Welcome Wagon? 5 Tips to Get to Know Your Neighbors

Moving into a new neighborhood is always a stressful experience. You don’t really know anyone, and they don’t know you. Neighborliness has declined since the 1950s, so while it’s not unusual to know what the couple down the block fights about, this person’s dog barks a lot, or that someone’s teenager was in a fender bender, you may not even know their names. In fact, 28 percent of Americans don’t even know their neighbors’ names – none of them. While busy lifestyles and social media certainly bear some of the blame, a lot of people are no longer sure how to be neighbors. All hope is not lost, because 45 percent would help a neighbor to look for a job, 44 percent would cook meals for neighbor, and 32 percent would help to babysit.

5 Tips for Getting to Know Your Neighbors

  1. The best way to get to know your neighbors is just a smile and say hello, then introduce yourself and say that you have just moved into the neighborhood.
  2. Take a walk with your kids, with the dog, or just by yourself. It’s good exercise and you can get to know the faces around your neighborhood, and introduce yourself.
  3. Mow the lawn. Doing yardwork is a great way to be seen around the neighborhood, and if you are having an ice tea on the front porch, that’s a signal that you are approachable.
  4. Go to your neighborhood meetings. Whether it’s a homeowners association, a watch group, or some other activity, you’ll be able to meet a lot of your neighbors and get to know them.
  5. Have a yard sale. You’re probably wondering why you packed that, and that, and those, and where did that come from? Get […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00October 28th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

The Certified Roof and Why You Need One

In Florida for any length of time, you don’t need to be told that we can have some pretty wild weather. We’ve been lucky for a while not to have a major hurricane or tropical storm, but that luck can’t last forever. After hurricane Andrew and hurricane Wilma, there were a lot of changes made to Florida building codes, and a lot of them have to do with roofing. For instance, if you’re purchasing a home that is over 25 years old with the original crew, that roof is not insurable. If you do need a new roof, there are two great options for you to consider.

  • Shingle roofs: asphalt shingles have wind resistance ratings that homeowners need to pay close attention to. For instance, a wind resistance rating of A means that a shingle will withstand a three second gust at 60 miles per hour. While an H rated shingle will withstand wind gusts of 150 miles per hour. Shingles come in lots of different materials aside from asphalt, such as concrete and tile.
  • Metal roofs: Metal roofs can be standing seam, long panels, or panel systems that mimic the look of shingles or tile, but are tough and more durable. Metal roofs are pricy, and there’s not a lot of data on their hurricane performance as of yet, but they do tend to do well in hurricane conditions if they are properly installed by an experienced roofer.

Having your roof inspected sounds like a hassle, but as part of a wind mitigation inspection or a four-point inspection, it can save you a lot of headaches. There are a lot of factors to consider, such as the age and […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00October 21st, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Get On Your Level: Check Your Elevation

Q: My neighbor claims that after years of increases in his flood insurance, he checked his flood zone and found out that he was actually in a low/moderate risk zone. He also says that his premium went down by over $1,000 and that he was refunded for overpayment on last year’s premiums. How do I do this?

A: That’s great for him and, provided you have the same elevation, it can be great for you, too.  FEMA issued new flood maps back in August of 2014, and there was a lot of confusion as some homes changed from one level of risk to another. This was necessary as the previous method of determining elevation dated back to 1929, and the newer method is much more accurate – perhaps especially as the mean sea level has risen in the nine decades since. A more accurate flood map is a desirable thing for homeowners, as that way you have a better picture of how much insurance you need to carry. This way you’re not over-insured if you live in a low or moderate risk zone, or under-insured if you suddenly end up in a higher risk zone.

Also, with Hurricane Joaquin sliding up the coast, you might want to make sure that you are covered. We’ve been pretty lucky not to have a major storm make landfall for some time, but a storm doesn’t need to make landfall to push a storm surge through your living room! Come into the office and let’s sit down and check your elevation on the FIRM maps. You can also request your Elevation Certificate if one is available for your property from the Fort Lauderdale Sustainable Development […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00October 14th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Don’t Blow It: Windstorm Insurance Discounts

Did you know that by Florida State law, insurance companies are required to offer discounts and credits for construction techniques and retrofitting that reduce wind related damages caused by hurricanes, tropical storms, tornadoes, and other types of wind storms? Wind mitigation features can also help to reduce water damage by maintaining the structural integrity of your roof and reducing the intrusion of water into the structure. Some of these building techniques and improvements include:

  • Storm shutters are one of the most common home improvements that can help it withstand windstorms. These are mounted either on tracks or on posts, and are permanently affixed to your home. Any decorative glass features on the exterior of the home should also be shuttered or have some way to protect them from high winds and projectiles.
  • Glazed openings such as windows and patio doors can also benefit from the use of impact resistant glass. However, this glass is not shatterproof and will not stop storm debris and water from getting into your home. Vulnerable points such as large windows, sliding glass doors, and French doors should be secured with shutters.
  • Wind resistant doors swing out rather than in. They are heavy doors that are cured with bolt locks and strong hinges, and have mounting brackets and a half to three inches long. The framing around your door and wall framing surrounding that inspected to make sure that it is solid.
  • Don’t neglect your garage door. Garage doors should be shuttered or be secured with a wind rated door, and any glazed panels in the door should be coverable with solid panels in the event of a storm.
  • Chimneys that have a height of five feet above the roof line or […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:48-04:00October 7th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments