When Is It Too Late to Purchase Home Owners Insurance with Hurricane Coverage for Florida

ID-10092951Hurricane Season 2016 is here and we have our first official Hurricane called Danny. Time to keep an eye on the storm and get a list of supplies together just in case. As important as preparing for a storm is, you also need to make sure you have homeowners Insurance with Hurricane Coverage.

Don’t wait for a Tropical Storm or Hurricane watch or warning to be issued for your area. Once there is either of these warnings it is highly unlikely for you to get a NEW policy issued in the state of Florida. If you do not have hurricane coverage and there is a named storm out in the ocean, now would be the time to get a policy before the warnings are up in your area.

Other things to consider for our homeowners policy.

Flooding in Florida

Flood Insurance is not included in your homeowners policy. Flood insurance is separate. Any damage from water that does not include wind and rain from the Hurricane would be covered under Flood insurance.

Check with an insurance agent and be advised that there is a 30 day waiting period before your flood policy can go into effect. You can get a flood policy even if you are not in a flood zone.

Coverage Inside and Out of your Home

Make sure you have a current policy that matches the value of your home and valuables. Now would be a good time to take inventory and re-check everything you want covered.

Don’t Be Surprised

Check into your policy to see how you benefit if there is loss due to a Tropical Storm or Hurricane. Do you have replacement of goods or will you get a cash value.

Windstorm Deductibles

What is your deductible? Don’t wait until a storm had caused damage to find out what you deductible is. Windstorm Insurance usually carries a much higher deductible. Talk to an insurance agent about what are the best possibilities for you.

Take it With You

In the event you need to evacuate your home, take your insurance policy with you. As a back up, make copies and mail to a friend or email to yourself. You can also make copies and keep in a safety deposit box at your local bank.

Have a Pool?

Many pool owners have a screened in pool or a pool cage. Make sure this is also covered on your policy.

Storm Shutters

Having storm shutters may not only be a bonus for your home, but also on your homeowners policy. Ask an insurance agent about a bonus for having the shutters.

After The Storm

Assess your property damage, make notes and take pictures inside and out to present to your insurance agent. Keep receipts of everything your spent in repairs, and what you needed to get your through the storm. Not all may be covered but better to have them then not. If you had to evacuate or leave your property after the storm because of damage, keep receipts of hotel bills, food, rental car, etc.

Call us today to get your questions answered. 863-453-3903

or visit our website budgetbirite.com fill out the form and we will have an agent contact you within 24 hours.

 

Photo Courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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How To Prepare Your Children for a Hurricane

hurricanefloridaHurricanes can be very scary, wind howling, rain, and the possibilities of Tornado’s. We prepare the best we can, keeping a chart of the on coming storm, getting in supplies and making sure there is enough water for the days when there will be no electricity and possibly no drinking water.

Your children should be a part of your preparations. Let them know about how a hurricane works in a basic way they will understand depending on their age and always assure them that they can be safe.

Depending on the strength of the storm and what type of home you live in, you may be required to go to a shelter. Uprooting your kids, and then taking them to an unfamiliar place can be stressful for you and them. Prepare them ahead of time by packing a special suitcase or backpack with their clothes and special toys, coloring books, or stuffed animal they are attached to and let them know they are going to a safe place from the storm. Even if you do not have to leave, you and your children are prepared to go quickly.

If you are staying in your home during a hurricane, let them know that their lives after the hurricane may be disrupted. The TV, video game machines etc, will not be accessible to them because there will be no electricity. Think ahead and have them help you prepare a space in a room, or table with books, paper, crayons, craft supplies for small projects, puzzles, cards, etc. It would be a good idea to have them do the grocery shopping with you to and have special treats to look forward to. They will also see that shopping for a storm is different then your normal grocery list.

With the storm approaching, have them sit with you and listen to the storm updates, and follow the storm on a chart. Ask them if they have any questions about the storm and what fears they may have. Addressing these fears with them and letting them know that you are there for them will be less stress on them.

Once an alert is issued for your area, you may not be able to purchase or change a policy.

Call us today to get your questions answered. 863-453-3903

or visit our website budgetbirite.com fill out the form and we will have an agent contact you within 24 hours.


Preparing For A Hurricane and What to Consider for a Supply Kit

ID-100156365Preparing for a flood, hurricane or tropical storm is to get out of town for many. Securing your home the best you can and hitting the road. Many times a flood can come about with a hurricane or tropical storm. When the warning goes up for a big named storm, you need to think safety and supplies. From June until November it is hurricane season and if you live on any coast you should make plans to pull together a Hurricane supply kit.

Number one on your list should be water.
One gallon per day per person and you should have a least a 3 day supply just for drinking. You will also need water for cleaning, and cooking. When you see bottled water on sale pick up what you need and keep for your supply kit during Hurricane season. If there is no hurricane, you can always drink it up when out of season as long as the expiration date is still valid.

With power outages you will not have refrigeration unless you have a generator and when it comes to food supplies canned or non perishable foods are your best.

Crackers, peanut butter, jelly, bread, canned goods, energy bars, granola bars, powdered drink mixes, etc. What ever your family likes consider this for your food supply, and don’t forget you will need a manual can opener if you do not have on already. Get More Ideas Here

Tip: When Hurricane Charley was on its way on the west coast of Florida, we were caught off guard and had a short time to prepare when it turned in early and came through Ft. Myers to us. Coolers went fast, they were hard to find as well as ice and generators. With the ice I could gather up, I packed it in my freezer and moved many items I could freeze from my fridge to the freezer so it would last longer and we could have a chance to use up the food cooking it on the grill after the storm. You should not eat any food that has been in a refrigerator that has been off longer then 4 hours. A well packed freezer will hold your food good for up to two days. Read More About That Here

Here are some other items you will need;

Coolers and Ice – You may want to have a separate smaller cooler for any medications that need refrigeration.

Medications: At least a 2 week supply should be on hand

NOAA Weather Radio – Always have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand with batteries. The NOAA Weather Service will keep you up to date for flood warnings, hurricanes, tropical storms and other critical information you will need.

Land Phone – the old fashioned type that does not use batteries or electricity. Do not depend on your cell phone after a storm. We only had one cell phone provider that worked in our entire area after each hurricane. Even though your cell phone may not be able to make a call, you may be able to take pictures of any damages after a storm or go out of the area. Be sure it is fully charged before the storm hits.

First Aid Kit, Insect repellent and sunscreen, moist towelettes and personal hygiene items

Flashlights and Batteries and if someone in your household has an hearing aid, make sure you have extra batteries.

Copies of personal documents like your insurance policies should be placed in a plastic baggie and sealed.

Baby Supplies – bottles, diapers, formula, baby wipes, medication, Baby Tylenol, baby food, blankets, wash clothes.

Pet Supplies – Food, water, ID tag, carrier, leash.

Emergency Blankets and Towels

Extra Clothes for everyone in your family. Laundry will not be available so you may want to consider doing laundry before the storm hits.

Multi Purpose Tool Kit for any repairs needed.

Gasoline -You will need this for a generator and be sure to fill up your vehicle before the storm.

Propane for your gas grill or Charcoal. If you have a gas grill you can cook on that or make use your supply of charcoal.

No ATM’s without electricity. Keep cash on hand for after the storm.

Once a storm hits and the days after you will be glad you have supplies.

You also may want to consider purchasing a floor fan that can be run by your generator.

Don’t forget your neighbors. Check on them after the storm to be sure they are safe.

 

 

Photo Courtesy of Vlado at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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What To Do After A Flood

flood-139000_640When floods occur from flash flooding (sudden rapid rising of water along streams or low lying areas) Severe Thunder Storms, Tropical Storms and Hurricanes, the streets and your yard could be covered. The number one catastrophe from flooding is drowning and occurs mostly during flash floods.

If you are under a flood or flash flood warning be prepared to evacuate and head out for higher ground

Always have a NOAA Weather Radio on hand with batteries. The NOAA Weather Service will keep you up to date for flood warnings, hurricanes, tropical storms and other critical information you will need.

Stay Out of The Water

Walking through standing or moving water can be hazardous. Only 6 inches of moving water above your ankles can make you fall. Standing water can also build up microorganisms that contaminate and cause skin disease.

Electricity and Water Do Not Mix

The number two cause of death due to flooding is electricity wires and power lines down and even in the water. Electricity can make a pond or standing water charged and deadly. Stay away from them, do not test to see if they are active. Contact your electrical company immediately if you see power lines or wires in or near any water.

Returning Home

If you had to evacuate, return home when officials have stated the area is safe.
Before you enter your home, check the outside and your property. Look for down power lines and gas lines that may be damaged. If you smell gas or hear a hissing noise, contact the fire department immediately. Keep pets and children away from the water and any dangerous places.

Approach your property carefully and check for any entry way damage, roofs that may be falling down, cracks in walls, windows and any outside damages.

Inside your home may have chemicals such as cleaning supplies, gasoline from the garage, and other things commonly used in the home that are now scattered and need cleaning up. Wear gloves and protective clothing and rubber boots.

Check for snakes, some may be poisonous, and small animals on your property and inside your home, that may have come in with the flood.

Check your food and make sure to throw out anything you question. Throw away anything that has been effected by the flood waters. Do not use the waters for washing dishes or baths, ice cubes, or anything, remember this water is contaminated. Check with your local public heath department for a boil water recommendation or for treatment of any water.

Take pictures right away of any damages as your are checking your property and home for insurance purposes. If you can send the pictures to your email or upload to a photo website where you can store them. If anything happens to your camera or phone that takes pictures, you have a back up.

Contact After The Flood

Go to the RedCross.org/SafeandWell website and register. After a storm or event if you have internet access you can go online and let your friends and family know you are ok. If you do not have internet access you can call 1-800-GET-INFO and register or to let everyone know your ok.

Flood Insurance Tips

Homeowners Insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood Insurance is separate policy. Even if you do not live in a flood zone, consider flood insurance in Florida. Once their is a tropical storm or hurricane, in your area, there is a possibility of flooding. Without flood insurance you will pay out of pocket expenses for the damages. In many cases, it takes 30 days after the purchase for a policy to take effect contact us today for more information.

Call us today to get your questions answered. 863-453-3903

 

Photo Courtesy of Pixabay.com

 


Hurricanes and The Risk of Higher Insurance Rates

Florida has Hurricanes, California has Earthquakes and the Mid West has Tornado’s. Your insurance coverage could be higher if the insurance company considers your property at a high risk because of mother nature and man-made catastrophes. In 2004 Florida was devastated with 4 hurricanes and many homes were destroyed as well many had roof damage. Four hurricanes in just 6 weeks is not common for Florida, but it happened none the less. Katrina’s devastating blow to New Orleans in 2005 put the insurance companies in motion for yet another catastrophic storm since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 in Miami, Florida.

High risk properties insurance is usually purchased for the most desirable places in which to live. The first factor for consideration for high risk property insurance is location, location, location…

We can weather the storms or get out of the way, but you cannot move a house. The best is to always be prepared for the unexpected or in the case of Florida, always have your home owners policy up to date. When they put up a Hurricane Watch you cannot make changes or obtain more coverage.

Different circumstances and different areas will determine what the cost for high risk property insurance could be. Choosing the best deal with this kind of coverage can be accomplished just as with any other policy. Contact us today! We have experience with Hurricanes first hand. Three of those Hurricanes in 2004 came right to our front door.

Call us today to get your questions answered. 863-453-3903 or visit our website budgetbirite.com fill out the form and we will have an agent contact you within 24 hours.

We find insurance that meets every budget!

Ashley Bishop Owner/Agent

Budget Bi Rite Insurance, Inc

Serving All of Florida