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Types of Homeowner Insurance: An Interview with David Segui of Focus Insurance Group

By David Segui

Tell us a little bit about your company and its foundation.

Focus Insurance Group was founded in 2009. After many years of working for a large, national insurer, we decided to open up our agency. We saw a marketplace where people were purchasing policies for coverage they could not understand could not afford and needed an advocate. We made two promises: to be the low cost provider, to coverage counsel our clients so they know exactly what they are getting for their money.

With over 30 years of insurance experience, Focus Insurance Group knows the importance of understanding the current insurance conditions facing Floridians today. We have partnered with many reputable, financially stable companies to help our clients with any insurance need they may have. We are committed to shopping for the best rates with the best companies available.

Please briefly explain the idea of home insurance to our readers, what it is, why it was created, etc.

Home insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses. This led to the first fire insurance company being created in 1681. It was created because of the financial hardship these poor people went through when they lost their homes. Home insurance is designed to offset the financial hardship they may occur when you lose your home in the event of a fire or hurricane, or in the event someone hurts themselves on your property and decided to sue you for their injuries.

What different types of homeowners' insurance are available? (e.g. dwelling fire, basic, broad, etc.) Please explain each different type listed.

Basic Form, as its name suggests, is the least comprehensive of the three coverage options. The important thing to note about reading Basic Form policies is that they cover only named perils. This means that if a coverage is not specifically named in the policy, there is no coverage. If something happens to your home or business that's not on the list, you're not covered. A Basic Form policy tends to be quite limited in scope and should be used with care.

Broad Form coverage is more expansive than Basic Form coverage. It includes coverage for all the hazards included in a Basic Form policy plus several additional hazards which are expressly named. Like with a Basic Form policy, a Broad form policy covers only named perils. Again, if a coverage is not specifically named in the policy, that coverage is excluded.

Fortunately, the Broad Form is designed to cover the most common forms of property damage. A good agent will try to write a broad form policy for an insured every time. Basic form policies should only be supplied in the rarest of circumstances, such as for a home that is over 50 years old or in the case of a home that is vacant and for sale.

What type of insurance do you or your company most often recommend and why? (Please explain benefits and cons)

The two most common policies are your Homeowners Policy (known as an HO3 policy) and your Dwelling Fire Policy (known as a DP3 policy). The main distinction between them is with an HO3 policy, the home is occupied by the actual homeowner, where the DP3 policy covers a home that is occupied by a tenant. Both of these policies supply coverage in the event of a loss to the home (dwelling), as well as provide liability coverage in the event that someone hurts themselves on the property.

They can also provide coverage in the event of a loss to the insured's personal property, such as appliances, electronics and jewelry. In some cases these policies will also provide coverage for detached structures, such as garages, carports and sheds.

For someone with low income, what do you suggest they do in regard to their home insurance? Are there government programs that can help or private deals that are available?

While there are no government programs available to help low income families with the purchase of their home insurance in Florida, there is a state run company designed to help those who have a hard time obtaining insurance in the open market. Citizens Property Insurance was created because some homeowners could not obtain coverage because their homes are in hurricane prone areas or because their home was very old. This is an insurer of last resort.

For a low income client, we do our best to tailor a policy to fit their needs. There are many areas within an insurance policy where we can alter coverage to fit their budget. For instance, we can increase deductibles, reduce coverage or add exclusions to their policy. This is where our experience and attention to coverage counseling sets us apart from other agents.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

The best way for our insured to reach us is via email or phone. We have extended hours, plus many of our agents work from home after the basic 9-5. I can personally be reached at 813-712-4191 or via email to david@focusinsurancegroup.com. I often tell my clients to not be surprised if they receive an email from me at 10pm as I am always working hard for my clients. They can also check our website www.focusinsurancegroup.com.

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About The Author

David has 15 years of experience in the insurance industry, along with additional...

Phone: 813-712-4191

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