Hartford Insurance Penalizes Designers - MetLife Supports Them

Just when you think you have heard it all - I received an over 500% increase on my insurance rate with Hartford Insurance even though I have never filed a claim and there was no increase to my benefits! What's next - they provide insurance to the AARP - are they going to consider aging a high risk proposition as well?

They want to increase my rate by over $10,000 for no reason other than they can. This is money that could be used to help the worthwhile non-profits we are involved in like Animal Rescue Corps , HomeAid and Genesis Womens Shelter.

I just spoke with Louise Dunne, Assistant Director of Business Compliance with Hartford. She did not want to go on record or have me use her name, but she said that "my business had performed well with them" and the problem wasn't me, it was that I'm classified as a designer. What she shared was really disappointing as far as how Hartford views the design community, and she made it clear that they don't really understand what our industry is about or what we do.

Unlike Hartford, Met Life has chosen to embrace the design community and has been very supportive of The National Association of Home Builders, The National Sales and Marketing Council, the 50+ Housing Council and has also been a major sponsor of The Nationals - the competition that recognizes design and marketing excellence in the home building industry. Guess who I'll be giving my business to?

Lesson learned? Do business with an agent and an insurance company that you have a relationship with so they will take the time to understand you and your business. Saving a few dollars up front is not worth the headaches and frustration that can come with those savings down the road.

Palm Harbor Homes Showcases Great Style in Small Packages


The International Builders Show just ended in Orlando, FL and by the end it was apparent that the show home that attendees were buzzing about was the Net Zero Eco-Home by Palm Harbor Homes.

The home was part of the Professional Builder Show Village and was one of three that the Palm Harbor group brought to the show. Designer Tony Lucas out-did himself this year by creating floor plans and exteriors that gave builders another reason to take a look at factory built housing.

The Net Zero home was actually a "park model" which means that it is under 400 sq. ft. and is built to the RPTIA (Recreational Park Trailer Industry Association) building codes. Cavco Homes has always been a dominant participant in this type of building, and their acquisition of Palm Harbor last year has helped expand their presence in this market. It seems to be a team that is working - they delivered a home that was achievable to many of the attendees of the show and I heard many of them discussing how and where they would live in this home if it was theirs.

To see more images of this home, please check out our Facebook album at: www.facebook.com/lifestylelist and "like" us to let us know you want to see more!