.com.