Just Ask Tim - Blog
It's always a good idea to begin preparing for Hurricane Season in early May each year. The season begins in June, so that gives you a month to get ready. We recommend you being with having a prep-list to work from. This will help organize your preparation to avoid missing import items or steps. A good start is to American Red Cross hurricane safety check list. Click Here to get the list from their site.
It's also important to keep up to date on hurricane activity and forecasts. A good place to start is the NOAA hurricane center. You can visit the forecast map by clicking this link NOAA FORECAST MAP. You can also see the names NOAA will be using for this year's storms. They can be kinda funny, so be sure to take a moment to check them out. You can view the Atlantic region 2020 storm name list by following this link STORM NAMES.
We cannot stress enough the importance of being prepared and having an evacuation plan. If you need a review of your home insurance policy to make sure you have the right coverage, feel free to give us a call at (954) 678-2658 or Click Here to request a review.
Every coverage limit on your policy requires close attention, but Coverage C is something you should spend a little time thinking about. This coverage section sets the amount of money you will have to replace your personal belongs and if you will receive actual cash value or replacement cost value for those items. The amount of money you will have is called the coverage limit and the settlement method is wither actual cash value or replacement cost.
The Coverage C limit is typically set as a percentage of Coverage A which is how much your home is insured for. We frequently see policies where the Coverage C limit is set at 50%. That means if your home is insured for $200,000 you would have $100,000 to replace your damaged personal belongings. But wait, we also see the settlement method set to actual cash value. So, you may have $100,000 available to replace your stuff, but you are only going to receive the depreciated value of each item, not what it costs to replace the item. That TV you purchased 4 years ago for $400 may only be worth $50 now. Or that pair of jeans you paid $50 for may only be worth $5 now. See how this could be a big problem. You may have $100,000 worth of stuff and $100,000 available to replace that stuff, but you are only going to get the depreciated value which may be significantly less than $100,000. Do you want to go to the thrift store to replace your stuff? Do you want to come up with more money, in addition to your deductible to buy new stuff?
We never recommend actual cash value for this very reason. Most insureds want to have their belongings replace with brand new items and the want the money it would take to do that. We always recommend the replacement cost settlement method. Using the example above, you would be able to go out and buy brand new stuff and you could spend up to $100,000. Replacement cost coverage does cost a little bit more, but when you think of it as a percentage of your total insurance premium it is not much at all.
One last thought. Again, using the example above, do you have $100,000 worth of stuff? You should take some time and figure out what it would cost to replace all your belongings. Let us say when you get done you decided it would only take $80,000 to replace everything. Then you would buy 40% coverage which would give you $80,000 using the example above. In turn, $80,000 of coverage cost less than $100,000 so the difference in premium between actual cash value and replacement cost may end up being very small.
Let us help you evaluate your policy and see if you are paying for the right coverage levels. Click Here to contact us or call (954) 678-2658
We get this question a lot, so we are glad it is an easy one to answer. You normally have two deductibles on your homeowner’s insurance here in Florida. The All Other Perils (AOP) deductible and your Hurricane deductible. If the damage is caused by named storm (tropical storms and hurricanes) then you must pay your Hurricane deductible for the insurance company pays for any damage. All other damage would be in your All Other Perils (AOP) deductible.
Also, remember that the AOP and Hurricane deductibles can be either a fixed dollar amount or a percentage of your Coverage A which is what your home is insured for. If your deductible represented as a percentage, remember the deductible is not a percentage of the cost of damage but rather a percentage of what your home is insured for. So, if your home were insured for $200,000 and you had a 2% deductible then you are responsible for the first $4,000 of the cost to repair damages.
Let us know if you have a question or would like us to review your coverage by Clicking Here or call us at (954) 678-2658
What is Flood Insurance? Flood insurance is the specific home insurance coverage against property loss from flooding. To determine risk factors for specific properties, insurers will often refer to topographical maps that denote lowlands, floodplains and flood ways that are susceptible to flooding.
Nationwide, only 20% of American homes at risk for floods are covered by flood insurance. Most private home insurance companies do not insure against the peril of flood due to the prevalence of adverse selection, which is the purchase of home insurance by persons most affected by the specific peril of flood.
Flooding is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from: Overflow of inland waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, and mud flows
This can be brought on by landslides, a hurricane, earthquakes, or other natural disasters that influence flooding, but while a homeowner may, for example, have earthquake coverage, that coverage may not cover floods as a result of earthquakes.
Click Here to learn more about the right amount of flood coverage for your home or give us a call at (954) 678-2658.
Home insurance, also commonly called hazard insurance or homeowner's insurance (and often abbreviated in the US real estate industry as HO1), is a type of property insurance that covers a private residence.
It is an insurance policy that combines various personal insurance protections, which can include losses occurring to one's home, its contents, loss of use (additional living expenses), or loss of other personal possessions of the homeowner, as well as liability insurance for accidents that may happen at the home or at the hands of the homeowner within the policy territory.
Typical Home Insurance CoveragesSection I — Property Coverages
Almost every Florida insurance policy will have something similar to this following the declarations page:
LAW AND ORDINANCE: LAW AND ORDINANCE COVERAGE IS AN IMPORTANT COVERAGE THAT YOU MAY WISH TO PURCHASE. PLEASE DISCUSS WITH YOUR INSURANCE AGENT.
After the storms hit across Florida in 2005 and 2006, The Florida legislature passed legislation to mandate Ordinance or Law coverage of at least 25% be offered. Florida statute 627.7011 requires all admitted Homeowners insurance carriers in Florida to offer both 25% and 50% Ordinance of Law options. Some insurance carriers offer an additional percentage option of 10% but that requires a written request by the insured. The only policy forms that are required to offer this coverage are homeowners forms HO3 and HO6. That means owner occupied single family, town house or condominiums homes.
What is meant by 25% and 50%? The Ordinance or Law coverage limit is represented as a percentage of what your home is insured for also referred to as Coverage A. So, if you purchase 25% Ordinance or Law coverage and your Coverage A is $200,000 then you would have $50,000 dollars available for Ordinance or Law coverage.
This does not mean Ordinance or Law coverage is included in your policy. It simply means the insurance company must offer it to you. For you to have this coverage you must elect it at an additional cost.
Ordinance or Law can be a key component when your home is damaged. This coverage kicks in as follows: to cover the costs of bringing your house up to code; demolition costs to the undamaged portion of your home, increased construction costs and to cover the cost to bring you home up to code as required by your local city our county. You should consult with your insurance agent and read your policy for a full explanation of what is covered.
Do you need it? You home insurance is designed to cover the costs associated with replacing your home if a total loss or repairing you home is partially damaged as it was before the damage. It does not cover the coast of bringing your home up to current building code or other building code related requirements. These costs can add up quickly!
For example, your local city our county may require the total demolition of your home if it sustains damage greater than or equal to 50% of the home in addition to bringing your entire home up to current building codes. Without Ordinance or Law coverage you will be responsible for these costs. What type of codes would require updates? Some examples would include your electrical box, heating, cooling, hot water heater, ventilation systems, windows, doors, roof, and possibly your foundation.
This type of situation can come up with homes of all ages, but certainly for older homes not built to current building standards and requirements, so it is our recommendation that homeowners carry this coverage. The cost is very affordable, so why leave yourself uncovered? We can help you determine the right percentage and answer any questions you might have. Just give us a call and we will be happy to help or Click Here to send us your question.