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Homeowners+Renters

Coverage B: Don’t be fenced in

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There are six parts to a homeowner’s insurance policy. Most people understand that Coverage A insures against damage to the structure itself. Coverage B offers insurance protection for detached structures, such as a garage, storage shed, swimming pool and the backyard fence. For no extra charge, almost every policy extends coverage to other structures on the property by 10 percent of the amount for which the home is insured. Is the 10 percent sufficient for your situation?

Flood Insurance Premiums

Rainy season is here, and parts of Florida know it all too well as some areas experienced heavy rainfall in the past 24 hours – with more on the way, almost daily. And, that reminds me that my flood insurance premium is due.

Renewing flood insurance coverage should be a no-brainer for those living anywhere near a body of water.

An inside view of flood damage

You’ve probably seen numerous dramatic photos of the recent flooding in Texas. Cars underwater, buckled roads, smashed houses. The photo below is what it looks like when the water recedes and a home doesn’t wash away. If you ignore the piles of soggy carpet, limp drywall and damp possessions awaiting the trash man at the curb, the homes look fine on the outside. On the inside, it’s a mess.

I was in Houston last week, helping share information on disaster recovery. In a flooded neighborhood along one of the bayous, home after home was deep into the drying out process. It’s a shared experience none of them wanted, and several of them had been through it before. Tropical Storm Allison affected the same neighborhood in 2001. Interestingly, I saw only one home that was elevated more than a few inches. There likely were more, but this one stood out because it stood UP high and dry above the others, at least 3 feet.

Houston homeowners who had flood damage are learning about an ordinance that requires them to elevate their homes if their damage exceeds 50 percent of the structure’s market value. This is something that Floridians need to think about, too. Do you have enough insurance to rebuild after disaster, taking your local ordinances into account? Don’t wonder about it. Be sure! Call your insurance professional to ask about your law and ordinance coverage.

Spring into home maintenance

“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” is an adage that is all wrong for home maintenance. By the time something breaks, you could be in hot water—or without hot water if it happens to be your water heater that breaks.

Cold weather haters: Unite against freezing pipes!

We don’t do “cold” very well in Florida. It’s an unfamiliar occurrence, for which we are grateful. However, cold temps are predicted for many parts of the state in the coming days, and you’ll want to heat up your knowledge on surviving the chill.

Coverage for rings and other bling

Somewhere in the parking lot of the Albertson’s on Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa was the small, dazzling red ruby that had gone missing from my ring. At least, I think that’s where it landed. I searched all over and came up empty handed, in more ways than one. Both the stone and setting had been knocked off, probably while I was juggling groceries, a broken tailgate on the station wagon and two young children. (This was a long time ago; those kids are adults and the grocery store is gone, so don’t go a-lookin’.)