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Property insurance

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.

Talking about “average” costs of insurance makes things simple, not necessarily helpful

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) issued its latest national report on property insurance costs this week, and you’ll likely be seeing news stories about how Florida homeowners pay more than double the national average for homeowners insurance.

9 years without a hurricane, yet Florida still #1 for catastrophe losses

Hurricane Bill 2009

Hurricane Bill, a Category 4 storm, completely missed Florida in August 2009. Satellite image courtesy NASA Earth Observatory.

In many ranking situations, being #1 is a good thing. Except this: After nine years without a hurricane hitting Florida, our state still ranks tops for catastrophe losses. Time has not changed that. It has, however, shrunk the margin between first and second place. Granted, this is not much consolation.

The stink’s on you without sewer back-up coverage

Sewer manhole cover

Always get the sewer backup coverage and learn how to protect your home from water damage.

Even if you don’t live anywhere near a pond, lake or the ocean, you can get water backing up into your house — from a sewer. This type of damage is typically excluded from a standard homeowners policy; it requires a separate endorsement.

It’s not a pretty picture to have a toilet backup. Not pretty at all, especially if the backup spills past the bathroom, down the hallway for several feet and seeps over your hardwood floors. What’s even uglier is finding out you neglected to buy sewer backup coverage.

California earthquake shows importance of exercising insurance options

SACRAMENTO, CA — By now, you’ve heard there’s been a 6.0 earthquake in California, the first major quake in more than 20 years. The intensity rivaled past California quakes. I arrived in Napa on Monday afternoon, the day after the quake rattled buildings and nerves. My role here is to help spur recovery by being a resource to answer questions about the claims process and help people understand how their insurance works.

Definition of sanity means repeating hurricane season prep

Preparing for natural disasters is an activity that bears repeating.

It’s Hurricane Season, and here’s the drill:

Newspapers print their hurricane guides.
TV stations develop specials on preparedness.
County emergency managers host hurricane expos.
The director of the National Hurricane Center says Floridians are not well prepared.

Blah, blah, blah. Every year, it’s the same thing, and most people react by doing…nothing. Until the last minute, of course, when a storm is barreling down too close to home, and there’s that crazy, mad rush to the grocery store.