That Sinking Feeling

Sinkholes are very common in Florida thanks to our unique geology. While some occur naturally, many are happening in response to accelerated development and use of groundwater. While most sinkholes occur on the Gulf Coast and in central Florida, where two thirds of sinkhole claims originate, there are clusters that happen in Palm Beach County, Broward County, and Miami Dade. In fact the entire state sits on carbonate rock, making it possible that a sinkhole could form anywhere. Some signs you may want to look for are:

  • Cracks in foundations, floors, pavement, and walls.
  • Doors and windows that do not close properly or are difficult to open due to the shifting of their frames.
  • Cracks in pavement such as driveways and patios, or cracks in the ground itself.
  • Tilting of trees, fences, or even swimming pools.
  • Rainfall pooling where water has not previously gathered before.
  • Circular areas of dying vegetation.

Florida it insurance companies must by Florida law provide insurance for “catastrophic ground cover collapse.” However, the insurer may restrict loss coverage to the principal building, such as the home. In order to trigger coverage the following conditions must be present:

  1. Sudden collapse of the sinkhole.
  2. A clearly visible depression in the ground.
  3. Structural damage to the building, which includes the foundation.
  4. The building becoming condemned and an order to vacate being issued.

Talking with an experienced agent at Pallant Insurance can help you understand just what the policy will cover. In some cases, only the principal building is covered. So damage to outbuildings, swimming pools, and the value of the land may not be covered, nor is damage or loss of personal possessions, or expenses incurred in finding a place to live while the damage is repaired.

In the event that do have a […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00August 26th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Florida Hurricane Facts

Hurricanes have been a fact of life in Florida since the first report of a tropical cyclone in 1523 that struck off the west coast of Florida and sank two ships with their crews. Because of its unique placement Florida tends to get both Atlantic and Caribbean born hurricanes. Our unique geography and huge coastline, not to mention our position on what is effectively a hurricane express route ensures that our weather can be very interesting. While we are in a lull right now, Florida has experienced billions of dollars of damage and thousands of deaths because of these enormous storms. In fact hurricanes, while they are said to have a season, have struck Florida in every month except for January and March.

In modern times, we have far better records and understandings of why hurricanes act the way they do. Forecasting has reduced deaths and damage from the unthinkable numbers of the premodern era. However, in the last 100 years some of the most severe hurricanes in history have made straight for Florida. Here’s a look at some of the most devastating storms since 1915.

  1. In 1928 in Okeechobee, a hurricane made landfall September 17 at West Palm Beach. With winds of 145 miles per hour, the category four storm cost $25 million in damages, or $339,323,699 in 2015 dollars, and was responsible for at least 2500 deaths.
  2. Category five hurricane Andrew bumped into Florida twice in August 1992, first at Elliott Key, and then near Homestead. Andrew’s 177 mile an hour winds caused tremendous damage. 63,000 homes were completely destroyed, while over 100,000 others were damaged. An estimated 175,000 people were left homeless. There were 44 fatalities reported […]
By |2015-08-19T08:30:03-04:00August 19th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

5 Things That Will Increase Your Homeowners Insurance Premiums + 5 More Things to Bring Them Down

Sometimes it’s a mystery why your homeowners’ insurance premium rises. Some people think that any claim can cause your insurance premiums to bump up when there are actually reasons for those premium increases, and there are also ways that you can offset them.

  1. Certain kinds of claims can cause your premiums to increase. Dog bites, injury accidents that occur on your premises, and water damage can signal that you are at higher risk of filing more claims than the average homeowner. Unfortunately, some of these claims can also lead to the loss of your homeowner’s policy.
  2. Just living in Florida means that you may pay a very high premium compared to the national average. Frequent hurricanes and tropical storms can cause damage to a home either through wind and hail, or flood damage.
  3. A poor credit score can affect your premiums. Paying your bills late or accumulating a lot of debt can signal to an insurance company that you are either in financial trouble or living beyond your means.
  4. High risk extras such as swimming pools, skateboard ramps, trampolines, treehouses, and even a jungle gym or swing set for the kids can hike your premiums and may require additional liability insurance.
  5. Just as your health insurance premiums comprise as you get older, so can homeowner’s premiums. That great historic home can have some real historic problems when it comes to the electrical system, plumbing, or deferred maintenance that has been spiffed up with a coat of paint. If you’re looking to undertake major renovations, you may want to consider a builder’s risk policy

And now let’s look at some ways to bring your premiums down:

  1. If you have a dog, getting a […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00August 12th, 2015|Insurance|9 Comments

Don’t Get Blown Away: Understanding Hurricane Related Deductibles

Even though the 2015 hurricane season is supposed to be a mild one, a good idea to check over your insurance whether you are a homeowner or a renter. Understanding what is and what isn’t covered can save you a lot of anguish and a lot of cash.

What is a Deductible?

An insurance deductible is just the same as applied to real estate as it is for automobiles or health insurance. A deductible is the amount of money that you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance company begins to pay any expenses. For instance, if you have a 2 percent deductible on your home against hurricane damage, and your home is worth $300,000, then you would pay $6000 out-of-pocket before your insurance company would start to pick up the tab.

Renters and Landlords

If you are a building owner, you will need to make sure that your dwelling insurance policy will cover wind, lightning, and hail damage, in addition to carrying a separate flood insurance policy. You may also wish to obtain coverage for loss of rental income should your rental property be evacuated or become uninhabitable. You may also wish to consider the cost of having to replace the building should it be condemned for damage.

For tenants, damage to the unit is covered by the landlord’s dwelling insurance policy, but you are responsible for obtaining your own tenant’s insurance policy that covers wind, lightning, and hail as well is water damage to your personal property. A renter’s insurance policy should also have liability coverage in case of accidents, and also cover living expenses should your home become unlivable or even be condemned.

Homeowners

Homeowners have much the same concerns as landlords and renters; […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:49-04:00August 5th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments