Cheat Sheet Q & A
Topic: Way to potentially reduce your flood insurance premium
I am a Florida licensed property and casualty insurance agent. If your home is in a
flood zone where your mortgagee requires you to carry flood insurance, there is usually only one coverage the mortgagee cares about and that is the dwelling. One way to decrease flood premiums is to delete contents coverage from your flood policy. Obviously you have to be aware of what you are doing when you do this but it can make a big difference in your premium.
Bottom Line: There is clearly increased risk associated with this tactic but it’s true that it may be possible to decouple contents from the structure. If insurance coverage cost is your single biggest concern, your mortgage company only mandates dwelling coverage and you’re willing to accept the increased risk of losing your contents in an actual flood emergency it could be a viable option for you.
We’re discussing flood insurance because many existing policy holders are facing significant increases with renewals due to the Federal Flood insurance fund being significantly in debt ($25 billion) but its worth noting that this added layer of home insurance isn’t limited to just flood insurance. It’s common for home insurance policies to include liability insurance as a standard piece of the policy unless you specifically decline that coverage (and most mortgage companies don’t require it).
In other words… If you’re looking to save on home insurance policies and are willing to assume a bit more risk it could be a good idea to see what exactly is mandated by your insurance company and what you’re actually insured for. It could be a significant difference.
Florida’s job growth continues to outpace the rest of the US:
Bottom Line: According to the ADP March jobs report for Florida:
- Florida added 14,580 private sector jobs
- By Industries
· Natural Resources/Mining and Construction 2,770
· Manufacturing 550
· Professional and Business Services 4,670
· Trade, Transportation and Utilities 1,910
So to put it a different way…
- Florida has 6.1% of the US population & accounted for 7.6% of the national job growth in March
That continues the 3+ year trend of Florida growing jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the country and is why we’ve recovered from the 2nd highest unemployment rate in the country to one of the lowest.
Update to the Governors race in Florida with a bit of a twist:
Bottom Line: This is the 2nd update to the Florida Governors race I’ve provided in this cycle. It’s still a bit early with regard to the Florida gubernatorial race because:
- There is a contested Democratic primary
- Polling is still sporadic
That being said I’ll be happy to offer up an answer based on the current available data. First how do undecided voters break in Florida in previous Governors races (since 2000)?
- An avg. of 2.95% break for the GOP candidate
- An avg. of 2.85% break for the Dem candidate
So… The first result in late February showed the following:
- Crist: 48.2%
- Scott: 42.7%
- Third Party candidates: 9.1%
So how about today?:
The current polling data shows the following:
- Crist: 42.8
- Scott: 39.4
So once historical factors are added in… here’s what the outcome would be today based on the current data:
- Crist: 45.7
- Scott: 42.4
- 3rd Party: 11.9%
So Rick Scott has narrowed the gap by 2.4 points since February and seems to be trending well however…
Typically as well get closer to elections we see fewer undecided/3rd party voters. In this case we’re seeing the desire for a 3rd party candidate expand rather than decrease. It’s also worth noting that both candidates have actually lost pledged support over the last two months. Scott’s decrease was nominal at 0.3% while Crist’s decrease was significant at 2.5%. If this is a trend we could see real interest in 3rd party nominees for this race. Ironically if that occurred it may resemble the last statewide race that Crist ran in as an Independent, the US Senate race that saw Marco Rubio defeating Crist and the Democrat candidate Kendrick Meek.
World's most powerful banker speaks his mind on what's right and what's wrong with the US:
Bottom Line: JP Morgan Chase’s Janie Dimon is universally accepted as the most important banker in the world. He’s also been one of the biggest targets of the Federal Government in recent years despite the fact that JP Morgan Chase was one of only a few major financial firms that didn’t need a bailout during the fiscal crisis. He’s been know as a straight shooter and this will certainly go into that category. In his annual letter to shareholders he articulated five things that are right about the United States right now and eight things that are wrong.
The 5 right things (I’m paraphrasing):
- Consumers “balance sheets” are the best they’ve been on record
- Housing has turned around almost everywhere
- Company balance sheets are sound
- The banking system has almost completely recovered from the crisis
- Consumers are benefitting from more energy options
The 8 wrong things:
- Excessive regulation
- The lack of a fix for our Federal fiscal issues
- Entitlement spending (that’s now 60%+ of all Federal spending)
- Uncertainty from the Federal Reserve’s policy
- Political gridlock
- US corporate tax policy
- US immigration policy
I think Jamie Dimon just about nailed it. It takes a strong person to just lay it out there like he did despite how much pressure he’s already faced from the Feds. Dimon for President?
Further proof of a stable and recovering housing market:
Bottom Line: The one foreclosure number that matters is the new foreclosure filing number. We reached a couple of positive milestones in March:
- New foreclosure filings were down 23% year over year
- New filings have improved year over year for 42 months (3.5) consecutively
- New filings are now at their lowest level since the summer of 2007 (before the recession began)
All good signs of a healthy housing market.