Insurance against falling home prices debuts in Ohio
Business FirstDate: Wednesday, September 28, 2011, 9:58am EDT
A San Francisco insurer will roll out coverage against falling housing values in Ohio, the first state where it is selling policies for owners of single-family houses and condos.
Home Value Insurance Co. will use calculations by the Case-Shiller Home Price Index to decide payouts if homeowner policyholders sell their houses below the insured values. The company, founded in 2009 and headed by former investment banker Scott Ryles, will sell its Home Value Protection policies through independent agents.
As Columbus Business First reported last month, the company has set up an office in Columbus and has been meeting with area insurance agents.
Ryles, the privately held company’s CEO and chairman, said Ohio was picked for its high percentage of homeownership and general demographics. The company indicated it intends to introduce its policies in other states.
Details on how the policies work can be found here.
The Ohio Association of Realtors reported last week that sales of single-family homes in the state jumped in August for a second consecutive month, but prices continued to slip. More than 10,000 houses were sold in the state last month, up 22 percent from a year earlier, and the average price sank to $138,304, off 1.6 percent from August 2010. Prices for the first eight months of the year were down more than 3 percent to $134,310, the organization reported.