Is Your Florida Home Covered by Flood Insurance?

While your house in Florida can be your most important asset, sometimes it can also be a huge liability.  Therefore, you should take care of it by providing long-term safety and upkeep.  At times, it can be hard to understand if there’s a separate policy for flood insurance, or whether your homeowner’s insurance covers these damages or not.

Why is a Florida home at risk?

There are many misconceptions about flood and home insurance in Florida, but with this post, you’ll understand when to have the right insurance that covers calamities.  Here’s a quick guide that helps determine the need of flood insurance coverage for your home.  Some important points will ensure the security of your property.

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Florida’s Increasing Flood Insurance

Florida’s Increasing Flood Insurance

Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act became in effect on 1st April, 2005.  Specifically in Florida, this Act will result to the rising of flood insurance in flood-zone areas for thousands of Florida residents. This is appropriate to those properties situated along the coastal areas and families near rivers, bays and lakes in Florida.

Unfortunately, this  Act has been coming for a long time. And inevitably, various coastal inhabitants understood the increasing cost of flood insurance.  This is the cost of living along the coastal areas, as said by the Vice President of Great Florida Insurance, Ellsworth Buck.

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Florida Insurance Industry: Now Ready to Face Hurricane Season

Florida Insurance Industry: Now Ready to Face Hurricane Season

This year’s Atlantic hurricane season has opened. With that, a mixture of estimates for less-than-the-average storms, including the highest financial resources level to pay claims may assist businessmen and homeowners to take out their worries.

Florida, the most dangerous state in the US for hurricane hits, experienced 9 years without hurricanes. This allowed Florida insurance companies to establish more record capital reserves. However, that good fate may end any time this year, based on the condition of the Mother Nature.

Florida can sleep easier at night, according to Robert Hartwig, Insurance Information Institute President. At last, the insurance industry is financially rock solid.

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Water Loss – Black Water Damage in Florida

When people hear about black water, what enters people’s mind can be backwoods dwelling, swamp land or probably a moonshine barrel. However, when the issue is about  black water damage, then it can be described as the most awful type of water. It destroys both homes and businesses.

Water Loss – Black Water Damage in Florida

Because of unsanitary liquid, black water damage can carry hazardous germs and micro-organism enough to cause filthiness and diseases. The bad thing is that it can occupy the entire property. Most homeowners don’t realize that the stagnant water removed from the flooded area can be the most terrible water.  Obviously, the black water coming from the sewage should be avoided and dried appropriately by the experts.

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Hurricane Preparedness Week

This year 2014, National Hurricane Preparedness Week was May 25 through May 31. It highlights the importance of planning ahead to protect families, homes and communities in advance of the upcoming hurricane season. Hurricane Preparedness Week is a national effort to inform the public about the hurricane hazards and provide knowledge which can be used to prepare and take action.

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week

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Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2011 runs from May 22nd through May 28th.

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Preparedness Week

Hurricane Preparedness Week

History teaches that a lack of hurricane awareness and preparation are common threads among all major hurricane disasters. By knowing your vulnerability and what actions you should take, you can reduce the effects of a hurricane disaster. Hurricane Preparedness Week during 2011 runs from May 22nd through May 28th.

Hurricane season begins June 1st and lasts through November 30th. Hurricanes are dangerous and can result in devastating losses. The following are some helpful tips to help you through this year’s hurricane season.

If you live near the coast, know your evacuation zone and evacuation route.

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Homeownership: Still the American Dream?

 

Homeownership: Still the American Dream?

Buying a house is likely to be a lot different — but could be a lot better — in the years ahead, says Gallup’s chief economist Page: 123 A GMJ Q&A with Dennis Jacobe, Ph.D., Gallup’s chief economistThe mortgage finance system is broken. Housing prices continue to decline. In 2010, nearly 26% of all home sales were foreclosed houses. What’s more, although the number of foreclosures was down in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the previous quarter, it is expected to increase in the months ahead. So does this foretell the end of the so-called American dream of homeownership? In my view, the housing finance system is on life support. Not by a long shot, you might be surprised to know.

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Flood Facts! Protect Your Home & Loved Ones

by DMG Insurance & Financial Services, Inc. on Friday, February 4, 2011 at 2:51pm
Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.

  • Everyone lives in a flood zone. (For more information, visit our Flood Zones FAQs.)
  • Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance. (To find your flood risk, fill out the Flood Risk Profile to the left.)
  • Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property.
  • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
  • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
  • Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
  • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
  • Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
  • If you live in a moderate-to-low risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $129 a year, including coverage for your property’s contents.
  • You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Check the Community Status Book to see if your community is already an NFIP partner.
  • It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the floodwaters start to rise.
  • In a high-risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
  • Last year, about 25% of all claims paid by the NFIP were for policies in moderate-to-low risk communities.
  • The average annual U.S. flood losses in the past 10 years (1994-2004) were more than $2.4 billion.
  • When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discount of up to 45%. Read more about CRS Ratings.
  • Since 1978, the NFIP has paid over $36 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs (as of 3/22/10).
  • Over 5.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 20,500 communities across the U.S.

For more policy and claim statistics, visit the <span>National Flood Insurance Program.</span>

Last Updated: Thursday, 23-Dec-2010, 1:24 PM (EST)

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Disaster Assistance: (800) 621-FEMA, TTY (800) 462-7585

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25 Tips for Smarter Holiday Travel

25 Tips for Smarter Holiday Travel

Published December 20, 2010 | FoxNews.com

Holiday travel is a bit like dental surgery. You likely don’t do it unless you have to, you have to sit for a long time, and eventually you may be subject to some invasive probing. And when it’s all over you get presents, be it a toothbrush from your dentist or, assuming you’ve been good this year, something better than a toothbrush from your loved ones. How else are the two experiences similar? Neither is ever quite as bad as you think it’s going to be. But if you suspect I’m being foolishly optimistic about holiday travel not being torture, here are 25 tips that may make your trip a little jollier.

1. Be flexible with your travel dates when booking holiday fares, says Anne Banas, executive editor of SmarterTravel.com, so that you can “avoid holiday surcharges on peak dates. Surcharges this year cost from $10 to $30 extra each way.”

2. Identify smaller airports near the major ones you ordinarily use “for some great deals,” says Casey Wohl, author of the Girls Getaway Guide.”For example, I found some better deals flying in and out of Sanford, Florida vs. Orlando International, and Sanford is just 30 minutes north of OIA.”

3. Know which airlines are most and least likely to bump you, says Hilary Stockton of Travel Sort. “JetBlue has a policy of not overbooking, so it very rarely denies boarding to passengers, followed by Hawaiian Airlines. The airlines most likely to bump passengers? American Eagle, US Airways, and Continental,” she says, based on analysis of early 2010 data. You’re less likely to get bumped, she says, if you snag a seat assignment early, check in online, and enroll in your airline’s frequent flier program.

4. Know which airlines commonly offer refunds when your airfare drops before the holidays, says Will Aldrich, vice president of TripIt.com.  The top refunders “are Virgin America, Alaska Airlines, JetBlue and Frontier Airlines, each of which has offered refunds in conjunction with over 20% of their flights. The average traveler is saving between $100-$150 when they contact the airline for a refund.”

5. Don’t get jacked by your credit card company if you’re flying overseas, urges travel guide author James Kaiser. “Make sure your credit cards don’t charge a 3% international transaction fee, he says. “Most do, Capital One doesn’t. That 3% fee will add up quick on large purchases like hotels.”

6. Know which airlines are offering free Wi-Fi during the holidays, says Banas, noting that AirTran, Delta, and Virgin America are providing fliers with the free service through January 2.

7. Get a few workouts in before taking off for the holidays, suggests trip wellness specialist Elaine Masters. “Just as an athlete prepares for a marathon, another stress-buster is to get extra cardio in the week to few days before you leave,” even “walking briskly for 30 minutes a day,” she says. “This will help relieve accumulating stress about traveling, boost your immune system, [and will help your] circulation and digestion adjust to being sedentary on long drives and flights.”

8. Arrive at the airport in time for the flight that leaves before the one you’re booked on, says airefarewatchdog founder George Hobica.”If for some reason your scheduled flight or a connecting flight is delayed or canceled, this gives the airline the opportunity, assuming seats are available, to put you on the earlier flight.” When faced with this situation Hobica says “the airline offered me the next-earliest flight” telling him he’d “better hightail it through security because I’m leaving in 15 minutes.”

9. Know ahead of time how early your airline is checking passengers in, says Brooke Spillberg, eCommerce manager at Lonely Planet. “Some airlines have a very early check-in and if you aren’t there on time, they will immediately put you on stand-by even if you paid full price months in advance.”

10. Know how to safeguard your bags at the airport, says Robert Siciliano, CEO of IDTheftSecurity.com. “Whenever at a counter always place bags on the counter or between your legs,” he says, because if the bags are to your left or right “a distraction thief will approach your opposite side and talk to you while their accomplice takes your stuff.”

11. Follow this sequence when placing valuables on the airport x-ray belt. “Shoes and belt in their bin go in first,” suggests Larry Kramer, president, of the Personal Safety Group. “Next your carryon bag, then the laptop bag followed by your” 3-1-1 toiletry bag. “Only let the laptop onto the belt as you are about to step through the metal detector. You don’t need for your laptop to be floating around unattended on the ‘other side’ for longer than necessary.” Also slap on your laptop’s bottom a label with your first initial, last name, and phone number as the laptop won’t be in its case during its belt ride, says Kramer.

12. Stow snow globes in your checked bag, as evidently enough of us try so hard to bring these holiday gems to and from our destinations that the TSA has a rule about not having them in carry-ons. “They are sealed containers full of liquid that would have to be opened and destroyed to test,” explains the TSA.

13. Feel free to bring pies and cakes through airport security this holiday season, though the TSA notes that the baked goods are “subject to additional screening if our officers see any anomalies.”

14. If you have kids, prepare them for the possibility that they may be patted down, assuring them that they will not be separated from you. Likewise, assure little ones that you will be okay if you’re pulled aside for additional screening.

15. Help yourself avoid a pat-down, Banas says, by not wearing “jewelry, belts, or anything with metal, adding that “some belts, even non-metallic [ones], can interfere with the body scanner imaging, so it’s best to keep them off so you won’t get slowed down.”

16. Remove any body piercings before heading through security, because if the metal sets off the detector the TSA reserves the right to have you remove the piercings privately as an alternative to a pat-down. Also keep in mind that bras with under wires and hair barrettes with metal pieces may set off the metal detector, so consider amending your travel outfit accordingly.

17. If you’re picked for a pat-down or body scan, don’t leave your valuables on the x-ray belt, says Sally Treadwell, communications director at www.PeopleClaim.com. “The agent should allow you to either retrieve your belongings or retrieve them for you. On a recent trip to the UK I was very unnerved to find someone huddling over my laptop bin. Nothing was taken, but I sure was glad my pat-down hadn’t lasted any longer.”

18. Thwart carry-on thieves on board the plane by shoving your luggage “in the compartment over the person’s head across from you,” Siciliano says. “This way you can watch it. Otherwise if it is over your head someone can act as if they are getting something out of their luggage when it is yours.”

19. Download white noise or sleep-stream apps onto your iPhone, suggests frequent traveler Lori MacGregor. “I like the white noise setting but plenty of iPhone apps have ocean waves, rustling leaves, etc. that basically just calm the mind and drown out screaming children.”

20. Pamper yourself in flight by placing a small pillow or its equivalent behind your lower back for support, suggests holistic family doctor Tom Potisk, as “aiding the natural curvature of the lower spine in this way will prevent the back pain. To avoid swollen ankles, make sure you stand up and walk every few hours, or at least rotate your feet while sitting, as if drawing a circle with your big toe.”

21. Don’t succumb to “wrap rage” when opening gifts, says Chris Noble, general manager of WorldNomads.com. “It’s easy to laugh at this, but there are a significant amount of injuries related to opening gifts, especially with those notoriously difficult ‘oyster shell’ plastic seal enclosures,” he says. “The Consumer Product Safety Commission made an estimate that 6,500 Americans visited emergency rooms in 2004 with “wrap-rage” related incidents — some requiring serious treatment.”

22. If you’re not going home for the holidays, seek out deals, says Lonely Planet U.S. travel editor Robert Reid, because while “hotels and airfares tend to go up from Dec 23 or 24 through” New Year’s, he says he’s “finding some traditional tourist destinations, like Vegas and Orlando, actually have some reduced fares that week, costing a bit less than they do in mid-December.”

23. Save money on a holiday getaway by considering the type of trip you want rather than thinking about a specific destination or property, says Andrea Mooney, site editor for Cheapflights.com. “Be open to a cruise to anywhere in the Caribbean rather than just to Aruba. Or decide on a ski trip and look at Wyoming, Utah, and Oregon rather than a specific resort in Colorado.”

24. Ski the week before Christmas and save, suggests Stephen Daimler of vacation rental marketplace PackLate.com, who says that upon analyzing rentals in more than 10 resorts out west he found that if you ski the week before December 25 versus anytime through January 1, “there is 50% more availability and the average price of a vacation rental is 25% less.” The average rental price the week after Xmas is $647, he notes. The week before? $493.

25. Adjust your attitude for holiday travel and “keep things in perspective,” says psychologist and author Elizabeth R. Lombardo. “If you have to wait an extra couple hours at the airport because of some unforeseen event, such as bad weather, remind yourself that you are safe and on the ground,” and whether you’re stranded at the airport or in holiday traffic it might help to “ask yourself ‘what is good about my life right here and now?’ Consider the fact that you are going to visit people you love [and] you have the means to travel,” she says, adding that you should “force yourself to come up with at least five positives” in your life.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/12/17/tips-smarter-holiday-travel/

Tropical Storm Targets South Florida

 

System aiming at South Florida becomes Tropical Depression 16; could be Tropical Storm Nicole in hours

by Eliot Kleinberg

The system on a collision course with Florida, arriving as early as this afternoon, became Tropical Depression 16 at 11 a.m. today. At 2 p.m., top sustained winds were near 35 mph, just below tropical storm strength, and the system is expected to become Tropical Storm Nicole later  this afternoon. But the official forecast calls for a 60 percent chance that Palm Beach County never will see tropical storm force winds. And the National Weather Service’s Miami office says there’s a “very low” chance. It says top sustained winds in Palm Beach County will be in the 25 mph to 35 mph range, with gusts up to 45 mph, although it said stronger winds still are possible depending on the system’s path. 

mflwindthreat_smA tropical storm warning is in place from Jupiter Inlet south to the Keys and a tropical storm watch north to Sebastian Inlet as well as for southwest Florida.

Also, a flood watch is set to be posted at 4 p.m. today and run through 2 p.m. Wednesday for Palm Beach County and points south. While heavy rains should start tonight, it’s most likely tropical storm force winds won’t affect Palm Beach County until Wednesday, if ever, the National Weather Service’s Robert Molleda said this morning. As much as 8 inches of rain could fall on South Florida, with the heaviest rains expected south and southeast of Lake Okeechobee, according to water managers at the South Florida Water Management District. They said Broward and Miami-Dade counties likely will see more rain than Palm Beach County. 

The heaviest rains are expected late this afternoon and tonight and then overnight, with a good chance they’ll make Wednesday morning’s commute an unpleasant one. The center of the system was expected to near southeastern Florida by Wednesday afternoon and east of Boynton Beach around 8 p.m. Wednesday. The system should be gone by Thursday morning. National Weather Service forecaster Brad Diehl said. At  2 p.m., the depression’s center was about 370 miles south-southwest of Miami. It was moving north-northeast at 10 mph. 

There's less than a 40 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for PB County There’s a 40 percent chance of tropical storm force winds for PB County 

145212w_sm1With the strongest winds east and south of the system’s center, if it stays right at or near the coast, tropical storm force winds would stay off shore, Molleda – warning coordination meteorologist at the weather service’s Miami office – said this morning. “Since it’s such a disproportionate distribution of wind and rain, if the system tracks offshore, even if it’s by a few miles, that’s the different between getting tropical storm force winds and not getting any at all,” he said. If the storm stays off shore, that also could reduce the projected deluge, Molleda said. But with the storm so close, and its status changing nearly hourly, “we’re walking a big of a tightrope,” he said. 

Assistant Palm Beach County administrator Vince Bonvento said the county does not expect to go into full storm mode but is watching the storm’s progress. He said the county’s final budget meeting still is set to go on at 6 p.m. Palm Beach Schools officials said at midday they’ll decide later today whether the storm will affect schools on Wednesday. The system is forecast to dissolve into a front on Thursday. Post staff writers Christine Stapleton and Jennifer Sorentrue  contributed to this report. 

Four to six inches of rain could fall on Palm Beach County

by Eliot Kleinberg

Four to six inches of rain, perhaps more in spots, could fall across Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast from Tuesday afternoon to late Wednesday as a result of a weather system now in the Caribbean, the National Weather Service said today.

The atmosphere is loaded with water at historic levels, and rain bands could drop 2 to 4 inches over an area in as many hours, meteorologist Dan Gregoria said today from the weather service’s Miami office.

The heaviest rain will be from Tuesday night through Wednesday afternoon.

A flood watch might be issued early Wednesday for coastal urban areas.

Rainfall could be a little less pronounced along the Treasure Coast, but the threat also extends inland over Lake Okeechobee and west to the Gulf of Mexico, Gregoria said.

“We are concerned about heavy rain in a short time,” he said.

And it might not be the end. One to two more waves of saturated atmosphere might move through later in the week.

Thunder and lightning will be isolated, there’s a minimal tornado threat, and whether strong winds accompany the deluge will depend on whether the system develops tropical characteristics before moving over the peninsula, Gregoria said.

The National Hurricane Center’s 2 p.m. tropical weather outlook upped to 40 percent the chance the storm will do just that, and become a tropical depression or Tropical Storm Nicole, by Wednesday afternoon.

A National Science Foundation jet that flew into the system found it did not yet have a well-defined center of circulation, but conditions are favorable for more development, the outlook said.

The outlook mentioned two other systems way out in the Atlantic, but chances were low either will develop into anything in the next 48 hours.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 27th, 2010 at 2:12 pm and is filed under 2010 season storms, Developing storms, Nicole, Season forecasts, South Florida weather. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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