Naples-Ft Myers home inspections starting at $175.
Monday Mar 18, 2019 3:59 pm

Wind Mitigations starting at $79.

  Naples, Marco Island,Golden Gate Estates,Bonita Springs,Estero,Ft. Myers wind mitigations

$79.00– Naples,Marco Island,Golden Gate,Bonita Springs,Estero

$95.00– Ft Myers,Cape Coral,Lehigh Acres

****Include a Four Point Inspection for $100.00 extra



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Call Inspector Bill at (239)-200-3313


Windstorm for dummies

Question: Why isn’t windstorm coverage part of my regular homeowner’s policy?

Answer: Most homeowners policies contain windstorm coverage. Some policies do not. In Florida, people who live in an area designated as high-risk get their windstorm coverage from Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state insurer of last resort. They get the rest of their homeowners coverage from a private insurer. The high-risk area in Palm Beach County is east of Alternate A1A in north county and east of Interstate 95 in central and south county. In St. Lucie County, Hutchinson Island is a high-risk area. No areas of Martin County are designated high-risk, not because they aren’t susceptible to hurricanes, as we learned when Frances and Jeanne made landfall in Sewall’s Point, but because the state cannot declare any more areas “high-risk” even if they are. (See explanation below.) Florida law allows private insurance companies to just write fire and theft in the high-risk area. In the rest of the state, insurers must write the full homeowners policy, including windstorm, or write nothing at all.


Q: And as we learned from Wilma, a storm can come from the west coast. Who decided that east of I-95 or Alternate A1A is high risk?


A: Florida has always had a high-risk area. Before Hurricane Andrew, it consisted of the Keys and some barrier islands. In the years after Andrew, the high-risk area expanded to include most of the Florida coastline. Communities would petition the then-Department of Insurance, asking it to include their community in the high-risk area. They did this because they were having trouble finding private insurance companies to cover their homes. In 2002, the legislature capped the high-risk area by saying the boundaries could not expand any more. So the line stopped where it was in 2002.


Q: What exactly is Citizens?


A: Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is a state-run insurance company. It insures all the houses, apartments, condos, mobile homes and other buildings that no private insurance company will take. Property ends up in Citizens when it has nowhere else to go.


Citizens was created by the Florida Legislature in 2002, but Florida has had property insurers of last resort since before Hurricane Andrew struck. Citizens was created by combining two existing state-run property insurers, the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association and the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association.


Q: Who has to have Citizens?


A: Right now Citizens has about 815,000 policies. It insures a variety of property including houses, apartments, condos, office buildings and mobile homes.


In Palm Beach County, people in the high-risk area buy their windstorm coverage from Citizens. But some people living outside the high-risk area are insured by Citizens, too. These are people who cannot buy insurance on the private market for some reason, whether because of the age of their home, its location or its condition. With more and more insurers pulling back in Florida, more people living outside the high-risk areas are finding it hard to buy private insurance. Because they live outside the high-risk area, these people must buy all of their homeowners coverage from Citizens including windstorm, fire and theft.


Q: Do people have to have windstorm insurance? What about condo owners?


A: Both home and condo owners must have homeowners insurance, including windstorm coverage, if they have a mortgage. Lenders require it.


Q: Is there any way around having windstorm insurance?


A: People who pay off their mortgages can choose to self-insure, which means going without insurance.


Q: Given high deductibles, would it make sense to pay off my mortgage and self- insure? At what point does windstorm coverage — particularly Citizens — become so expensive that it’s a better gamble to just drop windstorm?


A: People who pay off their mortgages can self-insure but should do a lot of research first. Steve Pomeranz, owner of Pomeranz Financial Management in Boca Raton, advises against self-insuring, saying that insurance provides protection against devastating damage, like a fire or a strong hurricane.


He said if people feel they’re getting socked with high premiums, they should raise their deductible. This will lower the premium and allow them to sock away money to cover any damage beneath their higher deductible and they’ll still have insurance to cover truly devastating damage. State law requires all insurers to offer deductibles of 2 percent, 5 percent and 10 percent.


Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said if people are going to self-insure they need to carefully examine the risks. How close is the house to the ocean and what kind of damage did similar houses sustain in hurricanes? Does a structural engineer think it can withstand a serious storm? How much is the premium and what would happen if the house were destroyed?


Q: If my windstorm insurer pulls out, should I shop around for other insurance or contact Citizens?


A: Do not go straight to Citizens. First, go to your current insurance agent to see if he can place you with another insurer. If he tells you your only option is Citizens, call up two or three more agents and see if they can write you a new policy.


Homeowners can also see which insurance companies are writing in their areas. Go to the Florida Market Assistance Plan Web site at Register and use the search function to find insurance companies writing where you live. People without computers can call the plan’s hotline at (800) 524-9023 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.


Q: We will probably keep getting slammed by storms. Can they keep jacking up my rates?


A: Experts say it’s likely that insurance rates will keep rising. Companies that were surprised by the multiple storms that hit Florida in 2004 and 2005 are revising their risk models to account for having more than one storm in a season. Also, the price of reinsurance, or insurance for insurance companies, is climbing fast and insurance companies will want to pass that cost onto their customers.


The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approves or denies any rate changes. The office requires that rates not be excessive, inadequate or unfairly discriminatory. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has said he doesn’t expect insurance rates to drop any time soon.


Q: Is there anything I can do to lower my bill with Citizens? Other windstorm carriers?


A: Most insurers, including Citizens, offer discounts for improving your home and protecting it against hurricane damage. Things like hurricane shutters or roof improvements can save homeowners money. Contact your insurer to find out more. You can also contact the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes for more information on how to protect your home from damage. Visit or call (877) 221-7233.


Q: We keep hearing about rates going up for people who have Citizens. Aren’t the rest of us in the same bind?


A: Most private insurance companies have been seeking double-digit rate increases since Hurricane Wilma struck. The rate hikes requested by insurers have ranged from as small as 8 percent to as large as 92 percent. While Citizens is required by law to have the highest rates, people insured by other companies are also seeing their premiums climb.


Q: Why is Citizens more expensive than other forms of windstorm insurance?


A: Citizens is required by law to have rates that do not compete with those of Florida’s private insurance companies. It calculates those rates by looking at the rates of the top 20 insurers in the state and making sure its rates are higher. Citizens recently asked for an average 16.9 percent rate hike to comply with this requirement. It began collecting that higher rate in March.


In 2005, the legislature passed a law requiring that Citizens rates be high enough to adequately cover the risk of the properties it insures. So late last year, Citizens filed for an average 45 percent rate hike to ensure that its rates are based on risk. Regulators are still examining it.


Q: Which homes are considered “high risk”?


A: All homes in the high-risk area — noted above — have been designated high-risk by the state. Insurance companies also consider other homes to be more risky. These include older homes, homes built before tough new building codes were in place, wood-frame homes or homes in risky locations. Insurance companies have models that help them determine what makes a risky home.


Q: My home was built in 1950 (or 1920) and has withstood plenty of storms. It’s solid as a rock. Why don’t I get a discount?


A: Most insurance companies consider older homes to be riskier, partly because they often have older wiring and plumbing and partly because they were constructed before tough building codes were in place. Talk to your agent to see if improvements on your house might bring your insurance rates down. Homes near water are also considered more risky. In future rate hikes Citizens plans to apply credits for newer homes and surcharges for homes 21 years and older..


Home Wind Mitigations

 Naples,Marco Island,Golden Gate,Bonita Springs $79- Ft Myers,Cape Coral,Lehigh Acres $95