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Home & Away Residential Services … Revisited, Reexamined, Reassessed 2016-2017!

Why does it always take a catastrophe to get people engaged! Let’s revisit, reexamine and reassess it’s almost 2 years since this piece was written.

Take a few moments and Re-read this blog, in its entirety, it’s in your best interest. And if you don’t see the possible challenges facing you then you should reevaluate the value of your home, personal belongings, insurance coverage, and replacing a life’s time of memories.

The wise person, the logical person upon reviewing what you own, will see the possible, probable outcome, the financial loss on the horizon! Natural or man-made disasters are severe. An event is designated a catastrophe by the insurance industry when claims are expected to reach $25 million.

For days upon days we have all watched TV and Newspaper coverage about the Tornadoes and Floods. These current disasters are ongoing catastrophes. People are losing a life’s worth of homes, personal belongings, memories and more than that precious lives. The trauma that people go through in itself is tremendous add on the accumulated pressure of trying to remember what you owned is in calculable.

I can guarantee you that better then 90% of those who are living in Tornado alley, Flooding, Wildfire country have NO Inventory. Or at best a punch of pictures without the required detailed backup. When your running from fire, after the fire, you’re not going to remember all the items that make up your home, your memories, all the items that are now gone.

Our firm does not travel to the western states. However, there are firms like ours. In other states like California, Oregon and Washington. Our place is to stand with South Florida. We are here to offer Inventory Services & Home Sitting in South Florida.

I’am a Floridian, a South Floridian and it is my charge to explain, educate, enlighten and direct your efforts to protect our neighbors. However, my blog contains free information to all. There are other professionals who provide,Personal Property Inventory, Appraising and House Sitting. If you have a question or direction please feel free to contact me. Contact info is displayed at the end of this entry.

Florida is now approaching the beginning of the Hurricane season, as usual most of us. Employ the standard line(s).  People are being drawn to the area by sunshine (335 days a year). “It never happens here or we haven’t had a Hurricane since Andrew or it’s just a creation of Home Depot’s … Lowe’s, Publix or just getting Costco to buy enough and spending hundreds and hundreds that well never use…

Florida is now approaching the beginning heart of the Hurricane season, as usual most of us. Employ the standard line(s).  People are being drawn to the area by sunshine (335 days a year). “It never happens here or we haven’t had a Hurricane since Andrew or it’s just a creation of Home Depot’s … Lowe’s, Publix or just getting Costco to buy enough and spending hundreds and hundreds that well never use…

Disaster losses along the coasts all the way from the Gulf to New England will escalate in the near future. Development will increase any open piece of land will become a Condo or a strip mall (as if we don’t have enough). There is one catastrophe modeling company (and there are many) predicts that catastrophe losses will double every decade. This is due to growing residential and commercial entities. The density and more expensive buildings will require more services and more to restore after a major Hurricane.

One older study back when I originally created this entry provides strong evidence from 1993 to 2012:

  • hurricanes and tropical storms made up 40.4% of total catastrophe losses
  • tornado losses (36.0%)
  • winter storms (7.1%)
  • terrorism (6.3%)
  • earthquakes and other geologic events (4.7%)
  • flood, wind, hail (3.8%)
  • fire (1.7%)

Insured losses due to natural disasters in the United States in 2016 totaled $23.8 billion, more than the $16.1 billion total for 2015.

  • Severe thunderstorms losses, at $14 billion,
  • accounted for about 60 percent of the 2016 insured losses.
  • Floods and flash floods accounted for $4.3 billion in insured losses in 2016.
  • Tropical cyclones accounted for $3.5 billion in insured losses.
  • Winter storms and cold waves caused $1 billion in insured losses in 2016.
  • Wildfires, heat waves and drought produced $1 billion in insured losses in 2016.

Natural Catastrophe Losses In The United States, 2016

(Based on perils)

Source: © 2017 Munich Re, NatCatSERVICE; Property Claim Services (PCS®)*, a Verisk Analytics® business.

  A 2013 study of coastal areas found that Hurricane Related Flooding that:
  • 2 million homes with $1.1 trillion in total property exposure are at risk of damage caused by hurricane storm surge flooding.
  • In the Atlantic Coast region alone, there are approximately 2.4 million homes at risk, valued at more than $793 billion.
  • Total exposure along the Gulf Coast is $354 billion, with 1.8 million homes at risk for potential storm-surge damage.
  • Residential properties in Florida have the most exposure to hurricane storm surge damage, followed by New York, New Jersey, Virginia and Louisiana
  • Among the most densely populated metropolitan areas, the New York City metro area, which includes Long Island and the New Jersey coast, has the highest exposure to potential storm surge damage ($206 billion). The next four areas in terms of exposure were Miami ($100 billion), Virginia Beach ($73 billion), Tampa ($55 billion) and New Orleans ($43 billion). *Source CoreLogic
  • Storm surge flooding is known by experts to be one of the primary causes of hurricane-related property damage along the Atlantic and Gulf coastlines.
  • There’s a risk of flooding for people living inland because the water has to go somewhere, and that means rivers and streams can rise rapidly in the days following torrential rainfall,” said Lynne McChristian, Florida spokesperson for the I.I.I. “Powerful storms like hurricanes grab the headlines, but slow-moving tropical storms bringing huge amounts of rain can cause equally damaging inland floods.”
  • It is important to recognize that Florida has more property at risk to storm surge than any other state.
  • 2017 the number of flood policies in Florida as of February 2015, totaled more than 1.9 million; however, there are over 7.3 million housing units.

Tropical storms and hurricanes in the U.S. 1980-2015                                                             (Insured property losses per state)

Source: © 2016 Munich Re, Geo Risks Research, NatCatSERVICE. As of July 2016.

Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover property damage from storm surge. Coverage is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The following information chart PCS ranks historic hurricanes based on their insured losses, adjusted for inflation. The chart beneath, estimates insured property losses from notable hurricanes from past years, if they were to hit the nation again today with the same meteorological parameters.

  • Hurricane Katrina … when occurred $41,100 … in 2014 $48,383 (est)
  • Hurricane Andrew …when occurred $15,500 … in 2014 $23,785 (est)
  • Hurricane Sandy ……when occurred $18,750 … in 2014 $19,307 (est)                              Estimated (value) of Insured Coastal Properties Vulnerable to Hurricanes By State ($ billions)
  • New York…coastal total exposure  $4,724.2 …coastal as % of total 60% (est)
  • Florida …… coastal total exposure $3,640.1 …coastal as % of total 79% (est)
  • Texas………. coastal total exposure $4.580.7 …coastal as % of total 26%  (est)                          The insured value of properties in coastal areas in the United States totaled $10.6 trillion in 2012, *AIR Worldwide



  By number change    By % change 
Rank State Number change Rank State Percent change
1 California 13,130,000 1 Florida 270.1%
2 Florida 10,360,000 2 Alaska 239.8
3 Texas 3,732,000 3 New Hampshire 198.0

Source: U.S. Department of Commerce, Census Bureau (www.census.gov/dataviz/visualizations/039/508.php).  

  • The Atlantic Coast, the Gulf of Mexico and the Hawaiian Islands are home to the U.S. counties most vulnerable to hurricanes. These counties accounted for nearly two-thirds of the nation’s coastline population in 2008, according to the U.S. Bureau of the Census.
  • Of the 11 most hurricane-prone counties, five are in Louisiana, three are in Florida and two are in North Carolina.
  • 7 percent of the Florida population resides in coastal counties, compared with 32.3 percent in Louisiana, 9.9. percent in North Carolina and 47.7 percent for the total United States.
  • Forbes Magazine America’s Fastest-Growing Cities 2017 Feb 10, 2017
  • 7 out of the top 10 were in Florida
    • Cape Coral-Fort Myers
    • Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford
    • Deltona-Dayton Beach-Ormond Beach
    • Jacksonville
    • North Port Sarasota-Bradenton
    • Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater
    • Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach

ThE 2014 analysis shows that more than 6.5 million homes along the U.S. Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are located within storm surge risk zones, totaling nearly $1.5 trillion in total reconstruction costs (Table 1). More than $986 billion of that risk is concentrated within 15 major metro areas.

Table 1- Total Estimated Reconstruction Value (U.S. Dollars)




(A ected by a Category 1–5 storm)



Very High (Category 2–5)



High (Category 3–5)



Moderate (Category 4–5)



Low (Category 5)






Source: CoreLogic 2014. Based on estimated reconstruction values as of June 2014.


County  State Coastline region   Number of hurricanes Percent change in population,1960-2008
Monroe County Florida Gulf of Mexico 15 50.8%
Lafourche Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 14 67.2
Carteret County North Carolina Atlantic 14 104.3
Dare County North Carolina Atlantic 13 465.9
Hyde County North Carolina Atlantic 13 10.1
Jefferson Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 12 108.9
Palm Beach County Florida Atlantic 12 454.7
Miami-Dade County Florida Atlantic 11 156.5
St. Bernard Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 17.2
Cameron Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico 11 4.8
Terrebonne Parish Louisiana Gulf of Mexico  11 78.7

“Accuweather dating back to the 1800s,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said. “These numbers are not based upon property damage but instead focus on the chances that a hurricane will strike a region based upon factors such as geography and location.”

Lists the Top 5 US cities most vulnerable to hurricanes

  • Miami, Fl
  • Key West, Fl
  • Cape Hatteras, NC
  • Tampa, Fl
  • New Orleans, La

 Top Five States By Insured Catastrophe Losses, 2016 (1) ($ millions)

Rank State Estimated insured loss
1 Texas $7,958.6
2 Colorado 1,467.8
3 Louisiana 1,230.3
4 North Carolina 972.2
5 Florida 885.2

(1) Includes catastrophes causing insured property losses of at least $25 million in 1997 dollars and affecting a significant number of policyholders and insurers. Excludes losses covered by the federally administered National Flood Insurance Program. Source: Property Claim Services (PCS®), a Verisk Analytics® business.

 We have been very lucky; Hurricane Andrew has recently hit 25 years since we have had a major hurricane hit us in South Florida. We might never have a visit from the likes of Andrew towards the shores of Florida. It might drop dead from wind shear or choke on the dry air. But that’s nice to think … the reality tells us different. There are more storms on the horizon. But it teaches us that we have time to protect our homes, our personal belongings and our memories.

On August 29, 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and caused more than $41 billion in insured property damage. In total, the storm caused between $96 and $125 billion in property damage, destroying an estimated 300,000 homes.

Hurricane Sandy impacted more than 12 states in October 2012. Sandy caused $18.75 billion in insured property losses.

How many of those 300,00 homes had a proper professional inventory or for that matter any type of inventory? Twelve states were impacted by Hurricane Sandy how many homeowners had a proper professional Inventory. Remember at the beginning of this piece. This was a massive catastrophe and it only took $25 Million to make it a catastrophe!

Your living in Paradise and it is like freedom, it comes with a cost. That does require action on your part.

We currently have limited time to have an inventory done, professionally, not just with pictures but also with detail and proper detail. It is incumbent upon each of us to do the following:

  • Meet with your insurance agent and read your policy, regularly review, update and review your coverage’s, types and amounts
  • Get yourself organized
  • Review your Estate with your family members
  • 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.
  • Make sure you schedule important jewelry, art etc. with an inventory and appraisal
  • Do a “Full Inventory” with pictures (multiple shots), warranties, invoices utilizing a certified Professional Appraisal & Valuations Company
  • 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.
  • 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 is themselves.
  • 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 on a regular basis. 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.

After you’ve read and absorbed …. Have you taken any productive steps?

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

Think!  …… Act!


Contact: Home & Away Residential Services, ph.: 954-648-2454                                               email: homeawayresidentialservices@gmail.com

“All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.”

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