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What Influences Your Home Insurance Policy: An Interview with Julie Castañer of Castañer Insurance Agency

By Julie Castañer

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

Castañer Insurance Agency was founded in 1991 as a Cotton States agent. I started with no clients. Over the years we have help clients with their homeowners insurance for closings, and replacement policies. We also review all the different needs that arise when buying a home such as debit of the mortgage risk. This could be devastating to a family should the bread winner pass away suddenly. Since 2010, Castaner Insurance Agency has been independent. We now represent 14 homeowner carriers, 7 auto insurance carriers and numerous commercial carriers. In 2013 Florida Blue came into the agency and we have since assisted over 600 families with the ACA enrollment for health insurance.

Is there a generalized formula that is used to determine home value and thus home insurance? If so, what is this formula in an easy-to-understand way for readers?

All carriers use an in house cost estimator. There are 2 used in the industry. MSB & 360 Value. The cost estimators are a requirement for coverage with ANY carrier. It is based on full current building costs at today's rates. It is not based on area resale values of a given home which does cause misunderstandings with some clients. The elevations give the insurance carriers enough money for removal and replacement of a home. It is in the best interest of the client to always insure at full values.

What are five aspects that affect the cost of home insurance and please explain? (e.g. age of home, credit score, number of structures)

The top items that will affect the cost of insurance are:

1: Older homes (over 30 years old), updates are essential but will still cause the premiums to be higher. 2: Construction and number of floors, ex block cheaper, frame or 2 stories much higher.

3: History of claims for the client (claims always follow the client and will remain with them for 3-7 years). It is important to disclosure all claims when asking for a quote. The insurance carriers will eventually find out about the history. You don't to give any reason for an insurance carrier to deny a claim due to misrepresentation on the application.

4: Credit or "Insurance Scoring" is an issue with some carriers, not all. However bankruptcies are a questions with just about all of them and will affect whether you are accepted for coverage or not.

5: Dogs. Most carriers will have a "bad dog breed list". Regardless if the insurance carrier offers "animal liability or not, the list will apply. It is best to ask up front when requesting a quote what breeds are unacceptable. Noting: We have one carrier that will take most breeds and will exclude liability for the dog.

Is there any additional information you wish to share on the topic of influences on home insurance policy?

1: Price should NOT be the first thing a customer shops for. There are a few pitfalls that can come with just shopping price. Lack of coverage or enough coverage, wrong policy types with limited or no coverage for certain claims.

2: Customer Service & Claims service of the carrier are very important.

3: The relationship the agency has with the carrier will tell you a lot about the insurance carrier as well. If the agency has a good relationship with an insurance carrier, that agency can assist with issues the customer can't handle alone.

4: Additional endorsements maybe needed for such things as older homes "Ordinance & Law"; Jewelry rider; Replacement cost of contents. 5: Wind Mitigation credits with any newer roofs put on after 2002.

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

Calling us at 407-382-2927, requesting a quote on the website "castaneragency.com", or stopping in at our office at 26 N Semoran Blvd Orlando 32807 (office days & hours are: Monday-Friday 9:00am to 5:00pm).

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About The Author

Julie started the agency in 1991. She has over 26 years of insurance...

Phone: 407-382-2927

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