Feb 22

Hurricane Sandy Wiped Out Most Low NY Insurance Rates

It used to be that places like Florida and Louisiana stood out as high risk locations with higher insurance rates. Add a few Northeast Frankenstorms into the mix, however, and that’s bound to change. What does this new storm trend signify for the real estate industry? Well, for one thing, higher homeowner insurance rates in the Northeast and likely a negative affect on the sales market as well.

The Insurance Information Institute has come out with a remarkable prognosis that Hurricane Sandy caused more insurance costs than the historic 9/11 destruction did. Insured losses from Hurricane Sandy are expected to be in the range of $25 billion, according to global reinsurance firm Munich Re. If this ends up to be true, then that would surpass the $24.6 billion that private insurers paid following the destruction of the World Trade Center, outlined Robert Hartwig, president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute. But, that’s not all. This will also have a dramatic effect on New York’s historically low insurance rates.

Northeast insurance rates to rise

In a video interview, Robert Hartwig explained how one storm alone would not increase rates. However, the fact that three serious storms that have effected the Northeast in the last 14 months will definitely have consequences with regard to present relatively low insurance rates.

“Insurers are not allowed by law to recoup past losses, but what they are allowed to do and what they need to do to obviously remain financially strong and so that they’re there for the next time an event like this strikes is to charge a rate that reflects the risk.”

Home inspectors don’t have much work when people can’t afford houses and don’t buy them. High insurance costs are certainly a factor in this equation. People often choose companies like Geico because they draw from a pool of low cost insurance providers in order to find the best possible insurance rates. It definitely pays to shop around for the best possible insurance rates before you make your choice. Though costs are rising, some rates are a lot lower than others. One thing is certain, check to see how well the company handles actual claims before committing.

Tags: Robert Hartwig insurance, Robert Hartwig quotes, Insurance Information Institute, III, find best insurance rates in NY, difficult afford a house, Long Island insurance

Nov 27

Increased Home Inspections After Hurricane Sandy

Grace-presbyterianThere have been some aftershocks of Hurricane Sandy in the real estate market that have been noted in the aftermath of the storm. For example, homes that had already been inspected have been reinspected – just in case there were any fresh damages caused by the storm. A press release from the Business Journals site describes the situations:

“Many home sales as well as contracts that are in progress will be put on hold until homes can be inspected or re-inspected for damages caused by the hurricane. If you’re selling your home, don’t be surprised if a buyer interested in your property wants a second inspection of your home. And if your home is under contract, be aware that properties in areas impacted by the hurricane may require another appraisal by the mortgage lender. Estimates at property damage range from $60 billion to as much as $90 billion to date on homes in seven states.”

The site lists a number of other factors as well: Fewer homes are listed, sales contracts are being put on hold, fewer people are looking to buy homes near the damaged areas, lower home prices, and, as a plus, there are lower interest rates. The article offers a summary of the situation:

“Hurricane Sandy has inflicted much damage to homes and businesses along the East Coast. It would be difficult to overstate the devastation of this storm,” Habib says. “To some, the storm could bear some bad news extending well beyond property damage. For potential homebuyers, lower home prices and continued low interest rates may offer a small silver lining to an otherwise distressing situation. Ultimately, buyers who were on the fence may find that the cost of purchasing a home has become even more attractive,” Habib says. “That means good news for both homebuyers and home sellers.”

Hurricane Sandy changed the landscape in more ways than one. I pray that the victims of the tragedy find a sense of peace and the help they need in this time of great need. About 50 members of Grace Presbyterian Church, who were able to go on a Saturday, went on a bus to Breezy Point, NY in order to help victims with the clean up of their homes. That’s the context of the photo of damages included in this post.

Tags: increased home inspections after Sandy, two inspections common after Sandy