Category Archives: Insurance

We have Homeowners Insurance. “We must be protected!” Right?

Florida has some of the highest insurance rates in the country, and for good reason. Of the ten most damaging hurricanes in the United States, seven hit in 2004 and six occurred 2005 in Florida. The state is still dealing with the aftermath of 2017’s Hurricane Harvey and Irma.

But, hurricanes aren’t the only natural disasters to affect Florida. The Sunshine State isn’t always sunny, and living in Florida means being ready to take on dangerous weather. In 2016 Florida ranked 6th in the nation for wildfires and 7th for tornadoes.

If you want to live in Paradise and own a home in Florida, you need to be prepared to pay high premiums. The NAIC reports that Florida homeowners with a H03 policy pay an average of $1,993 per year, compared to the national average of $1,173.

You also need to get to know some insurance companies you might not have heard of many of the big insurance providers avoid Florida like the plague.  Now State Farm as an example willfully accepts Auto but won’t touch you with Homeowners coverage. The landscaping is changing and will continue to change.

The Sunshine State isn’t always sunny, and living in Florida means being prepared to take on dangerous weather. In 2016 Florida ranked 6th in the nation for wildfires* and 7th for tornadoes.

If you want to live in Paradise then ….

If you want to live in Paradise and own a home in Florida, you need to be prepared to pay high premiums. The NAIC reports that Florida homeowners with a H03 policy pay an average of $1,993 per year, compared to the national average of $1,173.

You also need to get to know some insurance companies you might not have heard of, many of the big insurance providers avoid Florida. Now State Farm as an example willfully accepts Auto but won’t touch you with Homeowners coverage. The landscaping is changing.

Flood insurance is a must in most Florida counties — but it won’t be included in a standard home owners insurance policy. If your insurer doesn’t offer a separate flood insurance policy, you can buy flood insurance through the NFIP.

 Storm surge is one of the primary causes of hurricane-related property damage along the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic coastlines. It combines a total of approximately 3,700 miles of coastline, extending from Maine to Texas

No coastal areas are completely free every state along the coast has some degree of storm surge susceptibility.

Comparing residential exposure by coastal region shows that a total of more than 3 million homes are at risk along the Gulf Coast from Texas through the tip of South Florida. Another 3.9 million homes make up the remaining Atlantic Coast, from South Florida to the tip of Maine. *CoreLogic

There is substantial variation in storm surge risk by state. Factors such as the length of a state’s coastline, nearshore land elevation and the density of residential development all combine to determine an area’s susceptibility to flooding from storm surge.

Texas and Florida have a greater number of homes at risk than other states, primarily due to the length of their individual coastlines. As in previous years, Florida had the most exposure to storm surge flooding, with more than 2.7 million homes vulnerable

While New York is not as frequently affected by hurricanes and storm surge, the density of the residential population near the coast makes it extremely vulnerable to flooding. Due to the concentration of its residences, New York ranks fifth in the number of homes at risk.

 Florida is one of nineteen states (plus the District of Columbia) that require homeowners to have hurricane deductibles in addition to their standard insurance deductible. Hurricane deductibles are calculated as a percentage of your total home value.

This means that if a hurricane damages your home, you’re responsible for paying the cost of the deductible — which can be up to 10% of your home value, depending on your policy — before you receive any payment from your insurance company.

Florida has high insurance rates to begin with, and they’re only getting higher — especially because Florida contractors are filing more and more assignment of benefits claims. Here’s how an AOB claim works: A contractor offers to fix a common household problem, such as a burst water pipe, while also asking homeowners to sign over their insurance benefits. In some case’s the homeowners are unaware that they are signing over their benefits. Always read your contracts, and avoid signing anything mentioning “assignment of benefits” or “AOB”. After the homeowner’s sign, the contractors can go after the claims themselves, and sue the insurance companies if the claims are denied.

The Tampa Bay Times reports that AOB claims have gone up by nearly 7000% in the past decade — and the more insurance companies have to deal with AOB claims and lawsuits, the more they have to raise their rates to compensate.

If a contractor independently approaches you about damage to your home, they might be trying to get an AOB claim out of you — so tell them you’re not interested. You can always hire your own contractor if you need one.

We at Home & Away Residential Services work with anyone and everyone. Everyone should have a Personal Property Inventory (PPI).

In 2017 there were a total of 17 named storms occurred in 2017. Ten of these storms were hurricanes, and six of those hurricanes were identified as “major” hurricanes achieving Category 3 status or higher.

Damage from the hurricanes was caused by wind, precipitation-based flooding and storm surge flooding. The back-to-back storms of Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma were the most devastating to the U.S. mainland.

The 2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season ended the 12-year-long major hurricane drought in the U.S. Hurricane Harvey was the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Harvey was a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall near Rockport, Texas. The storm then stalled over Texas for several days, causing unprecedented amounts of rainfall and catastrophic flooding across the Houston metro area.

Hurricane Irma – a Cape Verde hurricane – made four landfalls in the Caribbean along its path before making its first landfall in the U.S. as a Cat 4 hurricane in the Florida Keys, and then continuing to make a second landfall as a Category 3 in southwestern Florida.

Hurricane Irma overall flood damage of both residential and commercial properties was estimated to be between $29 billion and $46 billion. Approximately 50 percent of the storm surge damage from Hurricane Irma came from the counties in Florida.

  • Saint-Johns
  • Miami-Dade
  • Broward
  • Brevard
  • Collier

Sixty-nine hurricanes have made landfall in Florida, including Hurricane Irma, since 1900. Of these, about 29 hurricanes were major hurricanes (Category 3 or higher). On average, a major hurricane makes landfall in Florida every 4 years.

In the aftermath of a crisis -Hurricane, Tropical Storm, Flood, Fire, Severe Weather, Theft, Divorce – could you describe all of your valuable possessions accurately? Our Personal Property Inventory can take the stress out of an already painful situation.

We provide:

  • Written and Photographic Catalog of All Assets, Large and Small
  • Catalogued Assets show proof of ownership
  • Faster Claims Reimbursement from Insurance Companies
  • Simplified Divorce and Probate Proceedings
  • Proactive Estate Planning
  • Peace of Mind in the Event of an Emergency


 “Nothing Ever Goes According To Plan, Then Reevaluate, Adapt, Improvise,                      Revise, Innovate and Change”

Think!  …… Act!


 “All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.”




ph.: 954-648-2454

Share Button

Your Personal Property Inventory Explained

“If you think that having insurance is enouThe_Thinker_Rodin-2gh, THINK AGAIN! Insurance companies will only pay for losses on items that you can prove you own!”


Having an up-to-date home inventory is a crucial component of Financial Changes, Disaster Preparedness and Life Changes. Whether it is Natural and/or Man Made doesn’t make a difference. Detail with precision the many wonderful, treasured items that make your house a home! In the aftermath of a crisis, could you accurately describe all of your possessions

Did you know

A 2012 survey from the NAIC more than half of Americans don’t have a home inventoryof their possessions, putting them at significant risk for inadequate home insurancecoverage, should severe weather strike.     Survey results show 59% of consumers have not made a list or inventory of their possessions.Of those individuals with a home inventory,

  • 48% do not have receipts
  • 27% do not have photos of their property
  • 28% do not have a back-up copy of the inventory outside the home.
  • 59% of people with inventories have not updated their inventories in more than a year.

Personal Property Inventory

The majority of homeowners insurance policies deliver coverage for personal possessions for approximately 50% to 70% of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.

To your benefit as an owner along with your insurance agent to decide if there is enough coverage. It is recommended that you hire a Professional Inventory Specialist (PIS) you to conduct a home inventory.

The Inventory is a series of specific steps, which include but are not limited to the following:

  • Photos with multiple shots showing inscriptions, UPC Codes or identifications
  • Detailed list of everything you own including and information
  • Location/Item/Brand/Quantity/Dimension/Material/Color/ Supplier/Status/Model #/UPC/Original Purchase/Where/When/Replacement/Receipts/Cost to Warranty/Identifying/Description Name/Code/Cost/Date Purchased/Purchased Cost/Replace/Repair
  • It is important to connect the relationship between the cost to replace these items if they were stolen or destroyed by a
  • Hurricane, Tropical Storm, Fire, Water Event, Burglary.

Life Changes or Catastrophic Event Occurs.  Whether it is Natural and/or Man Made doesn’t make a difference.

If you believe and consider after giving deliberate thought that you need more coverage, contact your insurance agent and request a review of your policy and higher limits for your personal possessions coverage.

As part of your review, in concert with your Insurance Carrier and in conjunction with your Professional Inventory Specialist (PIS) you’ll need to decide whether you want Replacement Cost or Actual Cash Value.

Usually the cost of replacement cost coverage runs about 10%-12% more than ACV.

In communicating with “Your Team” (insurance carrier and PIS), there can be a coverage limit on expensive items and collections such as art, jewelry, collections, silverware, etc. As an example a $10,000. necklace would require an endorsement or a floater. These types of coverage involve additional premium and is also affected by where you live.

Remember that Flood Insurance if you need it for personal property possessions is only available on ACV basis.

  • “Nothing Ever Goes According To Plan Then Reevaluate, Revise, Improvise, Adapt, Innovate and Change”

Think! then Act!

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Share Button

Preparing is the Superglue of Life. It can repair just about anything …. Before it Happens!

Why is that we never perceive real reality. Could it be that we have given up on having face-to-face communications, the rules have changed now it’s texting and email.

It would be great to see the facial expressions and hear the sound of your voice and see the movement of your hands while conveying information. The interaction of person to person is a dying art. The art of writing in cursive is going to grave.

Can one tell if the picture is original or an Adobe production? Is what we see on TV or hear on the Radio? Are these mediums broadcasting? What they want us to see and hear or are they just addendums to the Reality of selling or not selling us. We have seen Natural and Man Made Catastrophe’s flashed in front of our eyes and us by images of death and destruction.

I read online comments about Preparing for Hurricanes. I see the damage, death and total frustration. In my local area and  I watched the floodwaters attack without any pity. Scratch my head. Of course I go online to see if there is a reason scientifically. There is none.

Maybe the hard facts please (maybe this might move you to action):

  • During the Atlantic hurricane season, every coastal state from Florida to Maine, from Texas to Florida could potentially be hit by a storm.
  • The details of hurricane deductibles are spelled out on the declarations page of homeowners policies. You need to read the detail
  • Nineteen states and the DOC have hurricane deductibles
  • From 1992 to 2011, hurricanes and tropical storms made up 42.0 percent of total catastrophe losses, followed by tornado losses (33.9 percent)
  • 70% out the ten most mostly costly hurricanes to hit the U.S. involved Florida
  • The U.S. experieces more Tornadoes than any other country in the world
  • “Severe U.S. thunderstorms, including tornado events, cost $14.9 billion in insured losses and $27.7 billion in economic losses in 2012, according to Munich Re”


    Preparing is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything ….                       Before it happens!

Preparation is proverbially thrown out of the window. The Natural Catastrophes we all know about. Hurricane … not Here … Tropical Storm … not here  … Tornadoes … not here … Wild Fire  …  not here … Earthquake… not here  … Floods  … not here… Surge  …not here … Windstorm  … not here.The_Thinker_Rodin-2

You want to what to buy what? And how many? And spend how much? You want to scare me with what … the changes in coverage or initiation of new coverage to buy more insurance, flood insurance, to watch TV scare tactics so that the advertisers can sell us more stuff that we don’t needBut the fact of the matter is that Florida is living on borrowed time we are on borrowed time. For that matter virtually all of us are in jeopardy to a degree.                                                            Just take a moment … THINK

The Man Made Catastrophes we all know about. These are threats having an element of human intent, error, negligence, or involving a failure of a man-made system. Theft … not here … Burglary … not here …  Fire … Broken Pipes … not here … Civil Disturbance … Terrorism … not here   … not here  … not here  …

Then, there are things that we should prepare for, but of course we don’t. We forget or just don’t want to acknowledge REALITY! These are not thought of … Estates, Probates, Wills, Divorce, and Bankruptcy.

Then there are the Insurance Companies who we know exist to make a profit and when selling us our services want to be our best friend. Try to collect when your HOA covers your residence for a Hurricane and then you find out that you don’t have Flood Coverage.

TV, Insurance Companies to name a few and raise our rates without the individual having ever filed a claim. If you haven’t learned by now, every time these predictions happen the insurance companies use them as a justification to raise your rates.

Don’t be placid, lazy. Don’t be like the ostrich and put your head in the ground and leave the rest of your body exposed.

You have worked all your entire life to acquire what you own. Why not protect it. There are so many scenario’s … possibilities in which you can be wiped out.

Do the following:

  • Review your insurance coverage’s, meet the agent in person in your home and ask questions
  • Review your Estate with your family members
  • Do a “Full Inventory” with pictures (multiplie shots), warranties, invoices utilizing a certified Professional Appraisal & Valuations Company
  • If you are a “Snowbird” find a dedicated Home Sitting provider, because your next neighbor is probably going to have the same problems. The first thing they are going to take care of  themselves.
  • “Nothing Ever Goes According To Plan Then Reevaluate, Revise, Improvise,                               Adapt, Innovate and Change”    
  • Think!  …… Act!
Share Button

The Four Seasons …. They Just Keep Coming

The Seasons they just keep coming. As the Sun follows the Moon. Sunday precedes Monday Tuesday follows Monday. These are hard coded facts that is the way things have been for time’s current memory. So Mother Nature has its own Calendar. We know of the seasons that Follow one after another. Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter.   How things we won't them to be

What is a season? Well it is a subdivision of the year. Normally designated as Spring to Summer to Fall to Winter, or known as the Four Seasons ( and this is not the movie or the band). The divisions are noted by changes in weather, hours of daylight and ecology. However, Ecologists utilize a six season model in temperate climate regions adding pre-spring and late summer. In portions of the United States there are special seasons based on important events such as Hurricane season, Tornado season and Wildfire season.

You can find the precise times of the beginnings of each season through 2020. Please visit

However we never know exactly what the upcoming result(s) are. We do have educated projections, based on tons of data, history, prior experience, and have prestigious computing power. All this is an educated guess. Of course we have our own experiences. There is no membership required to be a part of the stage of weather.  Missing a Natural or  Man-Made episode can cost you, in dollars, emotional distress, heartaches, apprehension and worry!

In Spring we know that Tornado season in the Southern states runs typically from March to May. the Southern Plains from May to June. Gulf coast during the Spring. The Northern Plains, Northern states and upper Midwest peaking in June or July. Tornado’s are more common in the United States.  fake_ny_tornado

There are two regions with a disproportion high incidence are Florida and Tornado Alley, large amount because of the regular thunderstorms and many tropical storms and hurricanes that affect Florida.

In Summer to Fall we know that Hurricane Season will be our companion stalking us for 6 months. June 1st through November 30th. The early projections are in as of yesterday (April 10, 2013) and yes it will be an “Above Average” season. 18 Tropical Storms, 9 Hurricanes, 4 Major Hurricanes.

The researches at CSU (Colorado State University) predict that two factors. The Atlantic Ocean has warmed in recent months. El Nino will probably have no effect this summer and fall (2013). The researchers see the  possibility of a 72% chance that a major Hurricane will hit the U.S. coast this year which is compared to a historical average of 52%. Remember “Sandy”

Now, I can go throughout the lists of Natural Catostrophe’s like Flood, Wild Fire, Fire, Water/Floods, Lightning, Earthquakes, Hail & Winter Storms and G-d knows what else.

However, there are Major Point(s) to be made here. Natural disasters can frequently be predicted offering some limited time to prepare. But certain Natural Catastrophe’s like Tornadoes, Fire, Flood, and criminals strike without warning, making it essential to have in place well-planned responses to such events.

My recommendations, among them the following:  The_Thinker_Rodin-2

“Nothing Ever Goes According To Plan Then Reevaluate, Revise, Improvise,                               Adapt, Innovate and Change”                                                   

  • Meet with your insurance agent and read your policy, regularly review, update and review your coverage’s, types and amounts
  • Get yourself organized
  • Make sure you schedule important jewelry, art etc. with an inventory and appraisal
  • Do I have enough insurance to replace all of my possessions?
  • Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for your personal possessions for approximately 50 percent to 70 percent of the amount of insurance you have on the structure of your home.
    • Flooding and earthquake is not covered by standard homeowner’s policies.
    • Coverage for floods is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program.  Look into this coverage.  NJ-damage-4--Supestorm-Sandy-jpg
    • Either hire a professional inventory service or at minimum contact us and we can direct you to other assets to protect your personal contents (contact page)*           
    • Pictures only will not give you the protection you require. Have descriptions, receipts and warranties in a written format.
    • Don’t claim deliberately  what you don’t own!
    • Hire a Professional  Home Sitting Service where someone checks the residence from top to bottom. Giving reports and pictures* and can address issues in a timely fashion.
    • Insurance Premium credits are available if your home is being visited by Professional  Home Sitting Service
    • Hire a Professional Inventory Specialist. If you had an inventory, and a disaster does happen, your initial claim can be quickly submitted within 24 – 36 hours … and the more information you provide the quicker you’ll receive compensation.
    • If you have full documentation including picture’s, receipts and warranties  you’ll  typically recover 20%+ more when settling an insurance claim. Don’t rush into a hasty  reimbursement.
    • Always seek ways to mitigate LOSS before it happens!

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.

Share Button


Insured catastrophe losses in the United States for 2011 totaled $35.9 billion, significantly surpassing the average of $23.8 billion for the years 2000 to 2010. The truth is – we usually don’t pay attention to things until they are in “Crisis Mode”. We either don’t think or have the time to do what we should, or we feel that “this is never going to affect me.”

Disasters lurking!  Having an up-to date – inventory will assist you and support  your insurance claim. Your claim will be settled faster, verify loss  on your Tax Returns and purchase the correct type of insurance.  A Professional Inventory Specialist will work with you and list all of your possessions, describing every item, where bought, for how much, make and model, etc.  Support evidence such as sales receipts, purchase and appraisal’s with serial numbers and photograph of each item in detail makes assessing a loss far more accurate.

With the services of a Professional Inventory company, the Insurance Adjuster can limit emotional distress, apprehension and worry. I have learned  that time after  time that reclamation and renewal were required and the effect of having an inventory and acquiring a Professional House Sitter who knows what’s  going on, how to address issues and keeps me and my client’s homes  secure and safe.

If you had an inventory, and a disaster or any loss does happen, your initial claim can be quickly submitted within 24-36 hours … and the more information you provide. Having this documentation you typically recover 20%+ more when settling an insurance claim.

Being unprepared can cause us to go through anguish, self-pity, frustration and anger, because after the fact it is almost impossible to change what was. We do have the ability to prevent loss before it happens. There were over 98 million property crimes in 2011. The summer months (June, July, August and September), have the most property crimes, followed by December, according to an FBI analysis based on 2009 data.

Claims due to Hurricane Sandy, are likely to be close to $25 billion. The cost would have been higher but for the fact that a large portion of the damage was due to the storm surge and subsequent flooding which is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance policies.

Flooding which is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance is the most common natural. Coverage for floods is available from the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program. Future Natural Catastrophe Losses affecting the coast will escalate in the coming years, because of vast increases in land development. Data from the Census Bureau, collected by USA Today show that in 2006, 34.9 million people were seriously threatened by Atlantic hurricanes, compared with 10.2 million in 1950.

The population along the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf coasts grew from 47 million in 1960 to 87 million in 2008, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and the number of housing units grew from 16 million to 36 million during this time. The increase was greatest along the Gulf Coast, at 246 percent, followed by 130 percent along the Pacific and 98 percent along the Atlantic.

Exposure to windstorms and high property values combine to make Florida the state with the highest potential for losses and New York’s Long Island the second highest.  A 2007 study by AIR Worldwide put the value of insured coastal property in hurricane-prone states (states bordering on the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico) at $8.89 trillion. The value of residential and commercial coastal property in Florida alone was almost $2.46 trillion. This represented 79 percent of the state’s total insured property values. In New York it was $2.38 trillion, representing 62 percent of the total. Other states where insured coastal property values exceeded 50 percent of the state’s total are Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.

Wildfires have burned over 2 Million acres in 2011. These occurrences were in places like Florida, California, Georgia, North Carolina, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Tornadoes. Each year, about 1,200 tornadoes, with gusts of wind as high as 200 mph, touchdown in the United States.

It only takes one occurrence to change your life forever. Take positive action to alleviate the agony, frustration and fear. Don’t wait – Now is the time to act!

All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed

Share Button