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Home FAQs

Get the FAQs that affect your home.

Home insurance FAQs provided by The Welch Group.

Home » Home FAQs

Your home is one of your biggest assets. That’s why it’s important to do everything you can to protect it—review the FAQs below.

My mortgage changed what should I do?

Please send the complete mortgage clause, including the loan number to Unfortunately, due to privacy laws, we cannot call your lender and get this information on your behalf. The lender must provide you with a FAX or EMAIL that we can send the processed changes to, when finished. We require 24- 48 hour turnaround times for mortgage requests.

I am refinancing my home and the lender says that I need to insure the home for at least the loan amount.

No, and this violates Florida’s insurance laws. First, insurance companies do not insure for land. Second, the loan amount has nothing to do with the insurance value of a home as some locations are more valuable than others. Third, over insurance induces fraud.

My lender is requiring that I provide them with my Replacement Cost Estimator

Again, this is another practice that violates Florida insurance laws. Replacement Cost Estimators are proprietary information of the insuring insurance company. These are not provided to anyone at any time. A copy of the policy will be sent to you upon closing, which you can forward to the lender. We have never had a loan closing NOT go through because of a requested Replacement Cost Estimator.

Why did I receive a NON-RENEWAL notice from my home insurance carrier?

Depending on the notification that you have received, if could be for one of several reasons. One of the most common reasons is due to a maintenance issue. The second reason could be the carrier is having to control their exposure in an area. Regardless, of your claims history, the carrier needs to reduce its exposure in a given area. Third, if the carrier has gone in to RECEIVEORHSIP, this means that they have filed bankruptcy and are no longer in business. The good thing is, in most cases we always have an alternative for

What caused my home insurance rates to increase?

Home insurance rates are just like every other product, in the fact that they increase on an annual basis in most cases. Claims experience can have a direct effect on a customer’s rates. Location of the home can affect a customer’s rate. Roof age can affect a customers rate, and the overall loss experience of an insurance company in an area can affect a customers rate.


A wind mitigation inspection is an inspection by a third-party company who checks a home for various discounts related to wind. There are typically 9 to 10 different factors that equate into a percentage discount. Therefore, you may not get 100% of a discount but you may get some. Usually the cost is around $100.00 for the inspection, but the savings on your home insurance is usually more than that. While the discounts could equal NOTHING, it usually is somewhere between $200.00 and $300.00. The inspectors are looking for age of roof, hurricane coverings, roof straps etc…


A 4-point inspection is basically an inspection on the HVAC, Roof, Plumbing and Electrical. Unlike a wind mitigation inspection that gives you a discount on the wind/Hurricane portion of your insurance, the 4pt inspection tells us if you are eligible or not based on the condition of the 4 pts on the home.
I have an older wind mitigation/4-point inspection will that work?
Most likely not. The inspections have to have been on the 2012 forms or later and contain electronic color photos. We cannot accept physical photos.

Impact Windows/Shutters Credit?

This only applies if you have every single opening covered. This means decorative glass on front doors and back doors, garage glass, and small windows around bathrooms etc……. In addition, they have to be Miami/Broward grade impact shutters. Lastly, you have to have Wind Mitigation inspection done on the home by a Certified inspector showing that all of the above applies. Only about 10 of our clients have the applicable discount

My spouse just passed away what do I need to do?

Send us a copy of the death certificate and we will send you an Accord change request to sign which will allow us to modify your policy.

My policy has lapsed can you help me?

Yes, If it is within 30 days we have a couple of carriers that will write you a new policy. If it is over 45 days most companies will not. However, we do have CTZ and Universal that will.

What is the difference between CATASTROPHIC GROUND COLLAPSE vs. SINKHOLE coverage?

Catastrophic Ground Collapse (CAT) – Is included in every PL property policy. Mortgage companies only require CAT coverage. In order for CAT coverage to pay, the following four things must happen: 1.) Structural Damage to the home 2.) Sudden Collapse of the Ground 3. ) Visible to the Naked Eye 4.) Condemnation Orders
Sinkhole – Is an endorsement to the policy. Most carriers make you qualify for the coverage. Even if you qualify, the endorsement may still not be added due to other circumstances. The premium is usually 3 to 5 times more expensive. If the insured wants to file a sinkhole claim for any reason, they can and the insurance company will investigate it.

Can I get insurance on a sinkhole home that is repaired?

Yes. There are three options; First, you can go through certain Lloyds of London syndicates, as they offer no coverage at all for anything related to ground damage. Second, you can go through Citizens but you must have all of the documentation including the receipts and pre/post inspections. Geo-Vera will take the home as the claim was not in the last 3 years and it has been repaired and there are no existing damages.
Citizens – You need the following: 1. Pre-Engineering Report 2. Post Engineering Report 3. Proof of ALL Cosmetic Repairs 4. Post Pictures showing repairs.

Can I get insurance on an unrepaired sinkhole home?

Yes, but the only option is Lloyds of London. There is no coverage for any type of ground coverage on these policies.

Is sinkhole available?

The only option that we have available for the actual sinkhole endorsement is Citizens. Even with them you will have to go through a sinkhole inspection process whereby you have to qualify for the endorsement. The inspection cost $180.00, you pay half and CTZ pays half. A third-party company does the inspection and send the results to both CTZ and you. CTZ will then use the inspection company’s findings as ONE of their tools for evaluating whether they will add the sinkhole endorsement to your policy. If eligible the home will have a 10% sinkhole deductible. It’s 10% of the dwelling amount. Usually, on the West coast of Florida it will double triple or quadruple your premium.

Do I have to have sinkhole coverage for my mortgage company?

No, you only have to have Catastrophic Ground Collapse which almost all policies include.

Can you come take photos of my home?

Unfortunately, we do not take photos of homes.

Why is my value so high?

Your Dwelling amount takes into consideration several things. First, it takes into consideration the fact that most items go up in value every year including the cost of labor if we have to rebuild your home. Second, the cost of goods don’t go down at the time of a loss, they go up. Third, the RCE is based off of a CAT 5 hurricane – ANDREW Fourth, people evacuate at the time of a loss and many do not return. Therefore, we have to pay the going rate for labor and supplies at that particular time ( If they tell you their neighbor is a contractor). The fair market value is different than the insurance value (RCE). The FMV is what a buyer and seller agree upon . The RCE is based on the above factors.

If I cancel my policy will I get a refund?

Yes, as long as the home is not with an E&S (Homes or CL) carrier as those carriers have a 25% minimum earned premium.

Is lender placed insurance (Forced placed insurance) considered insurance?

No, it is not.

What happens to my forced place insurance policy when you issue me a new one?

The new policy will take over and the forced place one will cancel. You will need to contact your mortgage company, but most will give you a pro-rated refund.

Do I have to pay my home insurance in full?

It doesn’t matter to us. However, most mortgage companies will require you to pay it in full every year.

What is Demotech Rating?

It is the predominant insurance rating company in Florida. Since A.M Best only rates the absolute largest national companies. They often will not rate regional companies. Therefore, Demotech rates them.

Why isn’t my carrier A.M. Best Rated?

There are only three A.M. Best Rated carriers in Florida; 1. ASI 2. Bankers 3. Tower Hill Prime. All three write on a very limited basis and are very expensive. In addition, some carriers simply don’t want to pay the fees to be A.M. Best Rated since they only write on a regional basis. It is very, very expensive to go through the A.M. Best Rating process.

Can I insure my home with a 5% or 10% Hurricane deductible?

Yes, but you need to confirm with your mortgage company that they will allow it.

Can I just get a liability only on my home?

Not if you have a mortgage. If you don’t have a mortgage you can but it will be through an E&S company.

Do I have to carry home insurance if I own my own home?

If you do not have a mortgage no. If you have a mortgage, yes.

My kid is off at college does my home insurance provide any coverage?

Most carriers will offer up to 10% coverage for property that is away from the premises. Let me call the carrier and check for you.

Does my home insurance policy cover my items in storage?

Most carriers will offer up to 10% coverage for property that is away from the premises. Let me call the carrier and check for you.

Does this policy cover me for wear and tear?

No. It is not a warranty program.

Do I get a discount for my alarms?

Yes, but they must be monitored, and we must have an updated ALARM/FIRE Certificate. Your service provider can fax one directly to us.

How much will a monitored alarm save me?

It’s hard to say as it affects various parts of your premium. However, it is usually around $100.00 a year. Its not usually worth getting one just to lower your home insurance premiums. However, if you are getting one regardless, than you might as well get the discount.

I have renters in my home is there anything special I should do from an insurance standpoint?

While we are not attorney’s; Yes, most carriers will want you to have DP-3 policy, as this is the policy if you have renters in your home. You should have them get insurance as well and have them name you as an Additional Insured on their policy. You should consider not allowing animals. Put everything in writing.

Do you insure Mobile/ Manufactured Homes?

Unfortunately, we only have a few companies that do them and those have to be newer ones located in approved parks. Usually, its 2018 and newer.
Will this policy cover my dock, boathouse or seawall?
No, standard home policies do not cover anything that is connected to the water.

Can I increase my liability?

Yes, your options are 100,000, 300,000 and 500,000. Unless, you are with Citizens. then your only option is 100,000. If you want liability limits more than that you will need an umbrella.

Can I get dog liability on my policy?

Some carriers will allow you to add some type of dog liability as long as it is not one of the 9 deadly breeds ie….. Pitbull, Rottweiler, Doberman Pinschers, German Shepard, Chow etc…….. Or as long as your dog does not have a bite history. Citizens does not offer any liability at all for pets. If not, there are companies that offer dog liability on a stand alone basis and some will even cover the deadly breeds.

What about my jewelry, guns art work etc.?

Those have minimal amount of coverage that is included in the policy. However, extra coverage can be purchased through an endorsement to your policy.

I am adding an addition to my home do you need to know about it?

Yes, we must include the addition in the value of your home. We need receipts to show the value of the addition.

The County is replacing all of my doors and windows, do I get a credit for it?

Not unless you get the Impact. Windows/Shutter Credit from a Certified Inspector on a Wind Mit.

I am going to start a home business. Can I add it to my HO policy?

No, you cannot and depending on what type of business you are conducting fro your home may make your HO null and void. Example, if you are cutting hair or grooming pets at your home, most HO carriers will not accept these risks since you have patrons coming on the premises. However, if you are an HVAC company and you just run your business out of your house, that may be acceptable, since patrons aren’t coming on to the premises.

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