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PRS Steps to Take After a HurricaneAfter a hurricane hits, it’s important that you keep your safety in mind before you begin assessing the damage that was done to your property. Pay attention to local officials for information and special instructions. Once confirmed that it is safe to return to your home, keep the following in mind as you begin the recovery process.

Upon return, it is important to survey the property for damage. Do not turn on electrical power until you have inspected the property and evaluated all possible risks. Check for damage inside and outside the property, and document any property damage with photographs, inclusive of your contents. Keep a journal of these damages and report them to your insurance company as soon as you can. Provide a general description of the damage and have your policy number handy if possible.

If your home has sustained damage, it is never a good idea to repair it yourself. However, there are a few things you can do until a professional is able to fix the problem. Remember, do not proceed with permanent repairs or remove debris until the insurance adjuster has had the opportunity to inspect the resulting damages. Save all of your receipts as the insurance company will ask for them at a later date.

  • Cover damaged roofs with tarps.
  • Cover broken windows with plywood or plastic.
  • Use lumber or 4-by-4s to brace sagging ceilings. Remove any wet insulation.
  • If possible, restore your air conditioning systems or run fans to prevent mold.
  • If mold has already started to grow, clean it up with a mixture of bleach and water.


For decades, Gulfshore Insurance has helped our clients manage the aftermath of devastating hurricanes. We have taken extra steps to ensure we will be there for you following a hurricane or other natural disaster.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

PRS Realtor Insight Addressing Hurricane Season Insurance ConcernsHurricane Season can be a time of turmoil for property owners and real estate professionals alike. The short-term effects of a hurricane can occur both before and after a storm.

Before a Hurricane

Between June 1st and November 30th, Florida enters Hurricane Season, and real estate professionals should be aware of possible restrictions regarding securing insurance for a home purchase. If there is a named storm (typically a Tropical Storm, Hurricane Watch, or Warning) that develops and is threatening our area, most insurers will temporarily close for new policies until the threat passes.  In other words, a buyer won’t be able to obtain insurance. This has the potential to impact a home’s closing. If the buyer is financing the home purchase, their lender typically won’t grant a loan commitment without homeowner’s insurance. To prevent this, it is critical to advise buyers to look into securing their insurance as soon as possible, and before the closing date. Buyers should contact their insurance agent and purchase a policy as early as possible during Hurricane Season.

In addition, standard homeowners’ policies typically exclude the peril of flood. All properties are located in a flood zone.  Realtors should advise buyers to seek guidance from a local insurance advisor to perform a flood zone determination and confirm if the property is located within a Special Flood Hazard Area.

Recently, there have been numerous legislative and rate changes for flood policies by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Most recently, FEMA implemented Risk Rating 2.0 thereby transforming a pricing methodology that had not been updated in 50 years. As of April of this year, all policies are now subject to the new rating methodology. Current NFIP rates are not grandfathered in; however, if a buyer confirms the seller has an existing NFIP flood policy, a new policy can be written using the seller’s Glide Path. The seller will need to provide a copy of their current policy Declarations page; the minimum information needed includes the flood insurance carrier, policy number, expiration date, and original policy date. We recommend confirming the seller has a flood insurance policy in place through the NFIP and obtaining a copy of that policy which will enable the buyer to obtain preferred pricing for their new flood policy. If the seller does not have a flood policy in place, in addition to coverage through the NFIP, new home buyers can purchase their coverage through Private Flood markets which have been competitive for a good number of property owners in our area.

Even policy information from the seller for the property may not always be reliable due to flood zone changes and rating errors. It is best to consult an experienced Florida insurance professional at the very start of the due diligence process with any property, to get an accurate flood insurance quote and explanation of flood zones.

After a Hurricane

Insurance carriers carefully review properties for prior losses and open claims and will inspect homes after a new policy is placed, as well as spot-check the home over the life of the policy. In most cases, homes with existing damage are uninsurable if repairs are not made prior to the home closing or in a timely manner following the closing. All insurance carriers will require photos of the affected damaged areas, contractor receipts, and any applicable permits to show that the repairs have been completed.  It is not uncommon for insurance carriers to cancel coverage if issues are discovered that were not disclosed on the application. It is important to understand that overall, it is very challenging to bind a new policy for a home that has an open hurricane claim.

Following a catastrophic hurricane or other natural disaster, insurance companies may struggle to keep up with higher-than-expected losses, and subsequently, homeowners may see increases in rates. Average home insurance rates have risen in every state in the last decade, mainly due to natural disasters, and Florida’s average rate is the highest in the nation. Florida tends to have most of its damage caused by hurricanes, such as Hurricane Irma, which hit the state in September 2017 and caused $11.1 billion worth of damage, with the vast majority of that to homes.

No area in the country, or arguably the world, has a stretch of coastline as expansive and hurricane-prone as Florida. This susceptibility to hurricanes puts homeowners and insurance companies in a risky situation. Real estate professionals should always advise homeowners to seek the advice of a local insurance agent on coverages needed. Just as insurance companies have different contracts by state, the contracts can also vary greatly within a state. A local agent will be able to help navigate through these differences and identify the bigger gaps in coverage/contracts.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

PRS Evaluating Insurance Options for Proper Coverage Over Price 2Shopping around and reviewing homeowners’ insurance quotes from multiple agencies may help you find the most competitive rate; however, that may result in you paying a worse price in terms of the loss of proper coverage.

When shopping for insurance, it’s worth taking the time to consider your coverage options and determine the proper amount of insurance needed for your home and assets. Studies show that nearly 60% of homeowners in the U.S. — that’s two out of every three — are underinsured by at least 18%. This means that if there is a total loss, such as a fire, you may find yourself responsible for a significant portion of the rebuilding cost.

In addition, for high-value homes, coverage provided by standard carriers rarely provides the level of adequate protection needed. It’s important to work with premier insurers who understand the unique needs of exceptional homes. Gulfshore Insurance represents the top-rated insurance companies that specialize in insurance protection for successful individuals and families, including AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault. These companies offer the broadest coverage options and most specialized services in the marketplace.

Below are several best practices to consider for proper overall protection:

  • Dwelling coverage with adequate cost to rebuild based on today’s construction costs.
  • Other Structures coverage sufficient to cover the pool, hot tub, and hardscape surrounding the home.
  • Personal Property 40% to 50% of Dwelling coverage limit.
  • Loss of Use 10% to 20% of the Dwelling coverage limit.
  • At least $300,000 to $500,000 in Liability coverage, as well as Excess Liability/Umbrella coverage.
  • Flood Insurance is essential, even for homes located in the X (Non-Special Hazard) Zone.
  • Second layer Flood Insurance to properly insure the home to value against the peril of Flood.
  • Sinkhole coverage.
  • Appropriate Water Backup coverage.
  • Equipment Breakdown or Home Systems Protection of at least $100,000.
  • Fraud & Cyber coverage.
  • Trusts or other ownership entities properly referenced on the policy as Additional Insureds.
  • For Hurricane Deductibles, 2% (percentage of Dwelling limit), but no more than 5%.
  • All Other Perils Deductible of $5,000 or $10,000.


Working with an insurance advisor to navigate your home valuation considerations will help eliminate confusion and help ensure an appropriate settlement in the event of a loss. We recommend speaking with your personal risk advisor regarding the appropriate amount of coverage for your home and the best way to structure your policy. A trusted advisor can help you consider options from various insurance companies so you can make an educated decision not only on the overall cost of your program, but also on the total protection of your home and assets. At Gulfshore Insurance, we work diligently on our clients’ behalf to secure the most competitive options.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Rising Prices The Potential Impact on Loss of Use Coverage 2

Loss of use coverage helps provide the peace of mind and financial assistance you need in the event you are suddenly displaced from your home. It’s sometimes referred to as Coverage D within your homeowners insurance policy that reimburses you for basic living expenses if a covered peril — such as burst water pipes, hurricane damage, or a house fire — damages or destroys your home, causing it to become uninhabitable.

Loss of use coverage reimbursement is unique to every person, family, and their situation. How much additional living expenses coverage you have is often based on limits in other parts of your policy. The loss of use coverage amount on a homeowner’s policy usually defaults to a percentage of your dwelling coverage limit, such as 20%. However, if additional expenses exceed that number, you become responsible for paying any amount that goes over the maximum.

Recently, rising costs have impacted Americans in a number of ways as inflation surges at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years. Prices are up in Florida for just about everything: housing, gas, groceries, and home repairs. Across the country, there has been a continued shortage in building materials from appliances to shingles, which has led to more expensive repairs and longer delivery times. The shortages in not only materials, but also labor have increased prices and caused lengthy project delays, so be prepared for it to take longer to get a job done. This trend is expected to continue into 2022.

With these high demands, supply shortages, and delays making home repairs more complicated and pricier, the best thing you can do is plan appropriately for the rising costs and potential delays you may experience. It is important to talk with your insurance advisor to ensure you are adequately covered, particularly considering the uncertainty around future costs for loss-of-use expenses. It is possible to increase this limit of coverage. Simply ask your trusted insurance advisor agent to provide a quote for additional coverage. The team at Gulfshore Insurance is here to assist and answer any questions you may have.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Personal Lines Insuring Waterfront PropertyWhen your buyers are considering the purchase of coastal property in Southwest Florida, there are several insurance factors they need to understand. For example, if they are securing a mortgage, they will need wind and flood coverage for the closing, in addition to the standard home policy. And even without a mortgage, these coverages are highly recommended for properties that have direct ocean access.

Here are a few items to discuss with your buyers if they have insurance-related questions or concerns.

Wind Coverage
In many cases, wind coverage can be included on the home insurance policy. However, for a home with direct ocean access most insurance companies will require that every exterior opening (i.e., windows, entry doors, garage doors, and skylights) have Miami-Dade Code hurricane protection. This can be verified by purchasing a Wind Mitigation Inspection. For buyers interested in coverage from the top-rated High Net Worth companies (i.e., AIG, Berkley One, Chubb, Cincinnati, PURE, and Vault), newer Florida Building Code compliant roofs will also be required. An offer from these companies is often contingent upon writing a package account for each client (i.e., out-of-state residences, automobiles, jewelry, and personal umbrella).

Flood Coverage
Properties with direct ocean access are located in VE or AE flood zones. In these high-risk zones, an Elevation Certificate is recommended for quoting and issuing a flood policy. The certificate provides the base flood elevation as determined by FEMA in addition to the elevations of the garage, machinery, and first-floor living level. Some homes in these areas have elevated living levels which adds to the complexity of the underwriting process. For all areas below the base flood elevation, it’s necessary to confirm whether or not the enclosure is properly vented (in AE zones) or has breakaway walls (in VE zones). For a new home purchase, it is beneficial to obtain a copy of the sellers flood policy along with various other Risk Rating 2.0 rating factors which affect pricing (i.e., distance to the Gulf, bays, rivers, etc.).

When your buyers have questions about insuring their coastal property, turn to Gulfshore Insurance for answers. We’ve been managing business and personal risk since 1970, and we want to be the 1st choice when you—or your buyers—need insurance advice.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your high net worth risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Port Royal, Park Shore, Pelican Bay, The Moorings, Naples Beach, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Sanibel Island, Captiva, Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.