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Gulfshore Insurance – Private Risk Services brings you an informative series of articles on personal risk protection. Whether it’s protecting your home or condo against theft, safeguarding your most valuable possessions, or protecting yourself from one of today’s most serious threats, cyber theft, we are here to deliver the resources needed to help protect the things you value most. We are pleased to provide you with this eye-opening series over the next few months that highlights several core risk management issues and delivers helpful steps you can take to protect yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact one of our trusted advisors. To read the first article in the series, Defend Your Home or Condo Against Burglars with These Helpful Tips, click here.

Watercraft SafetyAccording to a recent report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau, personal watercraft continue to be the prime target of thieves, with the category coming in at the #2 spot behind a combined catch-all category of canoes, dinghies, dories, jon boats, kayaks, lifeboats, paddleboats, sculls and skiffs. That means your favorite toy has a very big target on its back, and if you want to keep it safe and secure you’ll need to take a few extra steps to ward off the bad guys.

Here are some suggestions for keeping your watercraft safe, both in and out of the water… Read more

Gulfshore Insurance – Private Risk Services has partnered with Naples Security Solutions to bring you an informative series of articles on personal risk protection. Whether it’s protecting your home or condo against theft, safeguarding your most valuable possessions, or protecting yourself from one of today’s most serious threats, cyber theft, we are here to deliver the resources needed to help protect the things you value most. We are pleased to provide you with this eye-opening series over the next few months that highlights several core risk management issues and delivers helpful steps you can take to protect yourself. If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact one of our trusted advisors.

By far, the most common threat to homes is burglary. According to the FBI, a house or condominium in the United States is burglarized every 15 seconds. And the majority of these residential burglaries occur during the day when most people are away at work or school. Statistics show that 70% of burglars use some amount of force to gain entry into a dwelling, but their preference is easy access through an unlocked door or window.

Even if you’re not there when it happens, a break-in can permanently shatter your feeling of security at home. Fortunately, taking a few simple precautions can dramatically reduce the risks of an invader gaining access to your home. Gulfshore Insurance has partnered with Naples Security Solutions to bring you the best recommendations in home security protection.

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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 (ie., AIG, ACE, Chubb, and PURE), 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. These high-risk zones require an Elevation Certificate before Primary FEMA Flood or Excess Flood quotes can be provided. 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).

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.

Andrea Pelletier, CPRIA, CPIA is Client Advisor and Partner at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Andrea works with successful individuals and their families on creating and customizing package insurance solutions in the areas of luxury homes, car collections, jewelry, fine arts, watercraft, and personal excess liability. Comments and questions are welcome at apelletier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

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.

Discovering polybutylene piping in a home can be a difficult obstacle to overcome when buying or selling a property. Insurance carriers do not typically want to insure properties with this type of plumbing and may require homeowners to replace this piping to insure the property. … Read more

Personal Lines Insuring Residences During Construction or RenovationInsurance for construction projects is usually dictated by the terms of the unique contract between the residence owner and the contractor. Whether it’s a renovation project or a new structure, it is increasingly common for these contracts to assign the responsibility of carrying property insurance to the owner.

There are two common ways to insure a residence under construction or major renovation: Homeowners Insurance and Builder’s Risk Policies. Each is based on specific criteria, and we strongly encourage owners to consult with an independent insurance agent who can determine the policy options that best manage potential risks.

Homeowners Insurance
Insuring these projects under a homeowners policy is often the preferred approach to managing the risks because it affords both property and liability coverage to the owner. It is critical for owners to maintain sufficient liability protection during the entire span of any construction and renovation project. In most cases, contractors can be added as an “Additional Interest” to the policy, protecting their financial interests throughout the project while excluding them from liability coverage. However, a contractor should always maintain commercial liability and worker’s compensation insurance.

These projects are viewed as “high hazard” due to the increased chance for property and liability losses, stemming from the diverse level of activity on the property, as well as lack of security at the site. Some homeowner’s insurers decline to provide coverage until the project is completed.

The first consideration when our team reviews a homeowner’s policy is to closely research its wording. Some policies offer very broad coverage and, in that case, would be considered the preferred choice for insuring the construction project. Others do not provide the scope of coverage needed and would be considered an inappropriate solution to managing risks. For example, some policies exclude or limit coverage if the insurer is not previously notified of the owner’s renovation or construction project.

Builder’s Risk Insurance
Builder’s Risk Policies only provide property coverage (all liability is excluded) and can be written with the contractor or the owner as the Named Insured and the other party can be added as an Additional Insured. Owners need to ensure the construction site address is added to a homeowner’s policy, extending personal liability during the period of construction. Again, contractors will maintain their own separate commercial liability and worker’s compensation coverage.

The insurance companies that provide Builder’s Risk policies design their underwriting process and scope of coverage specifically for construction projects. They are able to determine the unique characteristics of each risk and customize their policies accordingly. This ultimately leads to greater market availability for owners.

Because they can be customized, Builder’s Risk policies benefit both the property owners and the contractors. For example, the policy term can be tailored for the projected timeline of the project (i.e., 3 months, 12 months, etc.). The policies also often provide a total property limit for the premise. As well, they can insure property that is stored off-site or in transit. Builder’s Risk policies can be further amended to cover or exclude specific perils such as flood or hurricane/windstorm.

Conclusion
New construction and major renovation projects create unique insurance challenges, and property owners need to understand the obligations and responsibilities they assume when contracting with their preferred builders or contractors. It’s best to consult with an experienced independent insurance agent to assess the scope of a construction project and determine which policy is best suited to protect the owner’s interests.

The owner and insurance agent can use this opportunity to establish a long-term insurance plan for the residence. During the construction period, safety and security features can be addressed that can make the property a better insurance risk, potentially leading to meaningful premium discounts. This collaborative process will ensure a residence is properly insured during the project and after its completion.

Kevin Havemeier is an Associate Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in Private Risk Services. Kevin works with successful individuals and families with complex insurance needs. He analyzes his clients’ risks and collaborates with them to design customized solutions with the goal of ultimately delivering peace of mind. Comments and questions are welcome at khavemeier@gulfshoreinsurance.com

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.
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