Homeowner's Policy: A Call From the CEO's office.

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Prestigious Contributor
I received a call yesterday from the CEO's office. I have made posts complaining of USAA's lack of writing new homewoner's policies in Florida. I have been informed that USAA is willing, actually bending over backward, to consider my application if we (I and my wife) decide to make one for our current home in the Tampa Bay area. So, kudos to USAA for reaching-out to a member. Unfortunatlely, my wife, the principle USAA account holder, is still smoldering about having been cutoff from USAA after a decades long homeowners relationship when we purchased our home in 2009 and which also ended the possibility of an inexpensive umbrella policy. We own our home, so a homeowner's policy was not a requirement. We decided to "self insure". The personal liablity policy was/is very expesive ($800 p/yr from a USAA partner). So far, self insuring has been a very good risk and if the worst scenario happens we can also write a check for a new home. In that regard we are rare homeowners and members. In our conversation I was also told the state of Florida has made progress in the last few years toward offering homeowner policies. Florida mortgage holders are aware of the new efforts. Specifically, the "4 Point Inspection" for homes thirty years old and some newer ones (twenty-three years), as well. Many homepayers (they don't own the house, yet) are stuck with replacing some or all of their systems before a homeowners policy can be issued. (USAA: correct me if I'm wrong here.) So, in order to get a policy one may have to take out a loan for a few thousand to replace a roof and a hot water heater, for example, before being bound to a new policy. Our home was built in 1955 during the huge postwar boom in Florida real estate. It is also a few hundred feet from the Gulf of Mexico in Florida and where there are --- (dreaded music here) sinkholes! After purchasing our house we put $34,000 into making our mid-century modern home attractive and safe. My career involved designing units of petrochemical plants and refineries so I am more particular and knowledgeable than most when it cames to system upgrades. In short, I would not be willing to debate with a home inspector after some of the stories I've heard from my neighbors. What has been a boon for the home inspection industry and the insurance companies getting spiffy homes is yet another financial burden place upon consumers, many of whom are already living check-to-check. And the policy premiums are stratospheric with yearly increases. In our phone conversation I made the metaphor that the insurance companies are saying, "Sure you can buy a car. Take your pick" only to discover the only cars available to buy are Ferraris which is a stretch for most of us. It is my opinion insurance companies are cherry picking Florida properties to insure and the policies ain't cheap. Good for them, but we've decided to take the risks ourselves. I just didn't want to jump through hoops for a company that ditched a pair of primo members six years ago. Once again, USAA was willing to consider our application with all attention possible from the top of the company and I think it would be unfair not to report that effort to the forum. If you have not asked USAA for a Florida homeowners quote, they say they are writing albeit in a limited number for selected properties.