The Year in Weird: Florida Edition

Florida, despite the popularity of the search “Florida Man,” is not the capitol of weirdness in the United States. Yes, we have our share of oddballs and off-the-walls, but we’re hardly the only place that does. That being said, we do have some fairly unique weirdness to report for 2015.

  1. A pilot of a single engine plane made a graphic statement in the air over central Florida. The small plane departed Kissimmee and drew the certainly childish and immature but hellaciously funny image using GPS flight tracking data. It is as yet unknown if this was a statement, invitation, offer, or the pilot’s opinion of an unknown third party.
  2. An unemployed man in need of a ride got a lulu from the valet at a Delray hotel, claiming that yes, that was his 2015 Mercedes Benz and took off in the luxury ride. He was picked up an hour later for drunk and disorderly and the car was towed.
  3. A Panama City Beach church lost its tax exempt status. The Life Center charged a $20 “donation” for congregants to participate in themed events featuring “the sexiest ladies on the beach.” The events were held daily and had names such as “Wet n Wild” and such features as naked body painting.
  4. A Dunedin man exhibited a 1,633 pound pumpkin in his front yard. He drove sixteen hours round trip to bring back the giant gourd. The walls were estimated to be nine inches thick, and it will need to be broken down with a chainsaw before it can be put in the trash.
  5. An Ocala church usher is accused of busting a couple of commandments by stealing from the collection plates […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:47-04:00December 29th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

Holiday Fire Safety 101

However you celebrate the holidays, everyone hear at Pallant Insurance wishes you a wonderful and safe season. We’d like to talk to you about keeping it a safe season by avoiding preventable fire hazards. We’ve talked to you about wiring and breaker boxes, and the need to keep up with assessing hazards in your home, but with the season’s lights, decorations, and candles it’s especially important to keep these safety tips in mind.

Christmas tree fires are not common, but when they do happen, the results are horrific. It doesn’t take much to spark a fire, but fortunately it doesn’t take much to prevent one, either. The biggest tip, if you have a live tree, is to keep it watered, a video on Youtube shows a dry tree burning up in slightly over a minute while the watered tree is hardly touched. Even artificial trees are not always flame retardant, and they should be! Older trees may not conform to new standards, according to Underwriter’s Laboratory, and can also present other hazards such as melting plastic, toxic smoke and so on.

  • Make sure there is no heat source closer to the tree than three feet. A heat source can be a space heater, candle, heat vent, fireplace, or a radiator.
  • Make sure that your light strings are in good condition, with no breaks in insulation, no broken plugs, and no frayed or exposed wires.
  • Do not use inside lights outside, or outside lights
  • Do not overload your homes electrical grid. Don’t use power strips or outlet extenders to run all that current through two overloaded outlets.
  • Connect no more […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:47-04:00December 22nd, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

And a Cup of Cheer: Responsible Partying

Everyone loves a great party, especially at this time of year. Good food, drinks, and fun are all the better in the glow of holiday lights. However, if you’re serving alcohol or having guests BYOB, there are some things that you need to know about your liability as a social host. A social host is someone who furnishes liquor to a guest, whether it’s at a public or private event. Florida has a law on the books commonly known as a Dram Shop Act, which breaks down this way:

  1. Someone who serves alcohol to a person of lawful drinking age is not liable for injury or damage resulting from the intoxication of that person.
  2. A person providing alcohol to someone under 21 may be liable for injury or damage resulting from the minor’s intoxication.
  3. Serving alcohol to someone known to be an alcoholic may be liable for the injury or damages caused by that person.

Further, there is a law on the books for private persons hosting “Open House Parties” where alcohol is served, and criminal charges can be proffered if the person is not deemed to have taken reasonable steps to prevent underage drinking. However, overindulgence is not the only potential problem. Intoxicated people slip and fall, or can trash a house. Depending on the limits of your policy, you could be on the hook for thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars should things go out of control. Take these tips to heart and have a great party!

  • Check your liability to see how much coverage you have.
  • Have an all-ages event at which no alcohol is served. Make it welcoming for everyone 21, from toddlers to college age. It can be a family […]
By |2018-06-09T09:47:47-04:00December 16th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments

A Decade of Calm, So Why the Hike?

Q: We haven’t had a hurricane or anything more than a tropical storm giving us minor side-eye for years. Why are my Citizen’s multiperil rates going up? This is nuts!
Outraged in Olas

A: We hear you, but there are a lot of factors driving the rates, and we’ll explain why a decade without a major storm can be a mixed blessing. It’s a lot of number crunching, so put on your math hat, and let’s see what’s going on.

First, think about how much growth Florida has seen in the last ten years, and that’s outside of rebuilding from storm damage. Back in 2005, the population of Broward Country was 1.7 million people. The most recent numbers available from the Census Bureau are from 2014, and put the county’s population at 1.8 million people. In our county alone, we have almost 10 percent of the state’s total population. Next, look at growth in housing. There were a total 93,000 units in Fort Lauderdale, defined as everything from boats and RVs to the poshest homes.  As of 2014, there were 94,610 units of housing in the city, with the highest growth in single detached units (single family homes), and developments of 20 or more units – these comprise 68 percent of the growth.

Now, here’s one of the factors in that rate increase. Over 65,000 of those homes were built between 1949 and 1979 – meaning that they are 35 to 65 years old, exclusive of any renovations or updates to vital systems such as roofing, HVAC, plumbing, and electrical wiring. You can have a nip and tuck, and put on every improvement you can think of to get your risks down, but 35 to […]

By |2018-06-09T09:47:47-04:00December 9th, 2015|Insurance|0 Comments