Homeowners Insurance and Market Trends

Affordable Disaster Insurance Essential To Protect American Dream of HomeownershipWASHINGTON (June 28, 2006 )– Recent natural disasters have raised concerns that the cost of homeownership can easily spiral out of reach for the average consumer during times of catastrophe if homeowner insurance isn’t made affordable, the National Association of Realtors® said today in written testimony to the House Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity.

“Options for obtaining and maintaining coverage for natural disasters are dwindling,” said Thomas M. Stevens of Vienna, Va., president of NAR.

“America’s hard-working families deserve a comprehensive federal natural disaster policy that makes natural disaster insurance available and affordable and reduces the circumstances under which insurance companies cancel these insurance policies.”

Recent research conducted by NAR in the state of Florida concluded that the lack of affordable or available homeowners’ insurance contributed to a slowdown in Florida real estate markets, which can contribute to a slowdown in overall economic activity in the region. “When buyers and sellers in high-risk states cannot obtain or retain homeowners insurance, which is necessary for a mortgage, it can slow home sales in those areas,” said Stevens. “A strong housing market is the foundation of a healthy economy, and as a nation, we must safeguard the vitality of the residential and commercial real estate markets.”

As Congress addresses the need for a comprehensive natural disaster insurance policy, NAR stands ready to assist in formulating solutions to this problem. “If the ‘big one’ hits, and people are not insured, then the American taxpayer will pay the price,” said Stevens.

The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.3 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.###


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