6 Steps to Reduce Your Risks when Entertaining

Reducing Risks when Entertaining - W3ins.co,Tis’ the season for entertaining! The fall season begins a slew of gatherings with friends and family. Unfortunately, it can also open you up to risks. As a homeowner, you are responsible for anyone on your property, invited or not. Injuries that could be caused due to your negligence will put you and your family at risk. Your homeowners policy does protect you from liability, but only up to a certain dollar amount. Additional insurance can and should be purchased to offer more protection.

Steps To Take To Reduce Risk

Mitigating risk is something we talk about a lot in the insurance industry. It’s important to know your risks and how to reduce them. While accidents do happen, there are certain things you can do to help lessen them. Here are five ways to help your party goes off without a hitch (or claim).

  1. Check your home for possible safety hazards. Before guests arrive, do a walk-through of your entire property and look for potential hazards. Do you have a step on your porch that is hard to see? Consider adding more light in that area to help light the way. Maybe you had left a garden hose out in the yard where a guest taking a short cut might trip. Make sure all tripping hazards are put away. What about guest seating? Do you have a piece of furniture that you’ve been meaning to get fixed? Bring that item to the garage or other out-of-the-way area to ensure that it is not used. As a homeowner, it‘s your responsibility to provide a safe environment for your guests.
  2. Hire a professional bartender to serve alcohol. Professional bartenders are relatively inexpensive and often carry their own liquor liability. They have been trained to spot when someone has had too much to drink. They know when to stop serving and inform the host of concerning situations. Be aware that larger events that will need to have event insurance as homeowners insurance will likely not cover personal liability. Special Events Coverage through your insurance agent. This coverage provides General Liability coverage for events over one day in duration, up to 100 attendees, such as weddings or New Year’s Eve parties at your home.
  3. Offer Taxi or Uber rides for your guests. Serving alcohol opens you to a whole host of liability. Your guests driving home while under the influence is a big no-no. Having the number handy of several taxi or Uber drivers will help keep your guests safe. Consider having everyone put their keys in a bowl and attach a card with the taxi phone number right to their car keys.
  4. Have plenty of food and water available for guests. Staying hydrated throughout the day/night will help your guests more than you think. Stage several areas throughout your home for easy access to non-alcoholic beverages. Water, lemonade, and seasonal hot cider are all good choices.
  5. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy limits and restrictions. Umbrella polices that offer additional coverage/higher limits and special event insurance are the best ways to help mitigate your risk. There are many instances where your homeowners insurance will not cover you at all if an accident occurs because of a party on your premise. It’s important to establish a good relationship with your insurance agent and to verify if additional coverage is needed for a special event.

Please contact your Personal Insurance Advisor if you have any questions about your homeowners policy.

Wind Mitigation Credits and Your Home Insurance

Are You Taking Advantage of Wind Mitigation Credits?

Wind Mitigation Credits and Your Home InsuranceThe State of Florida requires insurance companies to offer discounts for protecting your home against damage caused by windstorms.  These discounts are known as Wind Mitigation Credits and are offered after a certified inspection is done to your home. Unlike some home inspections, like a four-point inspection, this one is not mandated by your insurance company or your lender and is completely optional. However, most wind mitigation inspections result in savings that at least cover the cost of the inspection in the first year, so why not? It is important to note that you will never be penalized for not having these safety features. Your insurance premiums can only go down, not up.

What Does a Wind Mitigation Inspection Include?

An inspector will come to your home and look for specific factors that would make your home more resilient to a windstorm. Specifically, they will be looking at your roof and home openings such as doors and windows. Florida wind mitigation inspectors examine these key safety features:

  • Roof Shape
  • Roof Bracing of Gable End
  • Roof Deck Attachment
  • Roof Covering
  • Roof-to-Wall Connections
  • Secondary Water Resistance
  • Doors
  • Protection of Openings (windows and other openings)

These features will be evaluated to determine how wind resilient your home is with it’s current features. All Florida homes built after 2002 were constructed to certain safety codes that will likely result in a savings to you. If your roof has not been replaced after 2002 but was built after 1974, we still recommend having a wind mitigation inspection. Based on how it was constructed, there are some features of the roof that you may still qualify for discounts.

There are a few cost-effective measures you can take to safeguard your home and reduce your hurricane-wind premium. A few examples would be securing your roof with hurricane clips or wraps and hurricane protecting your windows, doors and other openings to your home. To qualify for the opening protection credit, all window and openings must be protected by wind impact resistant glass. This also includes a hurricane resistant garage door.

Cost vs. The Savings

A wind mitigation report will cost, on average, $75.00. However, with minimal wind mitigation features in place, the inspection will pay for itself in the first year. Credits can go up to the maximum savings of 88% off the hurricane/wind premium.

Good to Note

This credit is good for five years. After that time, a new inspection will be required to make sure that you still qualify for these credits based on the new forms submitted by the Office of Insurance Regulation.

Please contact your WWW Personal Insurance Advisor to discuss Wind Mitigation Credits & find out if you could benefit from the inspection.


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6 Ways to Protect Your Home During Vacation

Protect your home and relax.

A safe home, will leave your vacation worry free.

Florida! The land of vacation destinations! Going on vacation is a great way to relax and take your mind off the daily grind. Don’t let the excitement of an upcoming trip prevent you from securing your home against burglars. Consider the following tips:

  1. Make sure all outdoor lighting works properly. Replace any batteries or bulbs if needed.
  2. Have a friend, family member or neighbor check on the house often and collect mail. Also consider having someone mow your lawn, if necessary.
  3. Place automatic timers on your lights and set them for different times in different rooms. This will give the impression that you are home and doing things in those rooms. Also consider setting a radio to a timer so that thieves are deterred by voices in the home.
  4. Do not leave your valuables such as jewelry, art work or electronics sitting out in plain view. Hide these items in inconspicuous places such as old laundry detergent boxes.
  5. Take a photo inventory of each room of the house before you leave in case there is a loss.
  6. Try not to be too specific when posting about your upcoming trip on social media sites. Exact details will give criminals plenty of information about the perfect time to break in. Resist the urge to “check in” to your vacation destination. Nothing says your not home like a check in from miles away. (This is also a good tip for anytime you are out of the house.)

As always, check to make sure your homeowners insurance coverage is up-to-date before the trip. Contact you W3 advisor if you have any questions about your homeowners insurance.

National Flood Insurance Program vs. Private Flood Markets

INational Flood Insurance Program vs. Private Flood Marketsf you are like many other Floridians, the cost of flood insurance is always on your mind. Coastal areas of Florida already face high flood insurance premiums, but with more increases on the horizon, it helps to have a trusted advisor there to answer questions.

We encourage our flood policyholders to renew without a lapse in coverage. Once a policyholder leaves the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), there is a 30-day wait to return. In addition, if you considered leaving the NFIP to be rewritten with an insurance company that is not a recognized NFIP insurance company, your status with the NFIP is broken. For instance, if you went to a UK market for flood insurance this year and later  wanted to return to the NFIP program, your flood insurance premium would be based on current actuarial rates and any revised flood maps would be used. This could result in a drastic premium change for the policyholder. Not all Private Flood Insurance markets are equal. It is important to review the policy forms since private flood insurance policies are not guaranteed to renew like the NFIP. Finally, the lender does not always accept private flood insurance.

Speak to one of our Personal Insurance Advisors to learn more about what is right for you and your home. Call us today at 727-522-7777.

 

Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

In recognition of Hurricane Awareness there will be a tax free day on certain sale items. The sale this years runs from May 31st to June 8th. Here are some of the items that will be on sale:

Selling for $10 or less:

  • Reusable ice (reusable ice packs)

Selling for $20 or less:Hurricane Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday

  • Any portable self-powered light source
  • Battery-powered flashlights
  • Battery-powered lanterns
  • Gas-powered lanterns (including propane, kerosene, lamp oil, or similar fuel)
  • Tiki-type torches
  • Candles

Selling for $25 or less:

  • Any gas or diesel fuel container (including LP gas and kerosene containers)

Selling for $30 or less:

  • Batteries, including rechargeable batteries and excluding automobile and boat batteries (listed sizes only)
  • AA-cell
  • C-cell
  • D-cell
  • 6-volt
  • 9-volt
  • Coolers (food-storage; nonelectrical)
  • Ice chests (food-storage; nonelectrical)
  • Self-contained first-aid kit (already tax-exempt

Selling for $50 or less:

  • Tarpaulins (tarps)
  • Visqueen, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible waterproof sheeting
  • Ground anchor systems
  • Tie-down kits
  • Bungee cords
  • Ratchet straps
  • Radios (self-powered or battery-powered)
  • Two-way radios (self-powered or battery- powered)
  • Weather band radios (self-powered or
  • battery-powered)

Selling for $750 or less:

Portable generators that will be used to provide light, communications, or to preserve food in the event of a power outage

Note: Eligible battery-powered or gas-powered light sources and portable self-powered radios qualify for the exemption even though they may have electrical cords.

Information provided by the Florida Department of Revenue. http://dor.myflorida.com/dor/tips/tip14a01-03.pdf

 


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