The growing use of drones by consumers across the U.S. is leading to the adoption of new rules and restrictions by not only government, but also private organizations such as community associations. Questions regarding safety, property damage, and privacy abound with drones, and associations are responding by establishing clear parameters for their use by unit owners.
Can associations prohibit drones from flying over their property? If a drone operated by an owner or a business falls on another owner’s car, will the board be liable for the damage? Should boards themselves use drones to patrol common areas and spot rule violations? If they do, how should they manage the information and images they collect? How will boards balance the privacy concerns of owners and the desire of others to operate drones and/or have them deliver pizzas and packages to their homes?
These are just some of the questions boards will have to address. While it is too soon to offer definitive answers, a few preliminary observations may help frame the issues.
- Boards have the authority to adopt rules banning drones in common areas, and some association attorneys think they should do so proactively. Their concern: Boards that don’t control drones now may lose the ability to do so if federal or state laws or regulations broadly permit their operation.
- Instead of banning drones entirely, which will upset some owners, boards could consider regulations limiting their size or specifying where and when they can land in common areas. Although associations can’t ban the ownership of drones, they can prohibit drones from flying within a specified distance of owners’ units or require drone operators to obtain permission from residents before photographing them or their property.
- The liability concerns surrounding drones will be large and complicated. Insurance companies are just beginning to evaluate the risks and opportunities in this emerging market. Boards should check with their insurance agents to determine what their existing policies cover and what additional coverages they may need.
- Even if boards aren’t yet ready to act, they should start discussing policies, procedures and regulations governing drones before they begin fielding the inevitable questions, complaints and law suits related to them. Two years ago, we would have said that drones are coming. Today, we have to say, they’re here. The challenge for community associations is finding ways to live with them.
If an association concludes that it wishes to permit the operation of drones in the community, it should consider the adoption of rules and restrictions to help ensure safety. These include the establishment of designated take-off/landing sites, restricting their use to daylight hours, developing penalties for violations, and clarifying that the association is not liable for any property damage caused by these aircraft. Additionally, the association board or management should consult with its insurance agent or consultant to confirm that it is adequately insured with regard to the risks that may be presented as a result of the use of drones at the property governed by the association.
NAPLES, FL (June 18, 2018) – Gulfshore Insurance Inc., a leading insurance agency in Florida, recently hosted a fundraising event benefitting Avow. The fundraising event, Soak the Sales Team, raised over $8,000 in three short weeks.
Throughout the fundraiser, each client advisor had a donation jar set up in the office for associates and clients to contribute towards. The client advisor with the most money raised at the end of the event got drenched in ice cold water by their support team. On the day of the event, associates, clients, carriers, and members from Avow gathered at Gulfshore Insurance to greet the lucky winner and hear the total funds raised.
Kim Ovaitte, Senior Vice President of Commercial Marketing at Gulfshore Insurance and the Avow liaison for Gulfshore Insurance, delivered an important message: “We are proud to support Avow. It’s heartwarming to see the amount of support we received in such a short amount of time. Avow is an organization that is close to my heart and I’m so happy to be able to present them with this check.”
At Gulfshore Insurance, four charities are chosen annually to be supported through the Gulfshore Insurance Humanitarian Foundation “Helping Hearts, Helping Hands”. The humanitarian philosophy is based upon a belief that a successful organization has a genuine responsibility to contribute to the overall well-being of the community, and that a strong and vibrant community is a great place to do business. This year’s charities include American Cancer Society, Avow, Humane Society Naples, and St. Matthew’s House.
About Gulfshore Insurance
Gulfshore Insurance is a privately held independent insurance agency based in Naples, Florida. Founded in 1970, the agency provides professional risk management and insurance coverage to businesses and individuals. Gulfshore Insurance combines the best characteristics of local agencies with the expertise of national brokers. Their associates in Naples, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Marco Island, and Sarasota advise more than 10,000 clients throughout the state. To learn more, please visit www.GulfshoreInsurance.com.
As we see time and time again, no home is completely safe from the risk of flooding. Flood insurance can be the difference between recovering or being financially devastated. Just one inch of water in a home can cost more than $25,000 in damage—why risk it?
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
- FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
- FACT: More than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.
- FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
- FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don’t need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could, and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA — and you don’t have to pay it back.
It’s easy to see that having flood insurance provides important recovery help. The most common flood insurance is offered through the federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) with options for your home only or home and contents.
- The maximum available coverage limit for the dwelling is $250,000.
- The maximum available coverage limit for contents in your home is $100,000
What if you need more than $250,000 worth of coverage for your home or more than $100,000 of coverage for your contents? Excess Flood insurance is available through private companies.
Federal Flood Insurance – What is Covered vs. What is Not
What Qualifies as a Flood?
Water has to cover at least 2 acres of land that’s normally dry, or has to have damaged two or more properties (one being your home). Also, the water has to come from:
- Overflowing inland or tidal waters
- Unusual, rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Mudflow (that’s mud carried by a flow of water, creating a river of mud)
- You’re also covered when shorefront land collapses or sinks due to waters above “anticipated cyclical levels.”
*Water and seepage that comes from sewer or drain backups, or a sump pump that overflows is not considered a flood. Wind driven rain is not covered.
Please do not wait for an impending storm to purchase federal flood insurance. There’s usually a 30-day waiting period. Some private policies offer a 15-day waiting period.
General industry and maritime employers making good-faith efforts to comply with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s silica regulation could avoid citations during the first 30 days after the agency begins enforcing the rule.
The Occupational Exposure to Respirable Crystalline Silica rule reduces the permissible exposure limit for crystalline silica over an eight-hour shift to 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air for the construction industry, one-fifth of the previous maximum, as well as for general industry and the maritime industry at half of the previous maximum.
Most of the provisions of the general industry and maritime silica standard will become enforceable on June 23.
“During the first 30 days of enforcement, OSHA will assist employers that are making good-faith efforts to meet the new standard’s requirements,” Galen Blanton, acting deputy assistant secretary for OSHA, said in a memorandum released Friday. “If upon inspection it appears an employer is not making any efforts to comply, compliance officers should conduct air monitoring in accordance with agency procedures and consider citations for noncompliance with any applicable sections of the new standard. Any proposed citations related to inspections conducted in this 30-day time period will require National Office review prior to issuance.”
NAPLES, FL (May 15, 2018) – Katrina Varela, Communications Specialist at Gulfshore Insurance, recently graduated from the Growing Associates In Naples™ (GAIN™) program, which is run by the Greater Naples Chamber of Commerce. This distinguished program is specifically designed for emerging leaders and professionals in Collier County. Varela spent nine weeks learning about local government, charitable organizations, arts, commerce, law enforcement, tourism, education, and other county resources.
“We are so proud of Katrina and her willingness to take on new challenges as a part of Gulfshore Insurance and a contributing professional in the community,” said Michelle Gleeson, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Gulfshore Insurance. “Katrina really embraced the time and effort it takes to successfully complete this program.”
Being a native to Naples, Varela went through the youth version of GAIN™, Youth Leadership Collier™ (YLC™), when she was a junior in high school. “I’m very lucky to have been able to experience both programs. YLC™ showed me all the opportunities that Collier County had to offer and GAIN™ showed me how I could help strengthen and become more involved in our community.”
Varela joined Gulfshore Insurance in 2015 and assists in executing strategic brand management and marketing plans for the agency. Her experience includes creative design, brand marketing, and communications. Katrina received a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations and holds two minors in Marketing and Global Communications from Florida International University. She is the Programming Chair for Youth Leadership Collier™, President of the Gulfshore Insurance Humanitarian Foundation, an active member of Naples Junior Women’s Club, and volunteers with Freedom Waters Foundation.