In less than a year, we’ve been fortunate enough to assist over 600 families find affordable solutions for their homeowner’s insurance. Considering that we have been able to help over 50% of our callers, we feel it is well worth the ten minute phone call it takes to see if we can do the same for you. SSIA has been successful when competing against ASI, Centauri, AIUA, and GeoVera just to name a few. Call the office at 1-251-923-4463 to see what SSIA can do for you!
From an article posted January 30, 2014 at 10:55 AM by The Associated Press on al.com
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of homeowners facing big flood insurance premium increases would see those rate hikes delayed for years under legislation that’s set to pass the Senate.
The bipartisan legislation comes amid protests that it would undo hard-fought reforms passed less than two years ago to stabilize the government’s flood insurance program.
The legislation scheduled for a vote Thursday would delay for up to four years huge premium increases that are supposed to phase in next year and beyond under new and updated government flood maps. It also would allow homeowners to pass below-cost policies on to people who buy their homes. People who have recently bought homes and face sharp, immediate jumps in their premiums would see those increases rolled back.
The measure faces a rockier climb in the GOP-controlled House, where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, prefer a more modest approach.
At issue is the government-run flood insurance program, in which taxpayers and other homeowners subsidize below-risk rates paid on older homes in both coastal areas threatened by hurricanes and big storms and inland areas near flood-prone rivers. A sweeping overhaul that passed virtually unanimously in 2012 was designed to make the federal flood insurance program more financially stable and bring insurance rates more in line with the real risk of flooding.
Opponents of the new legislation says it essentially unravels reforms to the much-criticized flood insurance program that put taxpayers on the hook for $24 billion in losses by subsidizing ownership in risky areas. The changes were aimed at making the program more financially sound and to quit requiring homeowners in less risky areas to essentially subsidize below-market insurance rates for homeowners in locales more at risk of flooding.
However, projections of what the new rates will be have caused anxiety among hundreds of thousands of homeowners. The loss of subsidies when homes are sold has put a damper on the real estate market and threatened home values. Some homeowners are caught in a Catch-22. They face rates that, once phased in, they won’t be able to afford. But because of the higher insurance rates, they also face having to sell their properties at distressed prices.
For instance, a North Dakota couple, Allison and Kyle Skari, bought a home in Grafton a year ago and initially paid $901 a year for $100,000 of coverage. They were hit with a $4,200 bill now and tell Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., that they never would have bought the home. They’re ineligible for a phase-in of the higher premium because they bought after the 2012 law was passed, but would get relief under the Senate bill.
The Senate measure would delay many of the changes and is likely to pass after votes on a host of amendments. One, by Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., would proceed with the premium increases but cap them on most properties — including homes being sold — at 25 percent per year until the premium reflects the true flood risk. If faces almost certain rejection, though Toomey said it lines up with what the Obama administration wants. The administration said in a statement it “strongly supports a phased transition to actuarially sound flood insurance rates.”
There’s no relief in the offing for 1.7 million owners of second homes, who are not covered by the Senate bill and who face annual 25 percent increases — provided they owned their home before Congress overhauled the program in 2012. They say the premium hikes threaten the viability of older beachfront towns.
The program helps 5.6 million policyholders, 20 percent of whom receive subsidized policies for older homes built before communities joined the flood insurance program
It’s obvious that a budget or a debt snowball need to be checked frequently to make sure that you’re sticking to them. If stuff like that gets away from you, it can turn bad quickly. Make sure to refresh yourself on these four insurances:
1. Life Insurance
If you die with no life insurance, your family will most likely be stuck in a dire situation and have to make drastic changes, all the while grieving you. You should have eight to 10 times your yearly income set aside in a term life policy. That way, if you pass on, your family can invest the money and, at a 10% return, replace your income.
This is something that shifts more often than you think. Every time you get a raise, have a child, buy a house or have some other significant life event happen, you need to make sure that you have enough insurance to cover it. Don’t take this lightly; one-third of adults in the United States carry no life insurance, and more than half a million in the prime of their lives die prematurely each year. Ask any ECI Agent about life insurance quotes.
2. Long-Term Disability Insurance
If you die, your life insurance will take care of your family. But if you are permanently disabled, you will be unable to produce an income and yet still need to be cared for. In that case, you need long-term disability insurance that will provide about 70% of your income for an extended time period, usually until death or age 65.
You can usually get it the cheapest through your workplace. And you need to. About 49 Americans become disabled every minute and three in 10 in the workforce today will become disabled before they retire. With the average monthly benefit from Social Security disability being $1,004 a month, you can’t afford to not have this type of insurance. Find out more about disability coverage.
In the past hour, almost 3,000 Americans became disabled. That’s 49 every 60 seconds.
3. Long-Term Care Insurance
This isn’t necessary until you hit age 60. After that it becomes vital. A nursing home can cost about $50,000 a year per person. If you and your spouse go into an assisted living facility with $300,000 in life savings, you’ll have it used up so fast you won’t believe it.
If you are approaching 60, start looking at long-term care insurance. Don’t buy it before then (it’s not necessary enough at that point) or after (it can get too expensive).
4. Homeowner’s/Renter’s Insurance
You should never own or rent property without having yourself covered in the case of a fire, flood, burglary or some other disaster. Renter’s insurance is relatively cheap to get, so make sure to have some.
When buying homeowner’s insurance, get one that has guaranteed replacement costs. If something happens to your home and you have a policy without guaranteed replacement costs, you will only be covered for the value of your home at the time you took out the policy. That’s bad news if your house has increased in value. Make sure to have your full emergency fund in place so you can take the lower premium and higher deductible on it.
This weekend was a big ONE for SSIA…
Surprise… Coastal Alabama Business Chamber
Friday morning started off with a boom, and we aren’t referring to the thunderstorm. The SSIA team started their day at the First Friday Forum breakfast hosted at LuLu’s. Team SSIA didn’t know that they were in for their first treat of the day, as one of their own would assist in the reveal of the freshly branded Coastal Alabama Business Chamber. As the brand was revealed, selected members of the chamber stood flash mob style making powerful statements starting with, “I AM” stating the many inherent qualities of the chamber’s members and services. Before an eruption of applause, SSIA’s Director of First Impressions, Anne Norton, stood as the grand finale enthusiastically stated, “I AM THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS.” What a way to start the day! For more information of the new brand, click here.
One Year Later, That’s A Lot of Oysters
After Breakfast, the SSIA team headed back to the office. Opening the office that morning meant a little something more than just being a Friday. Friday marked SSIA’s one-year anniversary of officially opening its doors for business. The Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program honored SSIA with a plaque naming them as Sponsors. The latest contribution will support 76 gardens that will generate an estimated 57,375 oysters for restoration over the next three years; bringing SSIA’s total to an estimated 71,250 oysters produced over 3 years for restoration. A portion of every homeowner’s policy sold by SSIA is donated to the Mobile Bay Oyster Gardening Program. All of this was celebrated with a lunch (not oysters) where the ladies in the Red Hats serenaded team SSIA.
HOT SHOT = TOP GUN
While most of us were enjoying the lovely fall weekend on Saturday morning, SSIA’s President, Taylor Norton, had only one thing in mind. Taylor and his team compiled of local businessmen were competing in the Experienced Class of Gulf Shores Kiwanis Club Clay Shoot in Perdido, AL. The goal was easy, blow the competition away. So after 100 shots, Taylor, only missing eight clays (92% hit ratio), hauled away the trophy for Top Kiawanian. His team was obviously just as talented as they also brought home the Top Team Award for the Experienced Class.
With all that being said, your insurance team at SSIA would like to thank you; our customers, our families, and our friends for making it all possible. Happy One-Year Anniversary SSIA!